So Chapter 4 Questions:
1. How far into the school year do you think Kinders need to be to be able to begin to Read to Self?
What is realistic? When do you plan to begin implementation?
In years past my LA department heads wanted us to begin Readers Workshop (RWS) day 1 of school. Now, that may seem a little crazy to some people but, the kids can do it! Just like they say in the book- the kids must build stamina and that's exactly what I've done in the past. The first day of school last year we talked about the 3 ways to read a book and what it looks like/sounds like during readers workshop (very similar to daily 5). The kids are squirmy of course as we begin, which is what I loved what these ladies said about that! If we see them getting squirmy- stop! Who says you have to go the full 3 min. I think as teachers, esp. Kinder teachers, we spend so much time the first... month... of school practicing routines and procedures. Isn't the daily 5 a routine? So why wouldn't we start that day one, or as early on as we can!? We have a LONG day where I teach, 7:45-2:55 so we have plenty of time to practice how to be good readers for 3 whole min! I really loved that they actually even come back after the first 3 minutes...discuss good & bad... then practice for another 3. :) Big fan!
2. How will you make sure that each child views him/herself as a reader whether they can read the words or not?
I think it's important to model the 3 reading strategies first thing as we begin "reading" in the classroom. I do the same thing for writing. I saw a great example one time at a conference where the presenter went from scribbles to sentences and read "i love my dog spot" each time because that is what this pretend writer was saying. Each time reminding us that it is what the writer wrote because it's their story! I believe instilling the idea that "Everyone is a reader" to our kiddos can be done the same way. I, the teacher, will read the pictures and tell a story, read the words and tell the story, or retell the story. I think that as we model & praise it gives student confidence. I like to start guided reading in September so in that time we will be learning strategies to help ALL readers :)
3.What are some ideas you have about Launching Read to Self in Kindergarten? How will you go about it and what are some ways to make sure it is Kinder friendly?
As I said in question 1: I plan to start day one with this as I do all my routines. I love how it was done in the book and want to do it that way. Something I had done in the past is assign our reading spots and I am tempted to give the kids a little more freedom this year and allow them to choose their own spot in the room. I'd like to think that as much as we practice the expectations they will make good choices on where they sit and who they sit by. As the book said- model, model, model. Kinder kiddos always amaze me-- they can do a lot more than we/others sometimes give them credit for!
4. How will you/how do you build the children's belief that this IS important? What can we do to encourage the ones who do not value it and create disruptions for others?
At the beginning of the year, and really ALL year we talk about how everyone is a reader. I think kindergarten is great because kids come in with the passion to learn and that includes a passion to grow as a reader. I don't think it takes a TON of encouragement. (Maybe I am fortunate with my demographic, but that's the experience I have had) I believe I have a strength for encouraging and that my kids know they are loved-- when a kid knows this I believe they'll do anything for you! All they need is someone to believe in them a little! I think they hear so often that "were all readers", "we all will have high achievement" (our district slogan we hear maybe twice a day!!) that kids are set up to believe in themselves and take ownership in their learning. I will say with some of my lower babies, who really struggle even attending to a book for 5 min, I allow occasionally to log on to star fall and read to that way. We also spend a ton of 1-1/1-3 small group time together working on strategies. I LOVE my low babies and they always seem to end up where they need to be! :)
5.How valuable is "checking in" and reviewing with kinders? How often will you do it? When will you do it? What are some different ways to check in?
To be honest- this may very well be my weakness as a teacher. I am awful at checking in/closing things. (GOAL for the year?!?!) I love how it was done in the book though. In fact, I really liked how they checked in half way through the independent time and discussed the things they saw. Then tried again! I can definitely see this as something I could easily implement into my classroom time. I would love to do this at the end of every session at the beginning, then at the end of the big lessons as a review. I think it's also important to remember that sometimes "checking in" doesn't have to be in a whole group setting. I can make my way around the room and conference with kids in small groups or 1-1.
6. What are some problems that can occur that I anticipate or have experienced? How can we be proactive about these issues?
I think the most common problem that I see every year is loosing interest in the book after so long. I have a few kids every year I have to "stay on top of" and remind them of what they need to be doing. This drives me crazy!!! I really like that they suggest teaching the work "stamina" to the kids. I think by making it something for the kids to be proud of (example: Class, today we got to 15 min of reading to ourself and everyone was on task!!!) will help with this. We also do something called "readers response journals" where the kids journal about what they read. I am horrible about filling up these journals, lets be honest-- time goes by fast in the day and this is not my #1 priority. However, maybe by implementing this during read to self (letting go of my control a little bit... and letting them have a pencil in their book box after discussing how we DO NOT color in Miss Augustine books) would help those students who struggle with reading the whole time. We just have to find a balance, and make sure kids understand that we have to read a book in order to journal about it so this isn't "response journal" the entire time, time. :) Just an idea!
OK! So that's all I've got for Chapter 4 right now-- I am half way through Chapter 5 so I might be blogging about that chapter soon! : )