Teaching a Kindergartener to Read

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Melissa8304, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. Melissa8304

    Melissa8304 Rookie

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    Jun 2, 2005

    HI, I'm new to this forum, and I'm also new to tutoring, which is why I'm seeking help. I am currently in a class (I'm an educations major) where I have been paired with a kindergartener who is a struggling reader and I'm expected to help her read and I have no idea how to do this. I do know that she can segment words, sound out words, read 18 sight words and tell me the letters in all new words. Also I know that she is able to shadow read with me. I have tried working on words with her, but she won't try if they are too big and I don't know what to do. I would like to do fun activities with her because I get her after school and she is fidgety by this time and doesn't want to sit still. Also I would love some ideas about how to teacher her words that you can not sound out. Please help

    Thank you Soo Much
    Melissa :) :confused:
     
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  3. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Jun 3, 2005

    Why is this child labeled as a "struggling reader"? She can segment words, blend words, read sight words, knows all her letters and sounds. How exactly is she struggling? Can she read easy, predictable books? That is all most kindergartners are expected to be able to read. They are not expected to be able to read longer, undecodable words yet. What are her weaknesses and what are your goals for her?
     
  4. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jun 3, 2005

    I'd find a set of really easy readers, preferably ones that use picture clues to hint at the words, and go from there. You know, ones that only have on each page "I have a ball, I have a bat, I have a doll." Build up her confidence. In the sets we use at school, each of the successive books has a new sight words (it would be "have" in the examples I stated). Do you have a list of sight words that she's expected to read? If not, you should look for a list of Dolch words (I'm not sure I spelled that right). Use a google search and print out a list.

    I'd plan as many active lessons as you could. for instance, write all the words you want her to be reading on index cards and have her move around the room to them (you could say, "hop to the word the. Crawl to the word it. Spin to the word are.") Then switch and have her give YOU directions. You can do the same thing with an old twister game, by writing words on clear packing tape, taping them to the game mat, and playing twister with her. She'd have to read the word that she touches. You could make a fishing game by writing words you want her to read on paper fish, putting a paper clip on each fish, and making a fishing pole out of a stick tied with string and a magnet on the end. Boggle, Jr. is a fun game, too. And I have a beach ball where I've written sight words on it and we play catch (or soccer), and whatever words her hands (or feet) touch, she has to read.

    But, I also agree with the previous poster. She doesn't sound like she's really that weak for a kindergartener. Do you have any input from her teachers as to what they think she needs help with?
    Kim
     
  5. Melissa8304

    Melissa8304 Rookie

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    Jun 3, 2005

    The kindergartener

    I'm glad that you don't think she is a weak reader, I didn't think so either. She has difficulty with words like would and any ou word. However, she was able to read Little Bear the book which has repetition and after teaching her the word potatoes, she can read it fine now. I am not sure why she is considered a struggling reader, her fluency is the only thing that is bad and that is understandable for her grade, also she can't write paragraphs again grade level, that was why I was so confused, I thought that maybe I just wasn't seeing something. Her parents paid 50 dollars for her to be tutored by me in my Akron U. class, so that's why I needed fun games because she gets bored just reading and frustrated when we do the same activities
    Thanks bunches
     
  6. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jun 3, 2005

    If she was reading a Little Bear book, she is an advanced reader. :) Potatoes is not a kindergarten word.

    Hopefully the parents realize she is not struggling and they are doing this for enrichment. Anyhow, try focusing on comprehension and fluency, since those are the most common things kids need help with if they are advanced.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'she can't write paragraphs' - Kindergarteners can usually write 1-2 simple sentences at the end of the year. Only the advanced kids can write paragraphs.

    If you can give us an idea of other books she can read fairly easily and examples of her writing, we might be able to give you some more specific activity ideas. (If you provide a writing sample, copy over her spelling and punctuation... Also note if she has spacing, if she formats it correctly left to right, if she knows where to go for a second line, etc.)

    Of the top of my head, I was thinking word family activities might be helpful, but if she's advanced, she would probably be bored with that! What I usually do is choose a book that has a word pattern or skill I want to focus on, then we pull out examples from the book to teach.

