.... from a small rural school in Elbert, Colorado.

A good teacher is surrounded by MANY great teachers! Thank you to the great teachers at my school and out in blogland!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Kindergartners READING & WRITING at the Beginning of the Year! Part 1

Kindergartners READING & WRITING at the Beginning of the Year!  Part 1

Reading and Writing at the beginning of Kindergarten is FUN!
I start reading and writing the first week of school and my kiddos LOVE IT!  The reason kindergartners want to come to school is to learn how to read and write, so why wait? They start out so excited and passionate.  I use a balanced program where the students learn to read and write, communicate, become phonological aware and phonetic experts all together.  I don't do the traditional, one letter a day or week, and when you know enough to spell a couple words you can finally read and write a simple, "The fat cat sat on a mat" book using 100% phonics.  That is boring, and we are not the only ones that know it.  By the time the students have learned 26 letters and all of their sounds and filled out 26+ worksheets, they are no longer excited about reading and writing. 

This is why there are so many articles floating around the internet on topics such as, "Report: Requiring kindergartners to read - as Common Core does - may harm some".  This is one article that really got me thinking.  My class is not like this at all.  We are not worksheet based, do not sit at the tables all day, and actually learn to read because it's fun.  I think the kindergartners are able to learn (all of the standards easily) in a fun environment where teaching is direct, but interactive.  Kindergartners naturally LOVE school, and I think that if we can keep that, these children benefit.  I don't believe it's "when" these children have to learn, but rather, "how" they have to learn.

We learn so much about reading when we write and about writing when we read!

I finally found an article to debunk the previous one, called,"No Time to Lose: Common Core critics are wrong about whether kindergarten reading goals are harmful." The standards in kindergarten are not too much and for most students are EASILY and QUICKLY met.  Our problem is with the curriculum.  Most complaint comes from the over-use of worksheets and drill and kill.  It doesn't have to be that way.  It can be fun, with the right kinds of books (throw the phonics readers away) and with a good balance of play.  

Next time I will share how ALL of my kindergartners learn how to read and write EASILY and ENJOYABLY by the end of kindergarten and LOVE IT.

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