Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Dr. Richard Gentry Explains Why Students Can't Write

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Aug 16, 2017 4:29:43 PM

 

Dr. Richard Gentry, "America's Spelling Guru" and one of the authors of the new professional book Kid Writing in the 21st Century, shared a blog post on Psychology Today yesterday explaining why students can't write, what to do about it, and how to use this great new tool to accomplish more in the classrom than you may have imagined possible. Here's an excerpt from his post:

Kid_Writing_Book_250.jpgSo what do educators need?

We need to be child-centered in the context of meeting kids where they are functioning—when they enter kindergarten. We need to motivate children as writers. It’s crucial to teach basic skills like spelling and handwriting explicitly. Children need a dictionary of academic words in their brains that they can retrieve for writing. Children have to listen to or read poetry as well as good fiction and nonfiction literature to feed their brains as writers. Writers have to have academic vocabularies and deep knowledge for thinking. And vocabulary and background knowledge have to be taught—especially for children in low-income neighborhoods and for English Language Learners who don’t grow up in an English language-rich environment.

To accomplish these curricular objectives teachers need proven, evidence-based practices that have grown from both progressive education and basic skills movements.

The not-so-new wakeup call exposes an important education policy problem on which all educators see eye to eye: “The root of the problem, educators agree, is that teachers have little training in how to teach writing and are often weak or unconfident writers themselves.” (Goldstein, p. 8) The problem—lack of preparation for teaching writing at their grade levels and lack of “knowing how to get started”—is evidence-based and reported by educators in both approaches' camps, with multiple studies showing that (1) how to teach writing isn’t taught in teacher preparation programs and (2) teachers in both camps report lack of confidence.

The Goldsteinaug article poses the question: “Could there be a better, less soul-crushing way to enforce the basics?” For kindergarten and first grade teachers or anyone working with beginning literacy, the answer is “Yes, there is a way.”

Want to know more? You can read the rest of Dr. Gentry's Psychology Today post by clicking here.

>> CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS BOOK << 

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Kid_Writing_Brochure_-_click.jpg

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Topics: Kindergarten, Teaching Writing, First Grade, Kid Writing, J. Richard Gentry

5 Research-Based Practices for Kindergarten and First Grade

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Jun 5, 2017 3:35:57 PM

Kid_Writing_Preview Photo.jpg

 

Kid Writing in the 21st Century authors Richard Gentry, Eileen Feldgus, and Isabell Cardonick have been featured in a guest post over on the Psychology Today blog. The post details some of the research-based, classroom-tested practices and strategies that have been shown to help kids learn to write. Here's an excerpt from the post:

1.  Use invented spelling. We found invented spelling to be joyful, motivational for our students, and wonderful in terms of providing opportunities for scaffolding and systematically teaching almost all important aspects of the kindergarten literacy curriculum including phonics, phonemic awareness, knowledge of the alphabet, writing conventions, and vocabulary development. But perhaps the most amazing discovery throughout our journey was that kids had remarkable capacities to make meaning if we supported them in the process and allowed their creative juices to flow.

2. Abandon teaching letter of the week. Teaching one letter per week was standard practice in kindergarten when we began teaching. We tried our best to jazz up our teaching of the alphabetic principle because we knew it was essential to breaking the code and reading.

3.  Use a developmental writing scale to monitor progress. Even before we published the first book on Kid Writing, we were collaborating with Richard Gentry on how to use a developmental spelling/writing assessment along with a developmental rubric to show how young children’s progression through five phases of developmental spelling revealed—among other things—the individual child’s understanding of phonics and his or her invented spellings as evidence of what the child knew or did not know.

4.  Let go of worksheets! We found that teaching and learning in our classrooms improved when we abandoned worksheets.

5. Teach children to stretch though a word with a moving target. Our stretching through technique helped kids move from l for lady in Phase 2 to lad in Phase 3 to ladee in syllable chunks in Phase 4, on the way to conventional lady. The stretching through technique met kids where they were and supported them in moving to higher levels of spelling sophistication from phase to phase.

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The book Kid Writing in the 21st Century explains in great detail how to most effectively implement these practices and strategies. It includes reproducibles and a strategy guide to make adopting this process in your classroom quite simple.

>> CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS BOOK <<

For more information on the book, click the image below to view or download a brochure.

