A differentiated Kindergarten wrote an incredibly thorough post about the nuts and bolts of the chapter. Jeannie from Kindergarten Lifestyle wrote a great post about tracing letters.
There are two groups of students that Richardson addresses in this chapter. The first is the Pre-A group which is the group that still needs to work on letter knowledge and names. There are four parts for this group that need to be done every time:
1. working with letters and names
2. working with sounds
3. working with books
4. interactive writing
You should work on each of these components each time and work with the group between 15 and 20 minutes. What I really liked about Richardson's outline was that she gave a time frame for each activity.
It breaks down like this:
One of the other points that Richardson makes in this chapter that really stuck with me is the idea that you ask questions about the book that the kids have to answer in complete sentences. This is especially good for the ELL students. I have had a third or more of my class be ELL students the past few years so I'm always looking at ways to help these students. I've also noticed that kids don't seem to have conversation skills anymore. They watch a lot of tv and some of the kids that I work with don't seem to talk a lot to their parents.
The format for the emergent readers is pretty similar but instead of working with letters and names they are working with sight words. Richardson recommends not moving on to a new word until the previous words have been mastered. I typically use the sight words that are in our reading series. In our old series, we had one word a week in kindergarten and then eventually 2 words. In the new series, we start with 1 for the first 10 weeks, then move to 2 words for 5 weeks, then it's 6 for the last 15 weeks. This is a lot more words than I'm use to teaching in one week for kindergarten. I will be using a lot of Richardson's strategies for these learning words. She encourages a lot of writing of the sight words. This is something that I have always found important. I expect my kids to be able to write as well as read the sight words. Here are a couple of her strategies for sight words:
Be sure to head over to Marsha's blog and link up with your guided reading thoughts: