Showing posts with label kindergarten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kindergarten. Show all posts

End of the Year

It's hard to believe that the 6th graders I had this year are moving on. After three years of pushing and pulling, to help them learn to love learning. Being so close to grade level to read what their friends were reading, always made everyone smile.

Next year, the team will departmentalize K-2 and 3-6. This will be new to our building leadership. When I started teaching 8 years ago, I worked in a school that was departmentalized. I'm not sure how kindergarten will work, since grade level do reading at the same time; kindergarten is wanting to keep four teachers in the room for reading. (My school is small-two classrooms at each grade.) I think it will depend on how the master schedule gets laid out.  My school uses its Title funds to provide two teachers that go into all classrooms to provide extra reading support. In kindergarten, everyone supports doing the Daily 5 block to ensure that every students is with an adult during reading.  Currently, I don't know which block I have. I'll have to wait until I go back in the fall.

I have a long list of things that I wish to tackle before fall, SMART board things, books to read (Guided Math and Visible Learning for Teachers), and things to share with everyone along the way. Oh, and a nap or two along the way.  What do you hope to get done before going back in the fall?

Wishing everyone a restful and stress free summer.
Beginning Letter Path KLJVYZ

Kindergarten Transition Time

It's that time of year at school, where my team gets together with our preschool team for transitions. I have found that even though it's a special education meeting, we spend most of the time talking about kindergarten looks like, smells like, and how it is different from preschool.
I like to think the my kindergarten team has set up something special. They have a full time para-professional plus both a special education and Title 1 reading specialist that go in for reading. We seem to be unique in this fashion. It helps us provide services in the room instead of pulling students out.

We work very hard with the preschool team to ensure that we get to know the student and their family. We want to make sure that the student is correctly placed in kindergarten-its a big move even with the adult support; having twice as many students than they are use to in preschool and having to stay all day can be hard. 

This year I created a hand out to give our incoming preschool parents, to give them some ideas about what they can do at home over the summer to help get ready for kindergarten. Because we can recieve a varity of student with a wide range of needs, I have other items that give to specific families where the preschool team thinks that coming to the "Big School" will be hard such as social stories and  before school visits in the fall. Many of our special education preschool students have syblings at our school and know it better I do. What else to your teams give out to parents to help them? I'd love to hear how other teams help preschool students and their parents transition into kindergarten.
Helping Your Child Get Off to a Good Start in Kindergarten

The Changing Kindergarten

Getting Ready to Read is a wonderful website that is designed for parents and early children learning like transitioning to kindergarten. My parents have stated that the "Getting Ready of Kindergarten Handouts" have helped them be better prepared for kindergarten. 

Kindergarten as it was known five years ago is not the same as kindergarten today. Kindergarten twenty years from now will be vastly different than it is today. Kindergarten has moved from a program that focuses primarily on social and emotional development to one that emphasizes academics, especially early literacy, math and science, and activities that prepare children to think and problem solve. These changes represent a lasting impact on kindergarten curriculum and teaching into the future. Regardless of the grade or age group they teach, all early childhood teachers have to make decisions regarding what curriculum and activities they will provide for their children.

Kindergarten education is literally changing before our eyes! Here are some of the ways it is changing and the reasons why.
Longer school days and transition from half-day to full-day programs. Reasons for longer school days and full-day programs include:
             •Changes in society,
              •An increase in the number of working parents,
             •Recognition that earlier is the best option, and
             •Research which shows that a longer school day helps children academically.

Emphasis on academics including math, literacy and science. Reasons for the emphasis on academics include:
             •Standards that specify what children should know and be able to do,
             •State standards that now include the kindergarten years, and
             •Political and public support for early education and skill learning because they reduce grade
                failure and school dropout.

More testing. Reasons for the increased testing include:
               •The accountability movement and
               •Recognition that district testing that begins in third grade and earlier puts more emphasis  
                 on what kindergarten children should learn.

Enriched curriculum with emphasis on literacy designed to have children read by entry into first grade. Reasons for literacy in the kindergarten include:
                •Recognition that literacy and reading are pathways to success in school and life, and
                •Recognition that learning to read is a basic right for all children.

Isolating Phonemes--Initial Sounds

From KPM Doodles
This will one of three posts on isolating phonemes that I will share as I create materials for my small groups in kindergarten that are struggling with mastering these skills.
Isolating phonemes is a strategy that allows students to recognize individual sounds in a word. Attending to these phonemes increases students’ awareness that words are made up of individual sounds that connect together to form a word. When students apply this strategy, they are demonstrating their ability to think about and separate individual sounds from one another within a word (e.g., the first sound in dog is /d/, the medial sound in wet in /e/, and the final sound in like is /k/.  

Identifying phonemes is a strategy in which students focus on separate distinctions of initial, medial, and final sounds in words in recognize their similarities and differences. Students who can use this strategy are able to think about and notice that two or more words may have the same initial sound, medial sound, or final sounds. Identifying these sounds is important as students move through the development stages of reading, and it provides students with a tool for reading as well as writing.

Initial Sounds

Kindergarten Here We Come!

Each year about this time, I start planning for the new kindergartens that are coming. The transition meetings are important for many reasons. I get a chance to meet new parents and in many cases the new kindergartner as well. The preschool team always plans on the meets lasting only 30 minutes but I have never had a transition meeting end on time. I usually end up doing most of the listening and answering as many questions that the parents have and we never hear from the preschool team. The preschoolers, always tell me that they are looking forward to coming to the "big school." I guess this makes sense because our preschool is right next door.

This year I'm giving my parents some concrete ideas of what they can do over the next 6 months at home. I have also given it my current kindergarten parents to help them build on what has been taught this year. How do you help parents get ready for moving into kindergarten?

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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