Writing in Kindergarten Wednesday, August 14, I can't believe there was ever a time that I did not enjoy teaching writing! It now is one of my favorite subjects to teach!
How can a bird that is born for joy Sit in a cage and sing? How can a child, when fears annoy, But droop his tender wing And forget his youthful spring? William Blake from Songs of Experience A skinned knee. A parent-child standoff at bedtime. Refusal to leave a playdate. Saying goodbye to mommy at school in the morning.
These are some possible reasons for the tears of a six-year. Why would a six-year old be standing in the school hallway, sobbing beyond control? These sobs sounded like tears of agony.
It frightened her and she ran out of the room crying. A six-year old, crying hysterically because of a math assessment, should give us pause. What are we doing to our children and why in the world are we doing this?
When I taught kindergarten and first grade, I informally made note of what children knew at the start of the year, mostly through my written and unwritten observations, interviews with parents and also informal and formal discussions with the children.
This documentation helped me determine what kinds of lessons I would teach, who needed extra, individual help, and what kinds of special topics my children were interested in pursuing.
The London-based Centre For Primary Education developed this formative system of assessment for literacy in primary education. We began by interviewing each parent about his or her child. Of course, who is more knowledgeable about the child? Then we interviewed the child. Completing these reports involved a good deal of work.
I used the observation templates throughout the year and also wrote two formal reports for each child. Each continuum includes a bullet-pointed list of indicators describing each developmental stage.
Each phase is supported with a list of the major teaching points for the teacher to emphasize, preparing the child for transitioning into the next phase. There is a similar continuum for the road that children take towards becoming proficient writers, with illustrated examples of what writing might look like for each phase.
These continuums are not judgmental. The assumption is that, with proper instruction and encouragement, children will all, at their pace, become readers and writers.
Compare this humanistic approach to instruction and assessment with the following list of assessments taking place in a New York City public school kindergarten class.
This startling list came to me from a teacher who is working in a school in the South Bronx. Most of the children in her class are second language learners.There are several informal assessment tools for assessing various components of reading.
The following are ten suggested tools for teachers to use. Transforming media into collaborative spaces with video, voice, and text commenting. This is my first year teaching kindergarten and will be my first time having to teach students writing. I plan on using monthly journals and already had ideas about a few class books we were going to write.
Along with the Primary Language Record, we used the First Steps Reading Developmental Continuum and the First Steps Writing Developmental Continuum. These two wonderfully helpful documents provide a diagnostic framework for mapping students’ progress in writing and reading.
English Language Arts Standards Download the standards Print this page The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (“the standards”) represent the next generation of K–12 standards designed to prepare all students for success in college, career, and life by the time they graduate from high school.
Jean Gillet has been an elementary reading specialist in central Virginia. She has also served as a classroom teacher, staff development specialist, and university educator. Her professional interests include the diagnosis and correction of reading difficulties, children’s developmental spelling, and children’s writing.