Kindergarten is a wonderful year for children. Below is a snapshot of what skills we will cover this year.
ReadingKindergarten is a year of discovery in reading and literacy. In the first few months of school, your child will learn to recognize simple words in print, including his/her own name and those of classmates. Letter-sound correspondence, phonemic awareness, letter recognition, rhyming, sight words, word families and concepts about print are some of the areas in which your child will expand his/her knowledge this year. By the end of the year, most kindergarteners will be reading.
Phonemic AwarenessPhonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in words. We know that a student's skill in phonemic awareness is a good predictor of later reading success or difficulty. Phonemic awareness is not phonics. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds-phonemes--in spoken words. Before children learn to read print, they need to become more aware of how the sounds in words work. They must understand that words are made up of speech sounds, or phonemes.
PhonicsIn addition to phonemic awareness, students learn phonics skills. Phonics involves the ability to link sounds to letters and to use these to construct words. While it is helpful for children to be aware of particular phonemes and their letter representations, this knowledge is not enough for them to be able read. They need to be able to put letters and phonemes together to create words. Phonics is best taught systematically. Parents and teachers of kindergarteners should begin by helping children sound out individual letters and then blending these letters into a word.
WritingYour child will learn to use writing for a variety of purposes in kindergarten, all of them practical. The first thing your child is likely to master is how to print his/her own name correctly, using a capital letter at the beginning and lowercase letters for the rest. We hope that your child will begin to use beginning and ending sounds to try to write words, as well as many sight words. Most importantly, we will be working on developing fine motor skills as each child learns how to write the alphabet in both capital and lowercase letters.
The Kindergarten writing curriculum is designed to teach students about particular kinds of writing; information, narrative, and opinion. At the kindergarten level the writing workshop is critical as it leads students into the identity and work of being “writers”. The Kindergarten writing curriculum is child centered with extensive opportunities to write on topics the student’s care about through explicit and sequenced instruction. Students progress along a learning continuum. with critical feedback that challenges students to work independently.