by Susan Kempton
In her new book, Let’s Find Out!, kindergarten teacher Susan Kempton talks about the importance of helping children build the content knowledge that is critical to educational success. She shows how she capitalises on children’s natural curiosity and uses various tools, literature (particularly nonfiction), visuals, living and non-living artefacts, drawing, song, and movement, dramatization to develop language, concepts, and basic literacy skills. As their foundation becomes richer, children’s talk, writing, and options for reading expand and flourish.
After discussing the importance of developing schema, the principles that underlie her instruction, and the role of the teacher in developing background knowledge, Sue tells stories from her own diverse classroom that reveal how by layering tools and integrating concepts her children’s understanding grows. In each classroom vignette, you will hear Sue’s conversations with the children (Story), listen to the reasoning behind her teaching (Unpack), observe the children’s thoughts (Conference/Reflection), and see their writing samples (Original Writing).