Students build their understanding of the world around them—particularly how the changing seasons influence weather, animals, and plants—through a variety of engaging texts and authors.
In Kindergarten Literature, students explore and learn about the world around them by reading a variety of culturally relevant and diverse texts that are strategically placed into thematic units to help students build a deeper understanding of an idea or concept. There are two main goals of the Kindergarten reading program. The first is instilling a love of reading within all students by introducing students to engaging texts and authors while also helping students discover the different purposes for reading. The second goal of the Kindergarten reading program is to help students understand the world around them—particularly how the changing seasons influence weather, animals, and plants.
At Match Elementary School, our model for teaching reading in lower elementary is a hybrid of an interactive read aloud and a reading workshop mini-lesson. Our 45-minute lessons include the strategic teaching of the habits and strategies of good reading while also pushing for deep comprehension of the text. We believe teaching reading strategies and skills through an interactive read aloud provides students a more holistic picture of what good reading encompasses by exposing them to important reading strategies in more complex texts than they are able to access at their current reading level. We do interactive read aloud instead of just a reading workshop mini-lesson because we believe students need to deploy many skills and strategies—not just the particular teaching point—to fully comprehend a given text. We want students to learn, through teacher modeling and guided discussions, that good reading encompasses many strategies and habits that can be added to their reading tool kits over time. The strategies learned during the reading block are practiced and supported by other reading blocks during the day (e.g., word study, shared reading, writer’s workshop, guided reading, independent reading, and play-based learning labs).
It is important to note that we do not explicitly name the reading strategies that should be addressed in each lesson. As intellectual preparation for the unit, teachers unpack the unit standards and create a list of the habits of good readers that support each standard. During lesson preparation, teachers look at the target task question, lesson objective, and key lesson standards to decide which reading habit best supports comprehension of the text. Teachers then introduce the reading habit during the book preview and highlight any of the key questions that support or reinforce the reading strategy.
Students discover what it means to be part of a classroom community, and learn how they can make the classroom a fun place to be by exploring a variety of texts and activities.
Students become engaged in reading through a variety of familiar stories with predictable patterns and illustrations that allow them to anticipate words, phrases, and events on their own.
Students begin a year-long exploration of the seasons and how weather, plants, and animals change at different points in the year by reading about the beauties of fall and fall harvests.
Students explore the works of five award-winning authors and illustrators, Grace Lin, Yuyi Morales, John Parra, Monica Brown and Jerry Pinkney, learning about their lives and inspirations.
Students explore the beauties of winter through a variety of texts about winter, learning about winter weather and weather forecasts and how different animals and plants survive winter.
Students begin to explore African-American history and the civil rights movement by studying Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.'s influence, helping to instill the values of diversity and fairness.
Students learn about the history of earth by learning about how fossils are formed and what makes dinosaurs unique, and write daily responses to the informational texts that they read.
Students study the life cycles of different plants and animals and the characteristics of living, nonliving, and dead things, through multiple engaging informational texts and hands-on activities.