Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Readers' Workshop in the New Year -2008!

In Readers' Workshop kindergarten teachers are teaching Reading with Strategies in January. These strategies are so very appropriate as most of the children are beginning to read in Level A and B books (Fountas and Pinnell leveling system). The strategies are meant to teach a child what to do when they see a word that they do not know by sight. The first six strategies that kindergarten teachers teach include:
  • Does it make sense?
  • Look at the pictures
  • Get your mouth ready
  • Stretch the word
  • Point to the words
  • Skip it and read on
The poster to the right illustrates the strategy, "Get your mouth ready." The print is shown with the first letter of an unknown word exposed because sometimes if you get your mouth ready by saying the first sound, the rest of the word just pops out of your mouth! In this case, the covered word is sailboats. Each strategy is introduced, demonstrated and practiced for several days during the short mini-lessons that open the Readers' Workshop.

During the work period you will see teachers giving DRAs (Developmental Reading Assessments) or running records to check a child's reading level, conferring with individuals, and working with small groups of children during guided reading. If children are not working with a teacher, they are reading independently out of their individual reading bin.

The Readers' Workshop ends with a Closing where teachers choose children who they have identified who practiced one of the strategies that the class has been studying during the Work Session. They allow the child to explain to his/her classmates how they used one of the strategies to figure out a word. In the picture to the left the teacher points to the word that is shown to the class with a document camera as the student explains how she used one of the strategies to figure out the word.
This is such a fun time in Kindergarten as children are really learning how to read and the children and their parents - and their teachers - are just so proud!

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