    One more thing - When I was in college, I did a reading program with kids' who were enrolled by their parents (sounds similar to your situation). Before we did anything, we assessed the kids to see what reading level they were on. It really is the first thing a teacher would do with a child before they start teaching. Once you know where they are at, you will know where to start. Did your professor make this suggestion or provide materials to assess with?
     
  7. miss karen

    miss karen Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2005

    One of my favorite activities is making a set of words on sentence strips and having the students put them together to make a sentence. We discuss how we can change the words around to make a new sentence that still makes sense. We look at the order of where the words belong according to capitals, periods, etc. An example... "There are 8 days left of school." or we could say "There are 8 days of school left." I usually make 3 sentences, cut all of the words apart; we read them seperately, discuss if a word would fit in a given place (i.e. "There are left" would not make sense so we search for another word or words that would make sense.) My students love doing this activity. You could also make some fun fill in the spaces stories to have her read and add her own words to complete the story. Once there was a _____ named ______ who loved to ______. Get my drift? This would encourage reading and writing. Good luck!

    Karen
     
  8. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 15, 2005

    Petunia

    "Reading Incentive Program". Called Book Scouts
    http://www.proteacher.net/dcforum/third_grade/2573.html It would make a great center activity. Good after school tutoring. It is free and complete. Forms, certificate, bookmark, sticker badges, reading pledge, and etc. It is excellent free and complete.
     
  9. elissa peterson

    elissa peterson Rookie

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    Jun 16, 2005

    (totally unrelated to the subject, but I couldn't resist mentioning)
    I know where akron is! I did some of my feild work there in college. I went to Kent STate!
    I think the kid sounds pretty normal for a kindergartener... Just have her practice. If she's antsy have her read a sentence then act it out. (the girl is jumping). Read a sentence, take a turn at candyland. Read a sentence throw you the ball. (you get the idea) My mom works with ADHD kids all the time, and these are some of the strategies she uses (also useful in teaching taking turns) for insentives.........
    good luck!
    elissa
     
  10. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    Jun 16, 2005

    Hi
    I have just finished my 5th year teaching K, and I was thinking to myself, wow, they must have some really high standards if they think this child is struggling. If it is a university program, they might be involving her simply because of their high expectations or some conflict or irritation with the classroom teacher... you never know.
    This kid sounds like a pretty normal kid to me... could it be that they just didn't see much progress over the year?
    I would try to figure out how the child feels about reading. Does she see herself as a reader? If so, does she think of herself as a good reader? I would give her lots of positive feedback on what she does well. If fluency is a problem, try to talk directly to her about how to become more fluent. Model fluency. Point out that good readers sometimes struggle with new words too. Let her choose some books herself AND sometimes just read to her and enjoy the words and pictures together! One other thing I would do is to look at and specifically point out similarities in words. "Look... there is the word 'to' potatoes Isn't it funny that it doesnt make the same sound? If I were a new reader I might say potatoos... but then I would think I wonder what a potatoo is ... (here I might get really silly and talk about what a potatoo could be ... a strange animal? a special kind of shoes? I might suddenly decide we could write a story about potatoos...or you could save that for another day) Then I would explain that if I read a strange word in that sentence I would think to myself, "hey that sounds a little like potato... does that make sense in this sentence?" I think you can teach kids a lot by letting them know how YOU go about thinking things through while you are reading. But what I want to say most that in reading at this age should be a joyous experince, not tedium. Feeling successful and having fun will do wonders for making her want to try.
    jeanie
     
