Sunday, April 28, 2013

Reflecting on my year...

I was recently reflecting on my data, looking at m-class scores, and school data, and I am really grateful and happy about the progress that my class has made this year.  There is a lot of pressure to perform, and my class has risen to the challenge.  They come to school every day, eager and ready for the challenges that I put before them.  I try to cleaverly slip learning into every activity that we do, but I also try to make learning fun and enjoyable so that they “want” to learn.  Anyway, while I was reflecting, I realized that one of the ways that we have gotten so far academically is with the books that we do in class every day.  They practice so many skills in these little books;  like book handling skills, the left to right sweep, recognizing that sentences begin with capital letters, that there are spaces between words that sentences end with punctuation, etc.  They also help them to learn that pictures go along with the words, that the sentence has to make sense, and that our little books follow a predictable pattern.  Here are some of the books that we do in my kindergarten class.

With this little book, my little guys practice beginning sounds.  Each page has one picture and one word.  They trace over the letter and color the picture.  When they finish, they share the book with their elbow buddies.
Usually the next day, we do these fill-in books.  The first 2 pages show them how to make the letter that we are studying, and on the next pages, they see a picture and a word with the first letter missing.  They have to write the correct beginning sound in the space.  Then they color the pictures and share it with their elbow buddies.
I wanted a way that my little guys could practice book handling skills, but also practice writing and reading our site words.  So I made this set of sight word books.  We cover 100 sight words in our school, so each book has 2-3 sight words in a sentence that makes sense and is repetitive and easy to read. 
I follow this one with a book where they have to write the letters in.  By this point, they have been writing, finding, practicing, and making the sound of the letter.  Now it is time to put it together in this little book.

To wrap up the study of each letter, we do the sound books below. 
 Each page has one picture that begins with the sound we are learning.  It also has 2 sentences using the sound in the sentences.  The little guys first trace the letter, both capital and lowercase.  After the first two pages, they have to write the letter on the line, again the capital and lowercase letter.  Then they color the pictures and share it with their elbow buddy.  It has taken me years to get the sequence and the books to be appropriate and meaningful for my students.  If you think they might work for your students too, please give them a try and let me know what you think.  I am always happy to hear feedback in order to improve and get better.  So, thank you.

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