Charting the Course: Effective Reading Instruction in Kindergarten

by | Nov 14, 2023


Embracing the Science of Reading in Kindergarten


Welcome, Kindergarten teachers! This blog delves into the science of effective reading instruction, combining insights from the Simple View of Reading and Scarborough’s Reading Rope. Let’s explore how these frameworks guide us in developing proficient readers from the start of Kindergarten in September to the end in June.


The Simple View of Reading and Scarborough’s Rope: Alignment and Differences


  • Simple View of Reading: Focuses on two key components: decoding (word recognition) and language comprehension.
  • Scarborough’s Rope: Illustrates reading development as a braid of intertwined skills, including phonological awareness, decoding, and language comprehension.


While the Simple View offers a clear, binary understanding of reading, Scarborough’s Rope provides a more detailed breakdown of the skills involved. Both are crucial for understanding how various elements contribute to reading proficiency.


Why Understanding This Research Matters


These research frameworks help teachers identify and target specific areas in reading development, ensuring a well-rounded approach to literacy instruction.


Monthly Breakdown of Core Foundational Skills


September: Introduction to Phonemic Awareness


  • Skills: Identifying sounds in spoken words.
  • Strategy: Use rhyming games and songs.
  • Assessment: Oral phonemic awareness checks.


October: Letter Recognition and Sounds


  • Skills: Recognizing and naming letters, understanding basic sounds.
  • Strategy: Interactive alphabet activities.
  • Assessment: Letter recognition quizzes.


November: Beginning Phonics


  • Skills: Connecting letters to sounds, forming simple words.
  • Strategy: Phonics games and word building.
  • Assessment: Phonics-based reading tasks.


December: Developing Oral Vocabulary


  • Skills: Building vocabulary through listening and speaking.
  • Strategy: Read-alouds and discussions.
  • Assessment: Vocabulary checks in conversations.


January: Introduction to Print Concepts


  • Skills: Understanding how print works (left to right, top to bottom).
  • Strategy: Shared reading of big books.
  • Assessment: Observation during shared reading.


February: Sight Word Recognition


  • Skills: Recognizing common sight words.
  • Strategy: Sight word games and flashcards.
  • Assessment: Sight word recognition tests.


March: Fluency with Simple Texts


  • Skills: Reading simple texts smoothly.
  • Strategy: Paired reading and choral reading.
  • Assessment: Oral reading fluency checks.


April: Beginning Writing


  • Skills: Writing letters and simple words.
  • Strategy: Guided writing activities.
  • Assessment: Writing samples analysis.


May: Comprehension of Simple Texts


  • Skills: Understanding and discussing stories.
  • Strategy: Story retelling and simple questions.
  • Assessment: Comprehension discussions.


June: Review and Reinforcement


  • Skills: Consolidating all learned skills.
  • Strategy: Integrative literacy activities.
  • Assessment: Holistic literacy assessment.


Corrective Teaching vs. Reteaching


  • Corrective Teaching: Tailored intervention for individual errors or misunderstandings, immediately addressing misconceptions.
  • Reteaching: Revisiting a concept for the entire class, assuming a broader need for clarification.


Teachers should use corrective teaching when specific students struggle with a concept and reteach when a significant portion of the class needs further clarification.


Instructional Strategies and Assessments


Each month, teachers should:


  • Employ interactive, engaging activities aligned with the skill focus.
  • Conduct assessments tailored to the monthly skill to monitor progress.


Structuring a 50-Minute Literacy Block


  • Opening Activity (5 minutes): Warm-up with a literacy game or song.
  • Whole Group Instruction (15 minutes): Focus on the monthly skill.
  • Small Group Instruction (30 minutes): Tailored activities based on student needs.


Small Group Instruction


In a 30-minute session:


  • Focus on specific skills or strategies.
  • Select students based on similar needs or skill levels.
  • Balance instruction with hands-on activities.


Independent Practice


Provide activities like:


  • Literacy centers with thematic games.
  • Writing journals.
  • Reading corners with age-appropriate books.


In conclusion, by understanding and applying the principles of effective reading instruction, Kindergarten teachers can create a dynamic and successful literacy environment. Monthly skill focuses, combined with appropriate instructional strategies and assessments, ensure that each child progresses confidently on their reading journey.




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