1. How far into the school year do you think Kinders need to be to be able to begin to Read to Self?
What is realistic? When do you plan to begin implementation?
To answer this question I think we need to decide what we consider "Read to Self." At the beginning of the year, my students may be reading the pictures and retelling the story without actually reading the words. I feel that October/November is a good time to actually expect my students to "read the words."
Additionally, I feel that I will be able to teach enough strategies with CAFE to encourage good reading. I also think I will spend a lot of time with small groups teaching tracking and other important emergent reader skills. I don't think I will be conferencing as much before January.
2. How will you make sure that each child views him/herself as a reader whether they can read the words or not?
This is where working with students often comes into play. These young children cannot and will not learn to read by handing them a book and telling them to read to themselves. I plan on having my assistant and myself read with small groups often. This is where we will encourage confident readers. I also feel teaching students actual reading strategies will help them gain the confidence to read.
3.What are some ideas you have about Launching Read to Self in Kindergarten? How will you go about it and what are some ways to make sure it is Kinder friendly?
I was so so so nervous to introduce this to my class this past year. AND THEY DID GREAT. The loved it. I was the nervous one, not them. I think they liked the freedom it gave them. I literally did what the book said to do. I modeled, modeled, modeled... and used the charts and then I had to just trust them.
To make it more kinder friendly, I let my class wiggle before and after read to self time. They need to move and make noise. When I give them a positive outlet to do this, they did it when they were supposed to.
4. How will you/how do you build the children's belief that this IS important? What can we do to encourage the ones who do not value it and create disruptions for others?
I have been blessed that almost every singles student I have taught does what I ask happily. They typically want to please me. More so, when we are creating and discussing our i-charts, we talk about why we are doing this- Read to Self. Most students are more than happy to enjoy a book quietly than complete an assignment. (I have work ready for any student who cannot handle read to self.)
This answers the next question- if students do not value their read to self time, they can and will be given work. This sometimes backfires when we intro Word Work. I make sure my word work activities are not just meaningful, but fun and engaging. "Seat work" for those who don't follow the rules is not.
Typically- a disrupting student will go to seat work once or twice. If I am consistent, they do not want this option and will not do their unacceptable behaviors again.
Now... this past year I had a student who was not able to sit and read for even 30 seconds, even at the end of the year. I encouraged his parents to "blanket train" their child. Obviously this student had huge attention span issues. I got the idea for my own child from Michelle Duggar, mother of 19 children. This is what she does with her toddlers while she is homeschooling her k, 1, 2 children. I did this with my toddler when she was 2 and it worked. I wanted this student to be able to maintain a location before I can expect him to maintain reading.
5.How valuable is "checking in" and reviewing with kinders? How often will you do it? When will you do it? What are some different ways to check in?
Checking in is a science... I never check in or move students unless they no longer engaged. I like to learn my students and anticipate when I know they will "loose" their focus and check in right before they actually do. (It's like stopping calendar time to wiggle when you students are no longer able to sit and listen.)
I check in a LOT at first, and less often as time goes by. I also teach my students to check in with each other, so I don't have to "led" the check in each time. This is fun for them as well.
I LOVE to make the gathering sound for my class, then sing a song on their way back to the carpet to check in. This helps with getting wiggles out. I know other teacher who use nursey rhymes to get students back together.
6. What are some problems that can occur that I anticipate or have experienced? How can we be proactive about these issues?
The fun thing about Kinder is... the children will always surprise you. YOU can't anticipate everything. I love to see how creative they get to get what they want. I wonder what they will do? Hummm.... I will be ready to laugh. Then we use it as a teachable moment.