Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reading Instruction for Kindergarten

Kindergarten is no longer for playing and exploring.  Children are now expected to do work that was required for first grade years ago.  Don't get me wrong, playing and exploring has its place, but there is a lot more required for our children today.  In an article written by Diana Townsend-Butterworth for GreatSchools.com, she spells out what a kindergarten child needs to have in order to be ready for first grade.

Reading-readiness skills
Throughout the year, kindergartners are introduced to skills that prepare them for reading. Students often work with letters of the alphabet to build their vocabularies, helping them begin to understand reading as a process of discerning meaning from print. Kindergartners should learn how books are read, from front cover to back, from the top of the page to the bottom, and from left to right. By the end of the year, students should be able to recognize the parts of a book — the cover, the title page, and the table of contents.

The letter-sound relationship
Kindergartners also learn the relationship of sounds to letters, helping them decode written words. Students need time to practice working with letters and their sounds, sometimes by sorting picture cards according to the sounds they start with. Expect your children to gain practice blending sounds to create words and breaking down words into separate sounds.

Reading for meaning
In kindergarten, kids start to learn how to make meaning of what they hear read aloud to them and what they read themselves. You can expect them to recognize the sequence of events in a story, their cause and effect, and their possible outcomes.

Reading aloud
Kindergartners frequently listen to books being read aloud. Listening to a teacher or parent provides a model of fluent reading and helps children develop a positive attitude toward books. It also helps your child understand vocabulary and language patterns in texts.

Shared reading
Kindergartners might have time for shared reading. During shared reading, children come together to read a big book, one with enlarged text that the whole class can see, guided by their teacher.

By the end of kindergarten, you can expect your kids to:

Recognize the shapes and names of all upper- and lower-case letters

Identify beginning and ending sounds

Identify short vowel sounds

Match consonant sounds to their appropriate letters

Recognize and produce rhyming words

Read one-syllable words such as cat

Read frequently seen words such as you and the

• Recognize that words are separated by spaces
• Read and explain her own writing and drawings
• Identify common signs and logos
• Use pictures to make predictions about content
• Retell familiar stories using beginning, middle and end
• Discuss characters in a story
• Recommended books

Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever, by Mem Fox (Harvest Books, 2001).
The Read Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease (Penguin, 5th edition, 2001).
Read to Me 2000: Raising Kids Who Love to Read, by Bernice E. Cullinan (Cartwheel, 2000).

For more information on reading readiness for pre-school thru high school, go to GreatSchool.com


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