This year my kindergarten class is made up of 15 students. I have 11 boys and 4 girls. We are currently learning in person but there is always the chance we would have to switch to remote learning if there is a COVID positive exposure to the class, causing the class to have to quarantine or if the school was required to close.
I will be focusing on the AK Kindergarten reading Standard: Phonics and word recognition:
3.Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. a.) Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.
b.) Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.
Academically, it is a very mixed group of students. Approximately 3 students know all their letters (capitals) 3 between 12-25, and 9 less than 5 letters, This is not uncommon for the beginning of the year. Letter sounds are typically at zero. I believe I have 2 that know more than 3 sounds. Information gathered from student interactions via conversations and assessments has shown that many students have had little interaction with the letters of the alphabet in any capacity. As many do not even recognize their name or those letters. My students are considered to be emergent readers. It is expected that all kindergarteners know all 26 letters (capital and lowercase letter, along with their respective sounds) when departed kindergarten. Some challenges facing my students include trauma at home, frequent absences for medical reasons or covid quarantine, lack of parental involvement, lack of resources, financial strain on parents, multiple children and English language learners (ELL). Many of the students in class have demonstrated a reliance on adults and lack confidence in their own abilities to complete simple tasks. This has been evident in their work thus far in the year. Opportunities for success will be especially critical. There are also many students that are high energy in the classroom. Movement throughout the lesson would benefit these students. This will be my third year teaching kindergarten and this subject area. I am anticipating that I will continue to teach this in the future. aside from the typical training, I have also taken classes in language literacy, linguistics and Phonology, and as a kindergarten teacher, I have received training in proper pronunciation of each letter sound, and how to position the mouth to produce those sounds. One aspect of my teaching philosophy is that all students can learn. It just doesn’t look the same for all students. It is important to me that my teaching allows students to learn in multiple forms to help all students make connections to the material being presented. This often means teaching/presenting and working with the same concept in multiple formats. I want students to understand that by learning their letters names and sound they are opening up another world of communication through books, writing and even song.