January is a unique marker in time for kindergarten children. This is the time they begin to read in the traditional ways we, as parents, hope to see them reading. Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, our friends are reading sight words without help, sounding out unfamiliar words and WRITING! By January children have readiness skills to begin reading in small groups. We call this Guided Reading. During guided reading small groups of friends meet with a teacher to explore and read a book together. Each book is chosen with reading strategies in mind that will further develop each reader - meeting students exactly where they are. Needless to say, it is a time of rapid progress and confidence building.
Our goal in exploring reading with our children is not just to give them strategies to solve words and read with expression, but to ENJOY reading! As we enter February, friends are expressing enthusiasm and joy when meeting with their guided reading teachers. Ask your child about the stories they are reading and which they have enjoyed the most!
Where there is reading there is WRITING! The picture above shows a group of friends who wanted to sketch the trees and write about them in their journals. The finished product became the display that now hangs across this beautiful window and is a wonderful example of the intersection between creativity, reading readiness and writing. Please feel free to stop in to take a look and also thumb through our January Journals...many budding authors!
In addition to studying winter trees with pencil, paper and paints, our children just completed a three week unit about the various tales of gingerbread people. A focus during this unit was story elements. Children were introduced to naming characters and identifying the setting. After reading several versions of the tale, with varying gingerbread incarnations, we compared stories and decided we like the original Gingerbread Man tale best of all! We ended this unit by crafting gingerbread people and creating an original setting for each.