The Kindergarten class was very excited when we added the last few letters to our alphabet board. The children are now able to recite every lower case letter, along with all keywords and short letter sounds. We celebrated by spending last week looking at a large collection of alphabet books, which allowed us to put our skills into practice. Knowing short letter sounds is important and is helping the children begin to decode simple text. Each week we also add new words to our trick word board. When the children memorize trick words and also know how to decode many CVC words, they become more confident in their abilities as beginning readers. In reading workshop, we are now ready to start teaching more strategies for decoding:
- Good readers take a book walk to look at the illustrations for clues about story content.
- Good readers study illustrations and use what they learn to help decode difficult words.
- Good readers take their time and s-t-r-e-t-ch out words letter by letter to see if they can figure them out.
- Good readers look for trick words that they already know when they are reading.
In writing workshop we use many of the same skills to encode the sounds we hear within each word when we write. Last week the class made a memory book for Anne Marie. They wrote heartfelt messages to accompany their illustrations. All the children were proud to show Anne Marie the book, and she was delighted to receive this very sweet and personal gift.
For the past two weeks we have been focusing on shapes. We drew and cut out shapes to make our own shape pictures (They are hanging in the classroom). We used templates to draw shapes and searched magazines and catalogs for shapes that matched the shape of our posterboard cutouts. We played shape attribute games and used a variety of manipulatives (Magna-tiles, blocks, geoboards and rubber bands, etc.) to learn or refresh our memories regarding the numbers of corners and sides various shapes contain. We also continue to focus on number order and number recognition with numbers 0-20.