Not Just Sharing
A favorite kindergarten tradition in my class is an activity called “Share.” I have continued this tradition because it offers a wonderful opportunity for the children to informally practice speaking to a group of friends so that they can feel more comfortable speaking to less familiar audiences. The notion of standing/sitting with a group to talk about something of importance to them builds their self-confidence and makes them feel proud of what they are speaking about. The audience is sitting still, carefully listening to the clues, raising their hand, and waiting to be called on to guess what the share is.
Many children will tell me when they walk into the classroom, “I have my share!” or “When am I going to share?" A few children whisper in my ear because they want to put their share item in a bag instead of leaving it in their backpack to make sure it remains a secret. Once they prepare the clues and the share is unpacked, they just canʻt wait to share. After the share is revealed, the audience offers comments or questions to the speaker.
The children are all very anxious to have a turn reading their written or drawn clues (symbols) to their peers. Share also integrates writing. Some kinders are drawing symbols, while others are writing down initial sounds/words. Share as an activity is so much more than just sharing.
After reading their clues, the children briefly talk about their object and then ask, “Do you have any questions or comments?”
to their audience. It is important that the audience listens carefully and sits attentively during share so they can comment or ask questions about the share.
Share is a time to better understand who their classmates are, discovering characteristics that are not always obvious. What type of person is he or she? It seems that Kinders love cute and soft animals. Another student's favorite animal was a snake. His friend said, “I like snakes too.” Later that day his friend was telling him facts about venomous and nonvenomous snakes.
As you can see, the share is more than just sharing an object. It is the integration of so many valuable learning skills -- writing, reading, public speaking, practicing at home, sitting attentively, listening, asking thoughtful comments and questions, sharing a little about yourself, learning about your peers, and, of course, having fun while learning. Share is an opportunity to address the question “Who am I?” Since this activity occurs throughout the year, the wonder of each child is revealed share by share