Sunday, February 26, 2012

Becoming the Expert

 In Playing Their Way into Literacies, Karen Wohlwend outlines the significance of mediation in the classroom. She speaks of kindergarten as a community of practice, and how learners are marked by those who participate in core practices and allow them to take a new identity as an expert as opposed to a newcomer (p. 13). It is through play, she argues, that children can mediate print texts for themselves by taking on the role as a more experienced reader. In my classroom, we have allowed for children to have multiple opportunities to be the expert. In this photo, a student has the book Ten Apples Up on Top opened beneath him and is retelling it in sequence using felt characters. This particular students has trouble articulating his thoughts about books and would not necessarily be able to retell the story with words, so this felt board activity provided him with his own means to becoming the expert, and what an expert he is putting all of the apples up on top!


  1. Great! I'm so happy to see teachers taking up ideas from my book to encourage multiple paths into storytelling.

    There are so many ways that children are experts~ I'm always at the ways that they teach and learn from each other!

  2. I notice that some of my more confident students will always take on the role of "being the expert" and deprive some of their friends the opportunity that they may otherwise have taken. I am not sure how to go about effectively mediating this situation as I want to allow the confident students the opportunity to "play their way into literacy" as well as the more reserved students and don't want to over-mediate the play (in that I am telling the students who is the leader and how they should play). Does this ever happen in your classroom? How do you allow all students a chance at being the leader when some students are so much more outgoing and driven to lead?