Why do “Mommy, look!” Isabelle ran towards me with a paper in her hand. “I drew a picture for you.”
It’s not a picture, I thought, it’s just some letters.
“What did you write?” I asked, reframing what was on the paper.
“I wrote b’s,” she beamed.
“Are you sure you wrote two b’s?” I asked.
“Yes. I write uppercase B and lowercase b,” she declared.
“You did write an uppercase B, but this is not a lowercase b.” I pointed at the letter in question. “That’s a lowercase p.”
“Are you sure?” she asked.
There were a million different ways I wanted to answer that question, but she wouldn’t find the humor in any of them so I went for the high road. “Yes, I’m sure. Let me show you what a lowercase b looks like.”
At that moment, I figured Isabelle would run away. [We’ve been having a rough time with compliance (her’s, not mine) since I returned from my week away at the Highlights Foundation.] But she didn’t. She followed me to her craft table where I grabbed a marker and showed her — on the same sheet of paper — what an uppercase B and lowercase b looked like.
“I have something I’ve been keeping on the mantle that can help you tell the difference between uppercase and lowercase letters. Want to see it.”
She surprised me — again — when she said, “Yes!”
I retrieved the framed Kit Chase ABC print I framed and stuck up on the mantle in her playroom for someday. Today was that day and, by golly, I was tickled pink. We went through the entire alphabet, noting the uppercase and lowercase letters that were the same and the ones that were different. I thought she had it by the time we arrived at Zz. But I wanted to link it to what she was doing at her craft table. So, in typical writing teacher fashion, I said, “So today and any day you’re trying to write a lowercase letter, you can look at this chart if you’re not sure what it should look like. This chart will remind you of what each lowercase letter looks like. I’ll leave it on your craft table so you can check it when you’re unsure of what a lowercase letter should look like.”
She’s a long way away from writing lowercase letters independently since she’s still trying to master writing uppercase ones. Nonetheless, her curiosity led to me giving her a tool, which I hope will help her as she wants to do some more writing.