Our New Reading and Writing Motto in our class:

Got this at a district kindergarten inservice last week, it’s going up on our wall in the classroom.

If you can think it, you can say it.

If you can say it, you can write it.

If you can write it, you can read it.


10 thoughts on “Our New Reading and Writing Motto in our class:

  1. If you can think it, you can picture it.

    If you can picture it, you can draw it.

    If you can draw it, you can paint it.

    Is that really so?

    And what if, like most five year olds coming into kindergargten, you have no idea about how letters map onto phonemes in the highly idiosyncratic ways of the English language?

    • This is Good! Mr. Kindergarten playing devil’s advocate! And my answer would be first off, YES! (Iwas and artist with an art degree in my earlier life) I’m NEVER going to tell a child that they are incapable of doing something (well, within reason, most of them won’t grow ut to be superhero’s or fly without assistive devices)

      But if you have to, change it to:

      If you can think it, you can learn to say it.
      When you can say it, then you can learn to write it.
      If you can learn to write it, then you can read it.

      I might like it better that anyway…….
      Surely you wouldn’t tell any of your students that they can’t do that……..

  2. Yes, you can learn to say it, learn to write it, learn to read it. But someone’s gotta know how to teach it and be given the tools, resources, and support that this teaching requires. There’s the rub.

    Way too often, miracles are expected and required of kindergarten teachers. When a kid comes to school hungry, tired, frightened, neglected, sick, and harried by stressed-out parents, his or her most urgent need isn’t to be cajoled into writing and reading by teachers whose paycheck is leveraged on the kid’s performance on those tasks.

    As for the artistic part of my comment: I too am artistically gifted and can draw. But lots of people cannot (or think they cannot) draw.

    • I don’t disagree. All your points are valid, maybe even more so at my school where ALL the kids are considered “at-risk” coming in. We can only do what we can do. Which is better than nobody doing anything. I don’t know about you, but that’s a big reason for being a teacher, I want to make a difference. And kids constantly surprise me. There is a great article by Mem Fox here where she talks about the most important factors in children learning to read, and they aren’t things that can be quantified by standardized tests and things like dibels.

  3. People, people, people. Are we losing perspective here or what? I have used that little saying (think,say,write,read) in my classroom for the past ten years. I am a writer and artist, born into a family of writers and artists. And I think it applies to both areas. No one said “well” or “like a genius”. It’s just a logical process that kids understand. My students know that I want them to write what they would say to me. And I teach them to draw the things they see by thinking of them as shapes and parts. We are talking about expressing ideas and communicating, not career paths.

    • Yeah, I think that’s what I like about it, it’s a nice logical connection and it isn’t always obvious to the kiddos so putting it out there like that shows them the logical sequence of the process.

  4. I think this is a fantastic quote. While it may not translate directly to ALL students it can be shared with all students as inspiration in their future writings. I am going to try to keep this to put up in my room next year when we get our new classrooms. It would be fantastic in a fun artsy font. I teach first grade though, so this translate more directly for my students. Thank you for sharing it!

  5. At the end it should say, “In theory” because it’s our goal to get them there, but not everyone has the same aptitude. So many kids are put on temporary IEPs in kindergarten because they’re just not ready to read.

    I remember when kindergarten was about socializing and playing. Ah, the good ol’ days.

    • Nope, not in kindergarten, I might understand that, but this is a statement of our purpose, whether we achieve it or not. The purpose is to create readers and writers, and they have to think they can do it. I tell them ALL the time that they can DO hard things. Sure I know they aren’t all going to achieve and enjoy success at the same level. But that’s not the point.

      Temporary IEP’s? We should be so lucky here. It’s like trying to move the state of Nebraska to get my kids any kind of help outside of what I personally provide to my class………of 29 kindergarteners. They don’t get much “personal” help with that many of them.

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