Kid Writing in the 21st Century Brochure

 

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Topics: Kindergarten, First Grade, Kid Writing, J. Richard Gentry, Eileen Feldgus, Isabell Cardonick

A Better Path to Reading Success: Richard Gentry Discusses Kid Writing

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Apr 13, 2017 3:42:00 PM


Author Pages_Richard Getntry-1.jpgJ. Richard Gentry, affectionately known as "America's Spelling Guru," is an internationally acclaimed author, researcher, and educational consultant. He is also a co-author for Hameray's upcoming professional book, Kid Writing in the 21st Century: A Systematic Approach to Phonics, Spelling, and Writing Workshop, which will be released in May 2017.

Last week, Dr. Gentry published an article in Psychology Today, "Landmark Study Finds Better Path to Reading Success." The article proves that a young student's reading and writing skills go hand-in-hand. In other words, writing in the classroom will also boost students' reading scores!

In his article, Dr. Gentry cites a study by Gene Ouellette and Monique Sénéchal that was published earlier this year (2017). This study advocates for "invented spelling"—a young writer's "self-directed and spontaneous attempts to represent words in print" (Gentry). Through invented spelling, a student might incorrectly spell a word, like "KN" for the word "can." However, meaningful learning is still taking place—invented spelling requires the child to draw upon phonics and sound-symbol correspondence, which are two essential reading concepts!

Invented spelling even promotes a student's cognitive devleopment:

The human brain generally gets better at whatever it practices—including invented spelling. Reflection about how to spell a word allows the child to actively practice making decisions, rather than passively memorizing. This active practice likely results in synaptic changes in the child’s brain by strengthening neuronal pathways for long term-retention of spellings to be retrieved for reading and writing.

Dr. Gentry stresses the fact that writing exercises are win-win activities for a teacher—they improve writing AND reading skills!

Ouellette and Sénéchal found a direct line from invented spelling leading to improved reading scores at the end of first grade. In their carefully crafted longitudinal study, they found invented spelling to be “a unique predictor of growth in early reading skills, over and above children’s alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness.” Now that’s a huge finding! 

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Kid Writing in the 21st Century further explores the research ideas stated in Dr. Gentry's article. In addition to explaining invented spelling in greater detail, the book also provides example lessons to encourage students to invent spellings. Dr. Gentry, Eileen Feldgus (Ed.D.), and Isabell Cardonick (M. Ed.), share their real teacher experiences and literacy lesson ideas. Incorporating the wisdom of its authors and the newest 21st-century research, Kid Writing is sure to become your go-to professional text!

Kid Writing in the 21st Century will be released in May, but you can reserve your copy today at this product link!

 

 

 

 

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Click the image below to view a brochure about Kid Writing in the 21st Century!

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Topics: Kindergarten, Teaching Writing, First Grade, Kid Writing, J. Richard Gentry

30 New Kaleidoscope Books!

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Mar 28, 2017 2:17:00 PM

 If you’re a frequent reader of our blog, you’ll be familiar with Hameray Publishing’s Kaleidoscope Collection. As our largest series, the Kaleidoscope Collection features both narrative and informational texts between Guided Reading Levels A – K. With its commitment to diverse representation, students have a kaleidoscope of options to choose a book that appeals to them.

We’ve just introduced 30 new titles into the Kaleidoscope Collection, which focuses on low-leveled readers at Guided Reading Level A–C. Books like My Birthday! and What Is a Pet? are sure to peak the interest of your beginning reader.

Many of the new books are complementary in topic or sentence structure, making them ideal for students to reinforce their reading skills. For example, students can familiarize themselves with the sight words “I” and “can” by reading I Can Read. Then, they can apply their knowledge to a new book, I Can Write. Using multiple books to reinforce a reading concept is crucial for developing confidence and fluency.

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Other complementary titles from the new Kaleidoscope additions include the following:

You can browse all of our new Kaleidoscope titles at our website. Remember, a portion of the Kaleidoscope Collection’s profits goes to the Reading Recovery Council of North America. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

 

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Click the image below to download a series highlights about the newly-expanded Kaleidoscope Collection. 

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Topics: Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Preschool

Reader's Theater with Fables and Fairy Tales—with FREE download!

