Chrysanthemum Room: Kindergarten
Mini Lessons & Read-Alouds: In addition to the reading strategies we learn during read-alouds, we cover, theme, characters, setting, problem/solution, beginning, middle, and end, main character, author studies, etc. We also use this whole group time to introduce letters, words, and poems.
CAFÉ Menu & The Daily 5
- Research shows that good readers use a variety of strategies when successfully reading and comprehending a selection of text.
- The strategies are categorized into a menu called CAFE, which is an acronym that stands for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding Vocabulary.
- Comprehension (I understand what I read),
- Accuracy (I can read the words),
- Fluency (I can read accurately with expression and understanding), and
- Extended vocabulary (I know, use, and find interesting words).
- The menu allows the students to find a strategy that fits the child's specific need while reading.
- Each day there is a whole group discussion and individual practice followed by a reflection.
- The individual practice time is called The Daily 5. The theory behind The Daily 5 is that everyday children should be practicing Reading to Themselves, Reading to Someone, Working with Words, Working on Writing, and Listening to Reading.
- This Daily 5 time will give time for guided reading groups and individual conferences.
Reading Conferences and Guided Reading
- Good Fit Books: This is the most important part of your child’s development in reading. Good fit books follow the acronym IPICK:
- I choose a book
- Purpose (Why am I choosing this book [for fun, research, etc.?])
- Interest (Am I interested in this book?)
- Comprehend (can I understand what I read?)
- Know the words (can I read most of the words?)
Not all books your child looks at or reads need to be Good Fit books, but these are the books with which your child should be practicing reading skills to become a stronger reader.
- Our Math Lab is a hands-on and problem-solving experience for the children.
- We teach math concepts using games, journaling, and creating concrete models.
- We encourage children to explain their thinking by asking “Why?”, “How did you know?”, and “What do you notice?”
- Each Math Lab we have a journal response where children problem solve about a current topic or review a prior concept. They apply their learning in an abstract or representational manner rather concretely as we use in class.
- Next there is a whole group discussion and individual practice followed by a reflection.
- Some days, students have math choice time, similar to Literacy. The games are organized into math concepts in order to review concepts we may have learned previously, are learning now, or will learn in the future.
- This choice time will give time for guided math groups. The groups will emphasize different skills we are studying or have studied. They will provide extra instruction and/or challenge as needed.
Tentative Topics we will cover:
Developing Number Sense
Counting & the Number System
For Writer’s Workshop, we are using a program created specifically to follow the new Common Core Standards. The program will work through the genres of narrative, expository, and persuasive writing.
- In kindergarten it is appropriate for students to use their best guess spelling.
- beginning sounds
- ending sounds
- middle sounds
- It is common that they will miss the vowel sounds and diagraphs are tricky. As they learn writing and sentence patterns, they may begin to over-generalize.
Let them experiment with spelling with little correction, however, help them when they get to sight words. Sight words are, just that, words they cannot sound out and will need to know by sight. Having a self-created dictionary will be a helpful resource for them as the year progresses.
Our handwriting curriculum follows Handwriting Without Tears, which systematically introduces letter formation. First students learn how to write capital letters, beginning with Frog Jump Capitals, and then progress to lowercase. As students advance through the curriculum, we only hold students accountable for the letters we have learned. For example, we will not begin learning how to form lowercase letters until halfway through the year; therefore, we accept capitals throughout the sentence not just at the beginning.