Friday, December 30, 2016

The best way to teach sight words

Teaching kids to read is the core of any kindergarten curriculum. It's a privilege to have a front row seat to the wonder of going from not knowing any letters in September to actually reading in June. It's one of the things I love most about kindergarten. Watching kids learn to read can be a simply amazing experience for them and for us. 

What do our kids need to know to become effective readers? People have different opinions about the best way to teach reading, and when to teach reading, but everyone agrees we need to teach sight words.
In order to build fluency and comprehension our kids will need to memorize sight words. I call these words trick words because they don't follow the rules. One thing every kid knows about is NOT following rules. It takes the pressure off. No sounding out when it comes to sight words.

Kids learn sight words by being exposed to them .... A LOT!  They need to see them in texts, in pocket charts, on word wall, on anchor charts. everywhere!!

They need to manipulate them. Kids need to build them, stamp them, write them.

Basically when it comes to learning to read kids need to have many different kinds of experiences with sight words.

So have fun, This is all supposed to be fun.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Gingerbread is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season. We take a break from the regular curriculum and have a little fun. My kindergarten kiddos love having centers everyday. It's during our Gingerbread unit that I begin our first S.T.E.M. center.  I offer 3 different challenges after reading the classic The Gingerbread Man.  I introduce the engineering design process. I want them to think like engineers. In the past I've introduced S.T.E.M., but it didn't feel like kids were really thinking critically. They were having fun, but there wasn't a lot of learning. So now I have them follow the design process.
The kids are asked to build a bridge, make a hideout, and build a boat to help the gingerbread man.

We turn the dramatic play area into a bakery shop. The kids use brown felt and colored pom poms to "bake" gingerbread cookies. It's amazing what happens when you add a cookie sheet and a spatular to the dramatic play area.

At this point in the year we are learning to read and write sight words. My kids LOVE using playdoh to "write" their words, and who doesn't love using stamps.     

We don't just read The Gingerbread Man once. We read it multiple times with multiple versions. 
This year I added a fun craftivity to re-tell this classic story.

Are you ready to try Google? It's not too early to embrace this technology with even our youngest students.  I'll be honest. I was nervous to try Google Classroom with my young learners. I always thought it was for older kids. Boy, was I wrong! Google classroom is great for my kids. They feel so comfortable using the chrome books. They are loving Google.

Of course my kids are also loving using the BEEBOT. We have been using this fun little robot all year. By now the kids are able to program the robot all around the mat. I just added a BEE BOT cookie shape mat.The kids are having so much fun.

Take some time this month to break out of your routine and have some fun with the kids. Don't forget to enjoy all the joys of the season, especially your break-You've earned it.
See you next month