Posted by Kathy Crane on Aug 2, 2016 3:30:00 PM

This is a guest post by Kathy Crane, a kindergarten teacher, author, and curriculum developer. If you like what you see here, read her previous guest blog posts and click here to read her education blog

Fables are a great way to engage young readers along their learning-to-read journey. This year, after teaching some of my favorites tales like The Little Red Hen, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and The Three Pigs, I decided to try a new story, The Fox and the Goat. This fun tale offers great teaching opportunities, and was a favorite among my students.  I added to the fable by using The Fox and the Goat Theme Set available at one of my favorite go-to publishers, Hameray Publishing.

In addition to the fable, the set also includes three informational books: Animals Are Clever, Goats on the Goand The Life of a FoxI really enjoyed having the supporting texts to expand the animals and situations in the fable. These supporting nonfiction readings added to my student’s understanding and enjoyment of The Fox and the Goat story. 

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To add to the fun of our fabled learning, my students love performing the fables through partner plays. You can download my "Three Pigs: Reader’s Theater or Partner Play," which complements Three Little Pigs from the Story World Real World series, for free at the bottom of this blog post! Please also be sure to check out my store for other reader's theater plays based on classic tales: CLICK HERE!

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Kathy Crane holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading. A published freelance author of thirteen books, Kathy also develops teaching curriculum and has been a teacher of kindergarten for over two decades. She publishes the blog Kindergarten Kiosk

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For more information about the Fables and the Real World series, click on the image below.

Fables and the Real World More Information

To learn more about the Story World Real World Series, which contains the storybook complement to Kathy Crane's Reader's Theater, click on the image to the left below. To download Kathy Crane's FREE "The Three Pigs: A Young Reader's Reader's Theater" guide, click on the image to the right below.  
 
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Topics: Kindergarten, Download, Fables and the Real World, Reader's Theater

Nurturing Science Skills in the Early Childhood Classroom

Posted by Lily Erlic on Jul 26, 2016 3:30:00 PM

This is a guest blog post by Lily Erlic, a preschool and daycare teacher. Today, she shares creative classroom activities to bridge literacy and science in early childhood.

For preschool and kindergarten teachers, teaching science in the early childhood goes hand-in-hand with developing students’ reading skills. Using From Seeds and Farmers Grow Food from the My World: Growing Things series, I will share my ideas for teaching science in the early childhood classroom.

Book One: FROM SEEDS

From Seeds provides photos of seeds and what grows from them. For example, the first page says, “From these seeds, carrots grow”. From page to page, it shows children the marvel of the seed and what it can produce.

Encourage the children to answer this question:

  • What kinds of seeds were in this book?

For a supplemental activity, provide a tray of different seeds with labels on them. Tape the seeds to the tray so they do not move around. Show the children pictures or provide the vegetables for the children to touch and feel. Ask them if they have tried all the vegetables. Ask: What is your favorite vegetable? 

MyWorld_FromSeeds.jpg

 

Book Two: FARMERS GROW FOOD

Farmers Grow Food depicts what happens on a farm to grow food. The first page reads, “Farmers grow food. Farmers plow fields.” It is a thorough and vivid account of what farmers do for us. The “Suggestions for Teachers and Parents” section also gives helpful tips for classroom use.

Ask the students this guiding question:

  • Where do you think our food comes from?

For a supplemental activity, create an activity sheet with vegetable drawings. Ask the children to color it with crayons. Ask them to write their own names on the paper. Display the sheets on a bulletin board and label the board, “FARMERS GROW FOOD.” 

MyWorld_FarmersGrowFood.jpg

Extended Activities:

  • Draw vegetables on the board and ask the children to identify the vegetables. You can also paste photos from books onto the whiteboard or from books. Ask them if they have eaten any of them for meals.
  • Provide the children with an activity sheet that states, “My favorite vegetable is _____________.” Print the word for each child and ask him or her to draw it.
  • Action Rhymes: Children like to participate in creative movement. They can learn about food while having fun, too! Finger Rhymes for Manners by Teaching and Learning Company includes food rhymes that would supplement the two books above. Another book, Finger Rhymes Content-Connected Rhymes for Science, Math and Social Studies, also lists food action rhymes under the fruit section.

I would recommend From Seeds and Farmers Grow Foodwith their colorful photos, they are great for teaching preschool and kindergarten students about science!

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Lily Erlic is a preschool and daycare teacher in Victoria, BC. She is an author of many books like Blue Bear Makes Blueberry Pie, Finger Rhymes for Manners and more. Her recent e-book is a science fiction book called The Golden Sphere.

