Aside

Well, it’s March. For most educators it’s time to reflect about the year past and look forward to the year ahead. As a lit coach, I think I’m most proud of my work with kindergarten this year. Our district hired two new kindergarten teachers, so I worked closely and regularly with these two excellent educators. In the past, my work with this group of brave souls had been limited. My “expertise” is with upper grades, so I must say I was a little intimidated. But, my personality is such that I love learning. This was the perfect opportunity to learn all about kindergarten. I didn’t know that much really…they are small. They can run fast. They can be easily lost. They move a lot. Their attention span is very short. In addition, I was obligated to go into their classrooms and model lessons…as an expert. Oh, dear.

I had so much fun that I’m dedicating three blogs to this one subject. 

Part One – Reader Created

It was time to begin “read to self” in Mrs. D’s class. She invited me to come in and teach her students a short lesson on just how to do this. My lesson included the three ways to read a book. I read the words. I retold the story. I read the pictures (They loved this one. I used the imagination my mother imparted and told up a storm!). Well, it was their turn to try it. Little tiny people dispersed around the room with a book in hand.

I wandered around the room checking in here and there, when I came upon a little boy who didn’t really seem “into” this “read to self”. 

“Can you read your book to me?” I asked.

“I can’t read it,” he complained.

“Of course you can!” I replied with great enthusiasm. I flipped through the book and noticed that its text repeated on each page, with just one word changing. Oh my goodness, this was just like a Two Sisters video…

I could barely speak calmly, “Look, the words are the same on every page except for the last word. Let’s start. We can do this!”

I read the sentence, “Today the weather is… Let’s look at the first letter of the word. What is it?”

“S!” he was starting to get interested. 

“Look at the picture. What is the weather like?”

“Sunny!”

“What does this page say?”

“Today, the weather is sunny!”

“Oh my goodness, you just read this page!! Let’s try the next page.”

We went through the book, doing this on every page. He was reading. I felt a little like maybe God did when He created Earth. 

The last page was a little different, so I read it to him and had him read it back to me, pointing to each word. I reluctantly left him to “read to self” and visited with a few more students. 

It was time to wrap it up, so I asked everyone to tell me the three ways to read a text. The little boy with the weather book was paying no mind to me at all. I peeked over at him, and he was still reading the little book over and over and over. The last page was a little muddled, but who cares? I helped create a reader that day. I’ll never forget it. 

For the Love of Kindergarten

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4 responses »

  1. Oh my gosh! I am loving your life! I had to learn about kindergarten last year as a new writing coordinator in a district that had several new K teachers since we went to all-day k last year. Aside from the fact that it’s a little like herding cats, they are SUCH fun to work with. I loved your description of getting that little boy reading. Your dialogue SO captured the scene!

  2. Kris, this was wonderful! I love all the dialogue; I felt like I was watching over your shoulder as you helped that young one find his way into the world of reading. What a special moment you shared with us. I love that you’re so honest about your own insecurities when you try new things. Inspiring, friend!

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