My Kindergarten students are eager to learn and excited to come to school. What I love the most about my Kinder-babies is watching their world explode from knowing Mom, Dad and siblings to knowing their classmates, students in our Kindergarten Hall and the others on the bus. They are start shy and watchful and end the year confident.
One of my the sweetest moments of teaching is when one of my students is able to read a simple book independently.
They equate reading to using hard covered books or chapter books that the older kids use, not the simple readers we use. I love being able to tell them that they can read too!
Most of my students come from single parent homes, poverty is common. All the students in my school receive free breakfast and lunch. On Fridays we sent home backpack with additional food for the weekend. Though we are close to one of the largest military installations, Fort Bragg, our number of military families has dwindled at our school, hence, the high poverty at our school. Our parents try, but, many are working two jobs and struggle just to keep food on the table.
Learning to read is a multi-faceted process. Children learn to read through modeling, repetition, practice and simple,but direct, instruction. I lead our small group instruction while the children work independent at their Centers.
Listening to stories being read aloud is vital in developing not only oral language but prosody, using inflection and tone and fluency .
One of my constant centers is the Listening Center. I have many books on CD's and change them out according to seasons, themes, and interests. Sadly, our current CD player no longer reads CDs. It was over 15 years old and multiply by that by 22 children a year, and you would get worn out too! I am hoping to replace our out of work CD player with a nice new one, and to replace the $5.oo headphones I typically purchase. The less expensive headphones only last a couple months and they break.
It makes me smile when I hear a child at the Listening Center participating in the story that they hear. I might hear, "run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me I am the Gingerbread man." or "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down!" When a child gets so involved in the story they are listening to and the pictures they are looking at in the matching book they do not hear our bell ring to end Centers, then I know something magical is happening in our room.
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