Thursday, October 4, 2012

Literacy Updates

Hi Families,

I just thought I'd give an update about what we are doing in literacy.

The first six weeks of school focuses on social behaviors as well as how to use materials, work independently, and be responsible. Students have worked really hard  practicing being responsible by doing their reading, writing, or math jobs even when a teacher is working with other kids. It can be hard for students to use self-control and independent thinking skills while managing the impulse to just ask a teacher for help. These Kindergartners are amazing in that they are using self control, helping each other, being responsible, and building stamina for activities. I'm impressed.

We begin Readers Workshop with a whole group activity. During this time I have been implementing a program called Fundations.This is a program which begins by helping kids learn letter names and sounds by giving them key cards with a letter name sound and picture. It is beneficial for almost all kids, and it's also really fun! For more information on this program click here.FundationsThis week we also practiced retelling skills by reading and retelling  a story about our owl, Echo. We also learned a new poem and added it to our poetry and song book.

I have administered the common core literacy assessments, and AimsWeb(letter naming) assessments to all students. Using this information, I have broken the students into 3 "reading groups". I have explained to the children that every learner is different and by working in small groups it's a good way for teachers and students to make sure that everyone gets what they need and are ready for. I also have worked hard to teach the format for RW incorporating whole group, small group, and share time. Luckily we also have Mrs. Cota during this time so she and I both can work with a group and then switch, so at some point in the workshop every kids spends ample time reading with a teacher.

Now that we have our first reading groups established it is easy to plan for developmentally appropriate activities for all students. Some readers are working on letter identification and beginning reading skills, some kids are working on letter sounds, sight words, and even reading beginning level books independently.

Beginning on Friday, students will bring home their first "homework". Each student has a new canvas book bag with their name on it. Inside they have books that they have practiced with their book group, a sight word ring, and their poetry and song book. They are asked to read with their families over the weekend and bring back their book bag and contents on Monday to start fresh. This can be a really rewarding time for both students and families.

I just blogged about our Writer's Workshop- so I'm going to skip this part today :) Make sure to check out our work at Kid Blog though! Mrs. Leggett's Kid Blog

In addition to our Writers and Readers Workshops, we have also learned letters F, E, D, B, in our Handwriting without Tears Workbook. HWT is another awesome program to teach handwriting to young kids. Here's more info.Handwriting Without Tears

Thanks for all of your support with literacy skills at home!

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