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Posts Tagged ‘kindergarten’

A reader recently sent me this question, and I’d love if some of you could post a few lines on how you got started with stations in your kindergarten classrooms. I’ll follow up with comments, too. (I’m asking for your help because I just found out that all my website email from the past 6 weeks went to a spam folder, and there were 64 messages that I hadn’t received including the one below!) Thanks for helping me! 
 
From a teacher in NC– Hi! Our Kindergarten team is currently reading your book about Literacy Work Stations.  We are going to implement these into our schedule. I would like to know how and how many to introduce in K at a time.  Also when is it appropiate to introduce the work stations since some Kinders are getting adjusted to school.  Thanks, Joye
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Teachers work together to examine leveled books for emergent readers and discuss what students should learn to do at these levels.

Teachers work together to examine leveled books for emergent readers and discuss what students should learn to do at these levels.

Last week while in Denver, CO, we looked deeply at emergent reading levels. Teachers previewed texts in both English and Spanish and put them in order from easiest to hardest at Levels A-C (DRA 1-4). We examined where most students should be reading at the end of kindergarten. Their data showed that children reading on a Level C/ DRA 4 by the end of kindergarten did very well on their state reading test in 3rd grade as compared to students reading on Level C/ DRA 3 at the end of kindergarten.

We looked at the differences between Level C/ DRA 3  and DRA 4. What do students need to learn to do as readers by the end of kindergarten? These might be interesting conversations to have on your campus. I’d look at daily shared reading, high frequency word work, letter-sound knowledge and applying this in reading and writing (once phonemic awareness is in place), and read aloud for comprehension and vocabulary to start. For more information, you might consult my book, Making the Most of Small Groups. Start by looking at the chart on page 171.

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Pushing buttons

Recently I visited a kindergarten teacher while her children were having rest time. We looked at her classroom and how to maximize her space.

As I was leaving, rest time was over. “Watch this,” she said. She reached into her desk and pulled out a button that she pushed. It played the Jeopardy theme song which was the signal for her students to put away their mats and move to the carpet for instruction. It worked like magic! She told me she’d gotten it at Hallmark a few years ago.

She then showed me her other buttons. She had one that plays James Brown’s “I Feel Good”. For small group, she has the famed “Easy” button from Staples. In fact, I have that one, too! Do you have any buttons you use in your classroom?

easy

feel-good

qabutton

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Today we’ll look at classrooms just for Pre-K and K students. While visiting Ford Elementary in Denver, I saw great things set up in spaces for the youngest learners. Their 4-year-olds are in an ECE room. Kindergarten is housed in another classroom. Such kid-friendly environments! Everything was just the right size for little ones. The word wall was low, interactive, and in the whole-group teaching area so students could easily see and manipulate the new words they are learning. Libraries were inviting. Children were comfortable in this space designed just for them.

Kindergarden teacher in HEELS by her stylin' magnetic area

Kindergarten teacher in HEELS by her stylin' magnetic area

Low, interactive word wall in kindergarden whole-group area

Low, interactive word wall in kindergarten whole-group area

Whole-group area in ECE houses a word wall

Whole-group area in ECE houses a word wall

Word wall with students' names and pics

Word wall with students' names and pics

ECE library invites young readers in

ECE library invites young readers in

ECE writing station

ECE writing station

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