As teachers and educators your job is to inspire students at an early age. Taking a classroom full of kindergarten students and instilling in them a passion for reading is critical to their long-term growth and development. Such reading skills as letter recognition, phonemic awareness, and sight word recognition are just a few of the vital reading components kindergarten students need to master to succeed in the years after kindergarten. This is why proactive school districts develop comprehensive reading programs for kindergarten that utilize proven strategies and a diverse collection of learning resources.
Tips to Help Improve Kindergarten Reading
A kindergarten reading curriculum must include a number of foundational skills that students need to master before moving on to Grade 1. Incorporating phonics instruction and reinforcing new knowledge through interactive activities like games, help children make connections with their reading materials. There are also many other ways to ensure your kindergarten students become strong, independent readers:
- Blending sounds – One technique to teach this is to isolate sounds that are similar found at the beginning and end of recognized words.
- Segmenting words into individual sounds – This method of breaking words down can build on phonemic awareness to help teach students the relationship between sounds and letter combinations.
- Make reading fun – Playing reading games that incorporate hand-on activities, reading out loud, or collaborative exercise helps students in kindergarten improve their phonemic awareness and reading comprehension skills.
- Take a break from reading – Encourage students to act out scenes from the books they’re reading. It’s a great way to add meaning to the words they are reading and teaches them how to visualize those meanings.
Reading programs for kindergarten must assess comprehension as often as possible. Teachers and educators must assess the fluency, word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension, and oral reading accuracy to gauge a student’s progress. Asking a student to read a passage aloud and checking the fluency and reading accuracy helps teachers and educators determine a student’s reading level. Engaging parents in the teaching process can also be beneficial. Encouraging parents to read aloud to their kindergarten students regularly demonstrates to the children that their parents value reading. Becoming passionate about reading at home will only help the student come prepared to read in the classroom with enthusiasm.
Simply taking up hours reading to a classroom of kindergarten students and expecting them to fully pay attention is a lofty goal. Stopping during the reading sessions to ask questions, to encourage students to explain the meaning of what’s being read, or to ask a student to start reading where you left off, are all good ways to develop a student’s passion for reading. Always make sure the reading materials are at an age where the program facilitators can ask students to explain the meaning. Students will quickly lose interest and enthusiasm if they’re unable to understand what is being read.
Essential Skills Reading Programs for Kindergarten
Whether it’s to build vocabulary and comprehension skills, or simply to encourage students to use their imagination through visualization, Essential Skills offers a variety of engaging reading programs to enhance your kindergarten reading curriculum.