Our Kindergarten readers are making nice progress during individual reading practice. We have been learning good reading habits such as:
- protecting our precious reading time by staying focused during individual reading time
- remembering that good readers read all the time and share their reading with others
- using one-to-one correspondence when reading to ensure that we are reading only the words that are actually on the page
- stretching our "reading muscles" so we can read for longer time frames
When the children are able to accurately read a book that they have chosen, they are given the opportunity to bring the book home to share with family members. We trust that you will encourage your emergent reader by providing positive feedback for their efforts, and that you will return classroom books promptly so they can remain in circulation. Thank you!
We are in our initial phase of teaching writing workshop strategies. The children are learning that they need to rely on their understanding of letter sounds to add words and/or labels to their illustrations. Writing words on thier own, using invented spelling, will become easier for the children once we have covered all vowel and consonant sounds in our phonics lessons. The entire class enjoys sharing their illustrations and writing when we offer a sharing session at the end of the morning. Next week we will have our first official publishing party, which is a small celebration of the children's work. Later in the year, when we expect to have more words on the paper, we will invite you to join us for our publishing parties.
We have introduced the following letters/keywords/letter sounds: t-top-/t/, b-bat-/b/, f-fun-/f/, n-nut-/n/, m-man-/m/, c-cat-/c/, a-apple-/a/, i-itch-/i/, r-rat-/r/, o-octopus-/o/, g-game-/g/. We practice the letters, letter sounds and keywords nearly every day and expect that all children will memorize them with repeated practice. In addition to the white boards discussed in an earlier blog, we also use alphabet letter trays. The children are getting good at matching letters to the alphabetized key on the tray and at pulling letters to the bottom of the tray according to directions ("Find the letter that says /f/" or "Find the letter whose keyword is itch"). Forming the letters correctly takes repeated practice; we are working on this each week using dry erase boards and a workbook. We notice progress every time we include this in our instruction.
For the past two weeks Kindergarten has been using the numbers 0-20 in a variety of math activities and games to help develop number recognition, counting, ordering, graphing and for telling number stories. For now we are focusing more intently on numbers 0-9, especially for number formation. A favorite activity was graphing our class pets---we learned that we have more dogs among the members of our class than any other species, with a total of 10. We were surprised to learn that we also have 3 frogs living in the homes of our class members--which I suspect is atypical!