  11. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    Jun 17, 2005

    Hi again,
    When woke up this morning, I suddenly realized why the child you are tutoring might have been referred to you. This is it: With all the skills she has, ie the alphabet knowledge, segmenting and sounding out, it is unusual that she would only know 18 sight words. It sounds like she is trying to tackle every new word by sounding it out! Remember that many words cannot be sounded out, and if an emergent reader tries to do that, will become frustrated. Consider the word one, or was, or of. Fluency and comprehension and reading enjoyment are all influenced if the majority of time a young child is trying to sound out. For this child, I believe you may have better success if you leave "sounding out" behind for a little while and focus instead on 1. sight word learning 2. word families 3. Enjoying stories
    (All learning should still be done in the context of having fun... low stress, high praise)
    1. For sight word learning, one simple thing you can do is to have the list of sight words and simply read them together while pointing to them. Don't dwell on this activity long, just do it. I always tell my K kids that even if you don't know the word now, if you look at it and say it, one day when you look at it you WILL know it. We call these words popcorn words because they just pop into your head. (Teaching hint: if you practice the sight words everyday, and you notice that on Thursday, she knows one more than she knew on Wednesday, that is a reason for celebration...praise, cheer etc. You could tell her something like today you knew 18 sight words I will hop on one foot for eighteen. Wow that was hard. I'm really tired. If she gets a big kick out of that, you could say that you just don't know what you will do when she knows twenty two. You could invite her to join you in the hopping too.)
    Another thing you can do is choose several sight words she does know and a few you would like her to learn and make up a game with them... like a "go-fish" kind of game or concentration. PS Learning sight words is very testable and easy to see results. Even if she only knows one more by the end of your tutoring with her, you will be able to indicate some success.
    2. For word families, it is really rhyming you are teaching, So look for a book that has a rhyming pattern, choose one appropriate rhyming pair and find it in the book. See if you can find it other places too. Then write sentences with it. Think of an action to do every time you see or hear that rhyme, like a gathering motion for the word family "all" or a bell ringing motion for the word family "ing" and then be consistent with its use and find reasons to use it writing or notice it when reading.
    3. Just read lovely books and talk about why you like them.
    4. Have fun. Hope I helped.
    jeanie
     
  12. lowrie

    lowrie Companion

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    Jun 17, 2005

    nothing to add, just wanted to say "wow, jeanie, what a GREAT response!"
     
  13. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    Jun 17, 2005

    lowrie,
    I appreciate your feedback.
    jeanie
     
  14. JazzyM

    JazzyM Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2005

    Let's see if this makes any sense. I'm still trying to make sense of it all. I just got back from a teacher conference about struggling readers and writers. We learned lots of interesting things. From what I learned at this conference, I think you shouldn't focus on sounding out the words. You should praise her for knowing words that would make sense in the sentence. For example: you could cover up the word "is" in the following sentence: The cat __ napping. Ask her what would make sense and she will probably say is. Praise her for being so smart and figuring that out. And with concise directions tell her that's what readers do. THey "Know" what makes sense and reading is easy. So when she's reading and she can't figure out a word tell her to reread and see if it makes sense. Ask "what would make sense here?" If she gets her, praise her. She should pick it up pretty soon that good readers "know" how good language works. It will help if she knows those High frequency words too.
    anywhoo, hope that helps. That's what I learned this past week and although this is just a tiny piece of the whole reading puzzle, this is what seems to match your student. Good luck!
     
  15. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Jun 20, 2005

    I play a game called the BANG! game with my students. Write the sight words that they're working on on index cards. Mix in several cards with Bang! written on them. Take turns drawing cards. If you can read the card, you get to keep it (I usually take a while with my words "hmmm...well this starts with a w, it looks like it might be wet, but no, it's to long to be wet...it's what!"). If you draw a bang card you loose your pile. (That levels the playing field- I almost never win, and the kids think that's so funny).

    Also, on the subject of rhyming and word families, my favorite books to use for this are Nancy Shaw's sheep books- Sheep in a Jeep, Sheep in a Shop, etc. My copies are all boxed up so I went to the library this morning and got them to use for my tutoring this summer, they're pretty common and easy to find.

    good luck!
     
  16. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Jun 20, 2005

    If you want to concentrate on Rhyming and want to use Nursery Rhymes these are very good : http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/go/wil/ then you would choose the A Rhyme a Week link. I even use these @ the beginning of the year with my 2nd graders to review Rhyming (I just go @ a faster pace than one a week)

    I agree with Amanda however other than sight vocabulary (our Kindergarteners @ my school are expected to know 32 sight words) she seems as if she is advanced not struggling.
     
  17. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Jun 21, 2005

    Scholastic has a nice set of sight word readers and matching workbooks that I use with my daughter. We also use Hooked on Phonics, the new program.
     

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