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Book Review: Already Ready

As you know, I’ve been reading Already Ready: Nurturing Writers in Preschool and Kindergarten by Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover. Already Ready addresses the question: Are pre-K kiddos ready for writing. Their answer lies in the title, yes, they are already ready at 3 years old.

Ray and Glover worked together to develop and implement a writing program into a pre-k and kindergarten program. They found that 3 year olds carry stories with them just like the rest of us. And that, even without the mechanics of writing, they have the writer’s mind within them. In essence: treat them like writers and writers they will be.

What I loved about the book was how elegantly it cracked open my preconceptions about age and the order of learning. I found that we can teach writing before we teach children the alphabet. Pretty creative, if you ask me. I was also reminded that children can do anything with the adequate supports and strategies. As a special education teacher, this is ever a welcome reminder.

Wood and Glover’s strategy points out the value of instructing and assessing one modality or skill at a time. Traditionally children are taught the alphabet, then how to spell words, then how to construct sentences, paragraphs and so on. By the time they learn to write they must excel at all the other skills they have been taught. But what is writing, anyway, if not a vehicle for expressing ourselves? Wood and Glover reduced writing to its core and their young students shined.

I recommend the book to anyone who’s looking for inspiration and a reminder of the importance of flipping tradition on its head every once in a while.

What are you reading?  What is a book you regularly recommend to educators?  I’d love to know.

Happy Friday!
– AK

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