Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Look at Reading & Writing in my Classroom

Everyone has there own ways on teaching reading & writing. Since I love reading about how others teach it in their classroom, mainly because it gives me fun & new ideas, I figured why not share how I teach reading & writing with my kinders. Of course like any teacher I start reading & writing at the beginning of the year with the children's names. They practice writing their name, building their name using different manipulatives & reading their name.
The kindergarten program at my school uses Animated Literacy. The program is nice but I like to mix in there certain things from Project Read and the Sing, Spell, Read & Write program, along with our favourite Dr. Jean learning songs. At my last school district we taught a different letter each week beginning with A & ending with Z. I love how the Animated Literacy program begins with P, then U,O,M, etc. so that my kiddos can build a few small words after learning just few letters & letter sounds. 

Each morning we start our day with calendar time which I use to teach a variety of skills but along with a new letter each week we also have a new sight word each week. The sight word is introduced on the SmartBoard during calendar time & the children also read over the sight words they've learned each morning. I believe repetion is key! Each morning during calendar time I pull up a blank page on the SmartBoard & "kind of" use techniques from Project Read to reinforce knowledge about vowels. I follow those techniques loosely and adjusted them to what I like best. 
I start by saying "every word has a vowel" (clapping once when I say the word every). We then name the vowels as a group while counting them on our fingers. I write the vowels on the SmartBoard and then we go over the vowel sounds while using hand gestures. I am now getting into long vowels with the kiddos so we talk about the silent magic e at the end of a word & partner vowels (the 1st one does the talking & the 2nd one does the talking). It's a skill that isn't in the curriculum until grade 1, but hey why not teach it. 
Learning sight words can be tricky for kiddos so along with reading their sight words each morning on the SmartBoard I introduce their sight word book every Monday. I read it during calendar time & at one of the Centers or for morning work the students will fill in the missing sight word on each page & colour their book. They generally read it to me every day at my guided reading table during Centers. With it being after December I now have levelled guided readers that each group reads to me so right now we read our sight word readers daily whole group. I do like using the sight word readers at my guided reading table for my struggling readers. 

(PS. I use a coloured laminated version of the sight word readers that we've read in the book bins for partner reading.)
We also reinforce the sight word of the week and letter of the week in our journal writing. 
Well I am about to begin my 1st session at a teaching convention. My 1st since teaching in Canada.
To be continued.... 

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