Thursday, August 28, 2014

First Reading Lesson - First Day of Kindergarten

     One of my favorite lessons to teach is the very first phonics/ reading lesson of the year! We begin the lesson by singing the ABCs and then singing an alphabet song, both times I use a pointer to point to the letters posted above my chalkboard. (I try to have my students review all of the letters/sounds every day of school for at least the first half of the  year. Our favorite songs for this are Alphardy, Who Let the Letters Out?, and Phonercise. These are all Dr. Jean songs.) Once the students are settled, I take out one of my favorite books for back to school, Oh, How I Wished I Could Read! by John Gile.

      This is an excellent resource for teaching the importance of learning to read to K-2 graders. During reading, I pause to ask students why the boy has found himself in these negative situations. I also call on students to tell what has happened so far in the story. (Great way to assess where your students are on the first day of school!)  After reading the story we discuss reasons why it is important to be able to read and make a list on chart paper. Of course, we included other things in our list like being able to read recipes, the Bible, and reading for FUN!!!! In discussing reasons for reading you are also teaching students about reasons for writing! Common Core Standards yall!
     By the end of the book activity, the students are SO pumped to find out that they will be reading by the end of Kindergarten! I point out the alphabet above the chalkboard and introduce letters as sound pictures. (I try to avoid using the terminology A says /a/, etc. in my classroom.) I then use a whole brain teaching technique to teach "letters come together to make words." I demonstrate blending the sounds of a cvc word for students. I repeat the blend asking students to join me. This is a great way to get students excited about learning letter sounds from day 1. I truly believe we have to set the stage for WHY we are learning letter sounds before we can expect our students to buy into it and give us their attention!

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