Reading instruction question

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by mrsrooney, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2011

    I have a class of 16 students and 13 of them do not know the names or sounds of most of the alphabet, even the letters in their names. I have three kids repeating kindergarten and they are among the ones who know 0-3 sounds and/or letters.The three that do, pretty much know all the upper and lowercase letters and their sounds. I plan on beginning Guided Reading with them asap (having some major behaviour issues that are distracting everyone and giving me little to no time for small group work but I am in the process of getting support for that).

    What about the others? I do a morning message and we will have sound/letter of the week. We do literacy work stations (including an abc centre) as well as phonemic awareness games/activities each day. We do shared reading and read alouds daily. But I can't start guided reading until they can decode right? A few of them would be able to pretend read predictable books after modeling and they can recognize the word Hello in the context of the morning message but that's about it. I have taught grade one and kindergarten before but I always had students who knew the majority if not all of the sounds of the letters. Do I just continue on with the literacy activities and minilessons and hold off on independent reading until they know many sounds?

    I am taking the first part of a three part reading course in the winter semester to increase my reading instruction skills but I am feeling a little unsure about what the right thing to do is right now. We don't follow a strict reading curriculum that I need to adhere to.

    Thanks for your advice in advance:):)
     
  2.  
  3. Laurie12820

    Laurie12820 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2011

    You sound like you have a good start :thumb:. Here are some things I do. I focus on one letter a week at the beginning. Then once they are beginning to get the concept of letter sounds, I'll start doing 2 a week. I save long/short vowels for later in the year. We also have a word wall with sight words. We learn 1 to 2 new sight words a week. Look for lists of Dolch sight words on-line to get started. We use these sight words in morning messages, decodable books and other writing exercises.
     
  4. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2011

    Thank you:) I have the dolch lists and was planning to introduce most sight words later on closer to Christmas or the new year. I am thinking about having a personal sight word dictionary for the few of my students who are ready for that earlier. I guess I could start with I, the, a... sooner. I am just wondering if I should have the majority of my students taking home predictable books before they are able to decode AT ALL or wait until they can at least identify beginning letters of words to help them predict words (example: book with the predictable pattern I like ______. There's a page with a rabbit but most of my kids would probably say bunny. They don't have the skills to look at the word rabbit know that it couldn't be bunny because of the "r" at the begginning. Does that make sense?) Is that okay? Should I give them those predictable books to read even if they are mostly using memory to read it? I think that it is valuable in a shared reading atmosphere but I'm not sure about independent. I don't want to go too quickly as I believe kids learn better when they are really ready. Thoughts? Thanks!
     
  5. christine89

    christine89 Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2011

    Well what I've been doing (as my reading series suggests) is a lot of letter recognition as I've realized that's something my K kids need a lot of work on. We are still working on it but the more we work with them a little each day, I see improvements. I've done this whole group simply with flash cards (adding a few letters to the stack every day or two) as well as some letter recognition small group games like letter bingo, etc. We will be focusing on a letter each week from here on out, so now we will focus more on sounds of each letter.
    Just try to remember that these things might come slowly and have to be built up a little. My suggestion would be to start with letter identification. Including sounds in with those right away could be overwhelming in my opinion.
     
  6. Laurie12820

    Laurie12820 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 10, 2011

    To reinforce sight words we also have a ziplock bag attached to their homework folders where we put their sight word flash cards and they are to practice those every night. So, as we introduce new sight words, we put a flashcard with that word in their bag. By the end of the year, they have them all. It really seems to help them when they practice them at home!
     
  7. mom2kkj

    mom2kkj Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 10, 2011

    I read a book recently (recommended by somebody here...who has a blog.....website? Three Highly Effective Habits for Teachers (Close but maybe not exact??) Here is the link to his site: http://lookatmyhappyrainbow.com/
    that I found very helpful. Of course, I only have 2 days down so won't be thinking about this for a week or two....but wanted to share :)
    Good luck! Sounds like you've got a great start with some great ideas!
     
  8. ginger02topaz

    ginger02topaz New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 27, 2011

    Thats great that you normally begin the year with students who know most of their letter sounds! In our district, students in K are generally pretty blank slates! In my reading groups, I always work on letters with the low students to begin with. I do not bother with books, I want to advance them first. Sometimes we feel like we "need" to force books on them, but I think it is necessary to allow some time for them to focus on letters first, and then slowly go into letter sounds. I will, however, share an idea that I created that really motivates students and parents alike. I started an "alphabet club". When a student is able to recognize all uppercase and lowercase letters, they belong to the alphabet club. Their name gets put on a special bulletin board, and they receive a prize. Then, they are encouraged to encourage the students who are still learning. When all students are in the "club", we have an alphabet club party! It is tons of funs and the students are always bugging me to "test" them. I also send a letter home to parents so that they know whats up. The parents, of course, don't want their kids to be the only ones who do not know them, so they begin to work with them at home as well. : ) I have also added a second phase for knowing all of the letter sounds, and a third phase for knowing all sight words. The sight words one is a lot harder to master, but is still highly motivational.
     
  9. Silmarienne

    Silmarienne Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Messages:
    541
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2011

    Agreed, for the ones who don' t know letters/sounds I would use the small group time to work on specialized games.

    Start simple, like using picture cards, children choose a picture and name it, then tell you the initial sound (and letter, if they can). I use cool buttons for tokens and put 1 or 2 on each picture; if they get it right they get to 'keep' the button as a 'point'. This year, I'm SOOO lucky, I have only 1 kid who is weak on letter-sound association and this game is really helping him. Of course there are others but this is the lowest level, especially if you ask them only for initial sound to start with.
     
  10. SBP0429

    SBP0429 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2011

    This is my second year teaching kindergarten. For homework, we send home 3 sight words each week. They have something to do with them each night - rainbow write, copy 3 times each, make a word puzzle, spell with cereal, etc. over them (snack). Introducing the sight words early is a great way to help students learn these important words that will be common in reading and writing.

    We use Letterland - which is a phonics approach. It is an awesome program, and I highly recommend it. We have already been through all sounds. It stresses learning the sounds first, and the letters later. Now, it is going over each letter for 2 days - you focus on the sound the first day, and the handwriting of the letter the 2nd day.

    As far as reading groups, I started my groups 2 weeks ago. We have focused on picture books without words, and now are moving on to level 2 books. I am basically stressing concepts of print, and other concepts in helping them learn the importance of reading skills. Even though they do not know all the sounds, I believe it is ok to start reading easy, repetitive books with words. (my cat, my dog, my house, etc.) It teaches them that they need to look at the picture, but then check it with the sounds the letters make. You can go over sounds in your reading group, and play some type of explicit language game with your students - initial sound fluency, etc.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 340 (members: 1, guests: 317, robots: 22)
test