Question about your class/average student

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Elocin, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Dec 5, 2011

    Hi all,
    My daughter is in Kindergarten and I have some concerns about her school. Would you mind sharing with me where you are "at" in teaching reading and what your average student is capable of? I know it is a fluid thing but I feel like what her class is doing is a repeat of preschool and I am also wondering what is typical for content and student at this point in the year. I try not to stress but compared to what I see K teachers working on at my school, it is hard not to wonder.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. christine89

    christine89 Companion

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    Dec 5, 2011

    Well states have different standards and reading programs vary as well. For my program, we cover a letter each week for which we go over the sound, writing the letter, and blending the letter with other sounds we have learned to read words. We also have high-frequency words (about one a week) that we go over. The average student is able to identify the beginning sound in a word, sound out short words, blend words, and begin to read with fluency, as well as read our high-frequency words.
    Is any of this looking like the content of your daughter's K class? I guess I wouldn't be too concerned as long as things are going beyond letter sounds, but even then some teachers wait until later in the year to do more blending and reading words.
    Hope this was somewhat helpful!
     
  4. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Dec 5, 2011

    We also do a letter/sound per week in our reading series. Although we use PWIM as well and talk about all our letters at this time when we spell out our PWIM words. We have 9 high frequency words which must of my kids know and can use to write 1 sentence independently. Most of my kids recognize 45+ letters and know between 10-20 sounds. We read very easy high frequency word books that match our word for the week, but outside of that I don't do much reading until second semester. We have leveled readers that go with our series, but I hold off on that until the kids have a solid handle on sounds and phonemic awareness skills.
     
  5. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Dec 6, 2011

    I am 99% sure they use Harcourt. Right now (based on the work I see coming home), they are working on recognizing letters and corresponding inital sound. (M says /m/, pick the picture that starts with the letter M, etc.
    They also have about 6 sight words (my, to, like, the, and, *and* recognizing capital "I" as referring to yourself).

    My daughter has been able to do this since preschool and it isn't that I think she is so amazing and advanced but I know she knows all her letters and sounds so this feels like preschool. Nothing has come home that looks like they are blending onset sounds with rimes. I work on it with her at home, but honestly-there is a reason I am not a K teacher LOL.

    Do you have your kids copy from the board? She comes home with a lot of complex (for K) sentences like "My bike has two wheels" or " The big schoolbus is yellow". She said the teacher just puts it on the board and they copy it--I don't completely take her word for it but I am not sure why that is a needed skill in K.

    I guess I thought at this point in the year there would be more work with word families and sounding out. When I worked with her last night I realized she has no idea how to do this-- I write "cat" and she recognizes it but if I write "bat" she has no idea that she can change just the onset. She guess any vowel betwee the "b" and "t".

    Like I said, if this is typical, then that is fine but I think she is ready to move on. If I have to do it myself I will but I also don't want to get her too far ahead of her class....she is already bored.
    I have a meeting with her teacher today so I am interested in any feedback you can give that I might be able to mention.

    Also, I reaaalllly don't want to make it sound like I think my kid is so gifted. I just know what she can do already so watching her do skills she already knows for the past 3 months is frustrating for her and me!

    Thanks!
     
  6. christine89

    christine89 Companion

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    Dec 6, 2011

    Well one suggestion I would have is if you can figure out which letters and sounds they have covered, you can use those to make some short words for her to blend. For example, if she's working on the letter M, she could work at home on blending words like mat or map, words like that. When we do writing activities, sometimes we copy from the board or I have them copy from little sentence strips, but the sentences usually include words we are working on like our high frequency words. Hopefully sometime in the year things will get a little more advanced so that she isn't as bored.
     
  7. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Dec 6, 2011

    There is a never ending battle in K with students coming in ready (your daughter) and those that have zero background knowledge at all (there are always a few). It can be very difficult to find a good balance to keep the kids all moving forward! Beginning of K is a lot of review for some kids and also a lot of front loading on routines and behaviors to ensure the kids are ready for center time and small groups!! It sounds like you need to see if the teacher is doing small groups or plans on doing small groups. This is where your daughter should be getting that instruction at her level. Although, I don't do much with small groups the first half because I'm teaching routines, behaviors, and assessing to be sure I have kids ready for groups in the second semester.

    I don't have my kids copy much off the board. Occasionally I will at the beginning of school, but by now, no! I encourage them to use the word wall, PWIM words, etc to find words they know. Otherwise, I make them stretch the word out on their own (after lots of modeling of course). I go around the room to help as needed.
     
  8. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Dec 8, 2011

    Thanks. I asked about the copying and she said they come up with a sentence together and then she writes it on the board and they copy. I don't love it but it isn't hurting her (though I know it is a tough skill).

    Honestly, when I met with her I still don't feel satisified--I felt like she kept side-stepping my questions to talk about DD's personality--that she is a leader but she needs to step aside to let others lead, that she rushes through her work so she makes silly mistakes. I agree with that but I wanted to know what the CLASS is working on. It seemed like every time I tried to ask a specific question abotu content it was somehow turned to talk about DD's personality.

    She did say she doesn't have an aide or a para so everything is DI. I don't really like that.....I have a lot of thinking to do.
     
  9. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Dec 8, 2011

    I don't agree with just having kids copy words off the board either. I don't know what it accomplishes besides handwriting practice. They definitely should be sounding out words to write and using word wall words as others have mentioned.

    Not having an aide is no excuse for not differentiating. I've never had an aide and have always done small groups/workstations--I honestly don't know how teachers teach reading without doing that. Most schools require at least a 2 hour block these days-if all of that is done whole group-wow! I can see how any of the kids could be bored. The teacher definitely should be doing something differently with her if she's beyond what the direct instruction is covering.
     
  10. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Dec 9, 2011

    K Reading

    We use Pearson's Reading Street in a 2-hr block. I have 19 kids in three groups. We have whole group - story, song, letter sounds, phonics, worksbook. Then we break into our groups. I have four centers (computer, listening, writing/word work and another activity related to our story) and one group with me. I see each group daily and they are leveled--one strategic and two on-level. The students go to two centers one day and the other two the next day. The word work, writing, activity centers change every two days. It works okay, but some days it seems like it is non-stop and we definitely use up every second--I'm worn out after reading! Until a couple of weeks ago, I did not have daily help, but now I do and it makes a difference in transition times and student-monitoring. It's very difficult for some of my students to work independently. We are blending and using rhyming families. We have had the short a and i vowels so far and we are up to about a dozen sight words.
     
  11. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Dec 10, 2011

    Thank you everyone. I am definitely not happy with her progress and what they are working on compared to what my school's K class and what all of you have written about. After Christmas I will probably request another conference and ask her to show materials, etc. I appreciate all of your input!
     
  12. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Dec 11, 2011

    Right now my typical kinder kid can read about 15 word wall words fluently, reads on level 2-3, can blend sounds in cvc words and can write phonetically. All my students know ALL letters and sounds. Kids take home guided reading books to read 2-3 times per week.
     

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