Good Fit Books for Kindergarten
How many of you have a classroom in Kindergarten that looks similar to this at the beginning of the year:
2 children know their letters and sounds and have a good sense of reading
3 children know their letters and sounds
5 children know their letters
2 children can at least tell you the letters in their name
And the rest have no clue why they are even in the building
This was my class make-up in August.
I wanted to start The Daily Five in September.
And you want Kindergartners to pick Good Fit Books?
So how did I do it?
To start off the Daily Five, I taught Read to Self first. Before they could pick their books, we read this story:
We talked about picking a book that was "Just Right" for us. But how does a kindergartener know what's just right? That's when we talked about what their interests were. I asked questions...
What would you like to learn about?
What would you like to look at?
Do you have a favorite book?
Is there a book that you can already read?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When I had them thinking about what they wanted to know about, we went from there. They were able to choose books that they were interested in!
Now, I have four who are fluently reading and 4 more emerging. They know have their own books from the library to test on for AR and they can either choose interest books or leveled readers from my library. I usually have them choose 2 of each.
Read to Self/Someone
When modeling Read to Self, I followed the book.
After the students chose their books, we brought our books to the floor and we made our chart together. We talked about the right way to do it and the wrong way.
I modeled, the students modeled, we ALL modeled!
It seemed to take forever, but it worked!
I would sit up on my stage and show them how to cross their legs and put one book in their lap, while the others were in their bag. I showed them how to read through the book (we did the chart about the 3 ways to read, along with the Good Fit Book). I showed them how to put that book up and get out the next one and do the same thing. I showed them where their eyes were, hands, feet, etc.
Then I called up a model student to do the same thing. I asked the students to tell me what they saw, what did they notice.
I had them ALL model while in our gathering space. I watched them do it and told them what I saw.
Then we ALL did it! I sat on the stage and read my book while they read theirs (of course, my eyes peeked around from time to time).
We did this for 2 days. Just the gathering on the floor and practicing. On day three, I put each student in their own place around the room. We started to build STAMINA!
I had my Stamina thermometer on the board and we started the time to see how well we could practice what we had been learning.
Y'all, this is where CONSISTENCY IS KEY! Please be consistent and when someone messes up, use your signal and bring them back to the carpet. Our first few times, we were coming back every 30 seconds! It's rough, but in the end, the results are AMAZING! If you teach kindergarten, you should know that modeling and re-modeling are the biggest part of a successful classroom.
My class can work quietly for up to 30 minutes. Do we need 30 minutes? No. We usually switch after 15, but it's nice to know they can do it if I need them to.
I let them choose their own places to sit. I tried a chart and they alway forgot where they were going anyway so they have free choice of where to sit. They know they can go anywhere as long as they are by themselves and following the rules of the chart.
When I had them reading silently for 10 minutes with no redirection needed, I added the next Daily.
Read to Someone
Several Kinder teachers are a bit intimidated by Read to Someone. I, myself, was one of those teachers. I conquered my fear and now this is their favorite Daily to do! I even had to make a rule that they could only choose Read to Someone on Tuesday & Thursday only! It was that popular!
And the best part - they do a great job with it!
We learned this process the same way as Read to Self, only this time, it's with a partner. I sat on the stage and I had a student be my partner. We talked about sitting EEKK style (Elbow to Elbow, Knee to Knee). We used our Read to Self chart as a reference to make our new chart and then we
Modeled, Modeled, Modeled!
We did just Read to Someone for 2 days. Modeling and practicing in whole group, then placing the students in areas to sit together. We built Stamina and yes it took a little longer and yes there were a lot of days where we went back and forth, but again, with being consistent, it paid off in the end.
While in Read to Someone, my students pick their own partners in the morning. They have to ask a friend if they want to and are responsible for putting both cards in the same rotation slot. They both take their book bag, decide where they want to sit then choose who goes first and take turns from there. They sit EEK style with the book in the middle.
I know this was a pretty brief description of both areas. If you have any questions or want further explanation of something, please feel free to comment or email.
Here are links to the other parts of this series: