Monday, February 6, 2012

At-Home Reading Program

I am really fortunate to have very supportive families in my classroom. So at this point of the school year, I send home an optional at-home reading program. This year, almost every family decided to participate!

For the program, the children receive special reading journals. The students choose a book from a special bin and bring both the book and journal home in a Ziploc bag. I glue a list of comprehension questions to the inside of the journal and the children are required to answer one question about the book they read.

When they return the journal I usually write a short comment back to them. Then, they pick a new book to bring home. Here are the letters and forms I use:

Friday, February 3, 2012

No More Letter of the Week

When I moved from first grade to kindergarten, this was one of the first books I purchased. I absolutely love the title and the entire philosophy of the book. If you are not familiar with the book or "program", I really encourage you to read the book. Rather than focusing on just one letter per week, each student in the class becomes a letter expert.

Typically, you will explore about two to three letters per week. The child brings home a sheet (provided in the book) describing their letter assignment. They are asked to bring in small items from home that start with their letter the next day. Gradually,you create an alphabet wall and each child is responsible for teaching the class about the letter. Each letter also has a poem to go along with it. Then, you revisit the wall on a weekly basis, chant the poems, and review the letters and sounds.

After the wall is complete and each child has been assigned a letter, I have them make letter expert books. The students think of three words that start with their letter and illustrate each page. Once all of the books have been completed, we place all of them in a basket in front of the wall.

 Here is what the wall looks like before you begin:

My board is now complete, so I will post another picture later. It's great to see the finished product!

Here is a copy of the letter expert book: