I consider myself pretty lucky because my parents never did anything to cause me oodles of embarrassment during my school years. Unfortunately, the main character in The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus and Mike Lowery can’t say the same thing. The little girl in the story realizes her mom has been a little sad now that she goes to Kindergarten everyday so she invites her to stay. But mom doesn’t know the rules of Kindergarten, which mortifies her daughter. She traipses into the classroom with outdoor shoes, calls out answers, doesn’t clean up her messes, and just generally doesn’t follow all of the rules. Once the little girl is at her wit’s end her teacher reminders her, “Sometimes it takes a while to get comfortable with something new. Once your mom gets used to the way we do things, I’m sure she’ll learn how to express her thoughts and feelings in more appropriate ways.” (Spoken like a true Kindergarten teacher!) The little girl becomes more understanding of her mother, as a result of her teacher’s advice. I’ll refrain from spoiling the ending, but I’ll just say the mom and daughter make peace even though mom is still making mistakes right through ’til the end of the school day.
Over time, something that was embarrassing usually becomes something one can laugh about. Therefore, stories about embarrassing times are fodder for funny narratives. The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten can be used as a topic choice mentor in writing workshop. Here are other things you can use this book for when you confer with young writers:
- writing about events that happened in a sequence
- combining writing and drawing to tell about an event
- embedding action verbs to show, not tell
- using onomatopoeia effectively
- crafting a text with unique voice
- elaborating on an event using action, thinking, and dialogue
- including speech bubbles (if illustrations are used) in addition to the story’s dialogue
- creating a humorous text
- providing a resolution to a story
Finally, and unrelated to writing workshop, this is a phenomenal book to share with any child who will be heading to Kindergarten this fall!
Take a look at some page spreads from The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten:
Many thanks to Kids Can Press for sponsoring this giveaway. One lucky commenter will win a copy of The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus and Mike Lowery. To enter for a chance to win a copy please leave a comment on this post about independent writing projects, how you’d use this book in your classroom, or an embarrassing story from your childhood that you could share with your students. All comments left on or before Friday, May 24th, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EDT will be entered into a random drawing using a random number generator the following day. I will announce the winners’ names at the bottom of this post no later than Sunday, May 26th. Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win. From there, my contact at Kids Can will ship the book out to you. (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you only leave it in the e-mail field.)
Comments are now closed. Thanks to everyone who left such enthusiastic comments about The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten. Diane’s commenter number was selected by the random number generator so she’ll win a copy of this book. Diane wrote:
This book could be read several times through out the year with a different focus. At the start of the year to talk about rules of the school, later if a new student arrives to help them along and they also could write about when they didn’t follow the rules or didn’t remember them. They could also write their own classroom routine and procedure book.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).