Saturday, May 5, 2012

Language Progression

There has been a transition in our language here in cohort 4, that I can't stop thinking about.  I find myself talking with my co-workers about it quite a bit.  I find it is a change not only in what words the boys are using (which include wonderful things like "monsterous" and "I'm thinking about...") and how they are talking, but also how I am talking as well.  Being with my children since they started as infants I talked to them one way and now I have fully transitioned into a new way of thinking and talking as they are able to not just reciprocate, but initiate conversations and stories.

Today a salad spinner found its way into rotation.  We had been admiring others using it in the kitchen and eventually it found it's way into our classroom!  The boys spent quite some time figuring it out: how does the handle work, does the lid come off, what's inside.  Then came the pom poms.   

This moment in time was a great example of everything that we do in our room right now: problem solving, collaboration, playing together, working out social problems, and conquering new objects.  The video is a lovely picture into a moment in our day and how I react to the conversations that naturally arise. I find that I now pause more and allow for their observations to surface, compared to just 6 months ago, where I was still in the newscaster role: talking about what I notice, wonder, see, think.  I still return to that place to bring the children's attention to things.   This is especially true while working through the conflict between the boys, which is our biggest work. 

Conversation is the biggest way that our language grows naturally.  The boys learn about language patterns, how to listen and be aware of others while we talk.  It is exciting to watch this progression from passive listeners to children who not just copy the words they hear, but are able to use them to communicate successfully.  It is also a happy challenge for me as I adapt what words I use and how I use them to continuously support and follow their interests.   

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