Hineni is the Hebrew phrase for here I am.  When children sign in to their classroom it is their way of saying Here I Am.

Every classroom at the Trust Center has a way of signing in.  In the toddler classrooms, where the children are learning to recognize themselves, they use photo cards with their written name.  They move the photo card from the “home” space to the “school” space.  In the preschool-age classrooms children are learning to recognize their written name.  They sign in by moving a card with just their name from the “home” space to the “school” space (sometimes younger preschool classes start with photo cards, and add written names toward the middle of the year).  In the pre-k classrooms the children are learning to, or have mastered, writing their name.  In these classrooms the children sign in by writing their name to answer a “Question of the Day.”  The questions are phrased as “yes/no” or “which do you prefer?” so that the children begin to recognize the predictable pattern and can soon answer it on their own.

In our pre-k class children are at different stages in the writing process.  Some are using scribbles–random marks to share their ideas; others are writing some letters or parts of letters, the letters might be out of order or placed anywhere on the paper.  Some children are able to form all the letters and write them in the correct order; some mirror-write their letters (writing letters in reverse direction—it’s developmentally normal for children, even up to age 7, to do this).  Some children even write in a different language when they sign in!  We encourage children to write their name independently, no matter which stage of writing they are in.  Our goal is to help children understand that writing is used to communicate information using the symbols and letters they write.  Although it may not look like “letters” to us, or the letters may not be in the correct order, this is their attempt at figuring out the literacy learning process.

This is their way of saying Here I Am.