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To learn more about the titles mentioned in this post and browse more titles with the Growing Things theme, click the image below and download an information sheet about the My World series.

My World Series Info Sheet 

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, Kindergarten, Preschool, My World, Science

How to Keep Students Reading Through Spring and Summer [A Classic Post]

Posted by Elizabeth Hall on May 26, 2016 2:07:19 PM

elizabeth hallThis is a guest post by blogger Elizabeth Hall that originally ran in April 2014. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Kickin' It in Kindergarten, for more of her writing, or you can click here to see her other contributions to our blog!

The itch of summer isn’t felt just by us. It spreads like wildfire through classrooms all over the place beginning at the end of April. May is crazier than the holiday season for me. I know you know what I’m talking about! There aren’t enough color codes on my calendar to organize all of the different activities and school programs that are happening at the end of the year.

Reading is one thing that seems to be put to the side at this time of the year. Most of the students have mastered the actual goal of learning how to reading, so parents and teachers do not emphasize at home reading as much. My biggest goal is to motivate my students to read more. I want them to want to read. One way I do this in my classroom (I usually start in April), is give them a 100 Book Challenge. If you start later in the year, you can make it be fewer books.

The 100 Book Challenge is exactly what it sounds like. Students have about five to six weeks to read 100 books. I tell them that the book has to have at least ten pages. If the book has twenty pages, then it counts twice. When the student reaches 100 books, we have a bit of a celebration. I let the kids dance around and they get a reading medal. They also get to sign their name on a poster in the hall. There are tons of trophy companies out there that have medals. You can find reading-specific medals as well.

Another way I try to keep my students engaged, even when I’m not with them, is by giving them a summer bucket. In the bucket, I always give them a book and a suggested reading list. I also fill it up with other fun summer things that they can use over the summer. The buckets can be purchased inexpensively at any craft store or on-line.

Hall-8-1-198  Hall-8-2-198  Hall-8-3-198

I know you are just as excited about the days of staying in your PJs until noon as I am, but we still owe it to our students to encourage them and believe in them. Each time you say or think “I am so over it,” remember all of the hard work that you have put in to each student!

Happy Summer Reading! 

~~~

Author Bio (2014)

This is my fifth year as a kindergarten teacher. The best part of kindergarten is watching a child fall in love with reading. It has become my passion to show children the possibilities and amazing adventures literature can offer. I love watching their eyes light up when they tell me they can read their favorite book, or they can’t wait to go back to the library! I have the best job in the world!

I am so lucky to have such a wonderful support system in and out of school. My family lives close and I get to spend a lot of time with them! While I am not at school, I enjoy running, teaching spin class, swimming, playing kickball, spending time with my husband, and traveling. I also have a sheltie named Maggie, which is spoiled rotten. I am married to the best guy in the world, work with wonderful people, and have fabulous students!

  ~~~

We're pleased to offer ready-made classroom libraries to supplement your collection and give your students plenty of books to choose from for their challenge! Click here to see them on our website, or click the image below to download a brochure!

Classroom Library Brochure

 

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Kindergarten, Elizabeth Hall

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 2

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 17, 2016 10:27:09 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. You can see the first post here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. I gave one book as an example in my first post, and today we will look at two more examples. You'll be able to easily generalize from these examples how to apply similar strategies to the books in your classroom library.

knock_knock_400.jpgBook Two: Knock, Knock

The second book that I have chosen as an example of how to teach these inference skills is Knock, Knock by Susan C. Jensen. This book can be used for guided reading and can also be a take-home book to read. Before reading, display the cover page and ask the children how they could get the door to open. Invite them to 'knock' as you open the book to the cover page. Then walk them through the book, inviting them to make inferences along the way.

Cover Page:

Encourage students to ask questions as they study the pages. Prompt questions and answers.

  • Why do you think the picture of the boy and the dinosaur are on this page?

Pages 2 and 3:

  • Why does the boy say, "Who is there?"
  • Where is the dog in the picture? (Answer: outside)
  • Why are the bubbles on the pages needed?

Pages 4 and 5:

  • Where is the dog in these illustrations? (Answer: inside)
  • Where is the cat now? (Answer: inside in both pictures)
  • Were you surprised when you saw the dinosaur? Why?

