Jeanne Novak-Egan Bloomsburg University Tab 2: Kindergarten Table of Contents: Components of a Kindergarten Classroom 1. Daily Sign In 2. Journal Writing 3. Independent Reading 4. Shared Reading with Big Books 5. Guided Reading with Leveled Books 6. Keep Books 7. Circle Time 8. Read Aloud with Children’s Literature 9. Interactive Writing 10. Centers Daily Sign In By utilizing a daily sign in, students start to make connections between their names and other words. In kindergarten, children sign in, find their materials by looking for their names, and labeling projects. Sign in could involve finding your name on a card and placing it under the “I’m Here Today” column or finding your name on a clothespin to hang on a string under your lunch selection for the day. A child’s first experience with learning to look at print usually has to do with the child’s own name and then build a network of understandings around their names. A child will learn that his/her name looks the same every time with the same letters, he/she then learns that the letters in his/her name are found in other words. The child then learns that his/her name starts like, sounds like, or ends like other words he/she knows. Journal Writing Journal writing allows students to choose their own topics and teachers model how to come up with topics. Kindergarteners write in their journals about what is happening in their daily lives and topics that are being studied in the classroom and then they may draw a picture next to their text. Children learn to make up something to say (and take a risk), a message, and then put down some marks and/or pictures to represent what they want to say. Eventually children learn to put marks and then letters from left to right. Teachers can use journals as assessments to know what letter sound associations the children have developed. Teachers can model good topics like: What I like best, What I did last summer, and My favorite animal. Through conferences, teachers help children extend letter and sound associations. Journal Writing This is an example of a kindergarten journal entry in September. Alexis wrote letters and drew a picture to show, “The flower is growing.” Independent Reading Independent reading provides opportunities for students to apply strategies they learned and develop fluency. Enables children to develop flexibility and fluency to enhance comprehension and enjoyment of reading and writing. Children do not need to know all the letters or sounds, or even very many words, before beginning to read text. Children start by approximating the text and reading a text that has been heard several times. Children learn that by looking at the pictures they can tell the story and figure out some of the words. Children learn that they handle the book the same way each time (front to back, turning pages). Engages children in an enjoyable and meaningful experiences while simultaneously expanding knowledge of letters, sounds, and words. Every day, time should be set aside to engage children in fluent, independent reading of familiar or easy texts. Teachers need to provide a comfortable setting with a reading alcove, bean bag chair, stuffed chair, and/or pillows. Teachers need to provide a print-rich environment: a lot of books, poetry, pre-read materials, class books, and class interactive writings. Independent Reading Here students are sitting on comfortable chairs their size and reading books they have pre-read such as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Shared Reading With Big Books This is where the whole class learns the conventions of print with high teacher support and instruction to help children expand their knowledge and skills. Very early in the kindergarten year before children can read even a little, emerging readers get a chance to behave like readers and learn the process during shared reading. Enables children to become aware of the sounds of language, to enjoy those sounds, and to use this knowledge as a tool in becoming literate. Enables children to learn the conventions of print (letters make up words, there are spaces between words) and how books (read left to right and top to bottom work so they can use this knowledge as readers and writers. The teacher and children choral read a text that is large enough for the whole class to see. During reading, the teacher or another student guides the readers by pointing to each word of the text with a pointer. Children learn that one written word represents one spoken word. Guided Reading With Leveled Books Guided reading is always conducted in small groups and provides some teacher support, but involves more reading on the part of the children. Guided reading is the heart of reading instruction; it is where strategies are learned. Guided reading begins in January with a few children to focus on the particular instructional needs of that group of children. The teacher models how to use strategies such as searching for and using meaning, language structure, and visual information, self- monitoring, cross-checking, and self-correcting. Children who are reading on the same level are grouped together for guided reading. The goal of guided reading is for children to learn to read the whole text independently. Keep Books Keep books are inexpensive take home books, with simple text that are intended to be read and reread by the children. School efforts are greatly enhanced when children have books in their homes. Children can reread these books as well as listen to parents or siblings read the text aloud. Children are encouraged to keep their collection in a box. The collection could be as many as one hundred kindergarten books. The pictures can be colored and the names can be written in the books. Circle Time During circle time, the teacher provides a high level of support for the whole group as they work together to develop fluency and confidence in reading. The teacher can write lyrics to a song on chart paper and the children can learn to read the words. Use the natural enjoyment of poetry, song, and rhyme to help young children pay close attention to how language sounds. Hearing and saying rhymes, jingles, poems, and songs allows children to hear sounds repeated, enjoy the way they sound, and learn that some words are like other words in the way they sound. Kindergarten classrooms need to have a lot of books with songs with them. The Nellie Edge website has a list of books that are also songs. Circle time can use shared reading in circle time to write poems and charts and follow up with word work. The students can use highlighter tape to highlight words with chunks and high frequency words. Reading Aloud with Children’s Literature/ Think Aloud Read alouds provide opportunities to expose children to a variety of high quality literature. Enables children to understand the purposes of literacy so they can fully appreciate and enjoy literacy in their lives. Children learn that written language means something. Enables children to hear written language so they can learn its structure, take in new information and ideas, and enjoy hearing written language. It is the foundation of the early literacy framework; kindergarten teachers often read the same story, a favorite that is rich in language opportunities, many times. Children realize that written language is constant. Children learn that written language sounds different from the way people talk. Children learn that the story they hear goes with the pictures they see and that pictures represent meaning and help them understand the story. Before, during, and/or after the reading, the teacher and children can talk about what happens in the story. Reading Aloud with Children’s Literature The teacher is reading high-quality literature to her kindergarteners. Interactive Writing Interactive writing is a teacher-guided group activity designed to teach children about the writing process and about how written language works. Enables children to have many experiences working with written symbols so they can learn how to look at letters and use this information to read and write. In kindergarten this could be rewriting a familiar story that has been read many times. Children learn that when you write, you make marks on a page of paper and that some marks appear over and over and have similar features. Children learn that when you write, you use letters and the features of letters are the same every time you see them. Children learn that when you write, you make your marks from left to right and leave spaces. Interactive Writing Here are examples of Buzz Book entries. The teacher writes a message, the students talk to each other about what to fill in, then one person says what to write, and a volunteer writes letters in the book. Centers Centers are routines that involve children in literacy activities independently. Enables children to explore words and learn how words work so they can use this information effectively and efficiently in reading and writing. A writing center will encourage independent writing and should have materials such as handwriting charts, varieties of paper (some with lines and picture boxes) and a variety of writing utensils. An independent reading center could involve options of reading poems, class books, pre-read books, books at or below their level, or reading around the room. A word center could be extended from the chunks or site words learned through shared reading. A word center could also use the names of classmates to find beginning and ending sounds of other words. Centers At the name center, students are deciding which letters are in their own name and which letters are not. At the ABC center, students are matching the letters and their sounds to the beginning sounds of objects in the box.