Last Page:

  • What do you know about dinosaurs?
  • Would you run if you saw one? Why, or why not?

After reading, ask students to draw and write about what they would not want to see if they opened a door and were surprised. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.5)

Book Three: Kit and Henry Like Different Things

Kit and Henry Like Different Things by Miguel Perez-Soler has illustrations that can be used to predict unknown words during shared reading or read aloud from an Elmo. The book could also be used in guided reading with readers who have achieved the instructional level of the book, and it can also be used as a take-home reader. The book is an excellent one to use for modeling cause and effect.

As teacher you can use this book to encourage problem solving of unknown words as students use illustrations and beginning sounds of words.

kit_and_henry_402.jpgBefore reading, introduce the characters of the two brothers using the front cover. Invite the children to talk about what they know about the brothers as they study the front illustration. They might also predict how the brothers are alike and different in what they like.

As you read the book to the students, stop at the words that tell what each brother likes and ask them to predict the words using beginning sounds and illustrations. Use a pointer to help the students identify and use those sounds. Explain that good readers use these two pieces of information to predict unknown words.

The last page shares how the boys are alike. Prompt the students to list other ways that the boys might be alike that are not shared in the story. (Sample answers: they are brothers; they live in the same home; they have the same parents; they probably go to same school, etc.)

Invite the students to sit with a partner. Each writes his/her name at the top of a page and copies the following incomplete sentences from the board:

  • I like to play ___________.
  • I like to eat ____________.
  • I like to ride ___________.

Each child completes the sentences and compares his responses to the other students' responses. After the students have had time to respond, invite the pairs to share how they are like and different.

This concludes part two of my series on teaching inference skills, wrapping up the kindergarten portion. Next time we will look at how similar strategies can be applied at a higher level in grade two.

To read the next post in this series, please click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

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Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

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To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the image below.

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Topics: Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Inference Skills

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 1

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 12, 2016 4:56:41 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the first post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. 

In this series of blog posts, I will look at the use of guided-reading-leveled books and oral language readers in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. First, let’s look at some definitions for ‘infer’:

in·fer /inˈfər/ verb

  1. to search for a conclusion about something from known facts or evidence
  2. to reach a conclusion about something from known facts
  3. to make an educated guess based on looking carefully at facts and coming to a possible conclusion

How can we teach our students to possess this skill that is so necessary to the rest of their education, and, indeed, their lives?

child_reading_1953537_Arvind_Balaraman-300.jpgWhat Reading Recovery Has Taught Us

Marie Clay, in Reading Recovery: A Guidebook for Teachers in Training, stated her belief that "the child learns to read by attending to many aspects of text (letters, words, pictures, language, and messages).” The young reader responds as he learns these ways for working at problem solving. She stresses the teacher’s role in helping the child learn to search and simplify the complexity of print. Searching is one of the strategies to be modeled and prompted by the teacher as he or she works with emerging readers and writers.

In Becoming Literate, she states that the search for meaning enables the reader to notice new things about words, print, and messages. The children can then link these discoveries to other things they know. This inner control of reading helps the child construct information from the text and what he knows. Clay expressed her belief that every child is “entitled to an introduction to a text before reading.” This introduction can allow the student to connect things he knows and the text as he reads. Searching strategies can lead the young reader from what he knows to something that he hears or reads.

A Look At Common Core Standards Connected To Inferring

First we will explore kindergarten. The following standards are related to inferring at that level. As you study these, you will see the importance of listening and speaking activities.

LITERATURE:

  • With prompting and support ask and answer questions about key details in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.1)
  • With prompting and support describe the relationship between the illustrations and the text in which they appear. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7)
  • With prompting and support compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.9)

INFORMATIONAL TEXT:

  • With prompting and support identify the main topic and retell key details of a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.2)
  • With prompting and support describe the connection between individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in the text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.3)
  • With prompting and support ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.4)
  • With prompting and support identify the reasons the author gives to support points in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.8)

SPEAKING AND LISTENING:

  • Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify meaning. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.3)
  • Describe familiar people, places, things, or events with prompting and support. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.4)
  • Add drawings or other visual displays to describe and provide additional details. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.5)

I have selected three books that can be used in different ways to help kindergarten children as they receive modeling, prompting, and opportunities to problem-solve by inferring. I’ll introduce the first one today and the others in part two of this series of posts. In part three, we’ll look

Zoozoo_cvr_TheSurprise-300.jpgBook One: The Surprise

The first book I chose is The Surprise by Alan Trussell-Cullen, which is part of the Zoozoo Storytellers series of oral language books for fluency. This book can also be used in guided reading. Before reading, share the cover illustration using an Elmo. Invite the children to study the projected picture and think of questions they might ask based on the picture before they hear the story. Examples of questions might include these:

  • What might the man be writing?
  • Who is the lady in the picture?
  • Why is there a calendar in the picture?

Invite the children to share their additional questions and write the questions on the board. Ask them to think about answers to their questions as they hear the story. Ask for sharing and prompt for replies. 

  • The man is inviting friends to a birthday party for the lady.
  • The date on the calendar is her birthday.
  • The man did not want the lady to know about the party and asked the animals to deliver the note, but to be quiet as they did the deliveries.

As the book is shared the following inferences might be made:

  • On cover page the man is happy. Why?
  • On page two do you think the lady understands what is happening?
  • What do you do if you "pass something along"?
  • On page 8, why is the lady 'up in the tree'?
  • On last page, do you think she was surprised?

Discuss the role of the illustrations as they discuss the questions' answers. The page with the discussion idea can be shared as you invite responses for each question.

This is the end of part one in this series of blog posts on teaching and using leveled books for science in kindergarten. To read the next post in this series, click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

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Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

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To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which the post author has written books for, and Zoozoo Storytellers, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the images below.

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Topics: Reading Activities, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Zoozoo Storytellers, Inference Skills

[New Post] Using Leveled Books to Teach Science in Kindergarten: Part 5

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Apr 7, 2016 4:06:18 PM

GHaggardbiopicThis is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

This is the fifth post in a series of posts on teaching and using leveled books for learning science in kindergarten. To read the first post, click here. To read last week's post, click here. As always, you can subscribe to our blog to get our guest bloggers’ new posts in your inbox.

 

Today, we will be going over our final reading activity in this series about using leveled books for kindergarten science. Last week, we outlined and discussed two reading activities, based on two leveled books for kindergarten, Who Needs Water and Baby Food. During the reading activity for this week, we’ll be exploring a new book, Snack Time, from our series of 150 leveled readers for K-3, the Kaleidoscope Collection.



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Teaching Kids About Food  |  Kindergarten Reading Activity #7

This activity will be based on the book, Snack Time, from the Kaleidoscope Collection. To start, with your students, take out and display the cover of the book, and introduce the story’s two characters, Kylie and Max. Share with the class that both Kylie and Max are very hungry.

Tell the students that both Kylie and Max know that they need food to eat, and that one of them is going to make good choices, while the other one is going to learn a lesson about making good food choices. Ask the question to your students, "What do you do when you make a choice?"

Snack-Time.gif

Kylie and Max are making choices on the foods that they want to eat. As you read the story with the children, decide which child learns a lesson and what exactly that lesson is. Gather the students around you, and read this book as a read aloud.

Read slowly, and provide time for the children to make spontaneous comments. After the story is completed, ask the students to sit in groups of three to decide which child learned a lesson about eating food. Pose the question, "What did he or she learn?"

Put the names of the book characters on the board and, as the children supply the names of the foods that each ate, record those foods by the character's name.

The following series of questions may be used for group discussion:

  • How did Kylie feel at the end of the story? How do we know this?
  • How did Max feel: How do we know that?
  • Which character learned a lesson?
  • What lesson was learned?
  • Even though you are a living thing and need food, does that mean you should eat just anything?
  • What are some good food choices for you to eat?


In conclusion, tell the students that they need to eat foods that help them grow, and stay healthy and happy. Tell the students that it is okay to occasionally eat candy and cookies, but that they need to eat the good, nutritious foods also.

After these questions have been asked, the school cafeteria menu for the day might be studied and talked through. Ask the students, “Does it sound like good choices were made as the school menu was prepared and created?” In addition to this, a cafeteria person might be invited to visit with the children, to talk about and discuss food choices, as well as answer any questions that the children might have about eating food, and about food choices.

This is the end of Part 5 in this series of blog posts on teaching and using leveled books for science in kindergarten. To read the first post in the series, click here. To read the previous post, click here. As always, you can subscribe to our blog to get new posts in your inbox.

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Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the title mentioned in this post, click the images below.

 

 

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Science

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