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mamaosashark
 
 
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Please help clarify
Old 01-27-2019, 05:15 PM
 
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Hi everyone!
I have been teaching for 6 years, and this is my first year in kindergarten.
I have to admit that this has been a learning curve for me.
There are a few things that I learned in college and during the first part of my career as a teacher that shaped my approach towards textbooks and worksheets.

I have 2 questions that I hope you can clarify for me:
1. What is the purpose of having a kindergarten student copy down a story in a station, if they are not able to read it independently...then they take that home as the product?
My fellow teachers have those as stations, and basically they copy down this story about 3 times in 3 different stations...and i don't see the benefit of it. I know that perhaps it is something that I am missing myself, but could someone please explain the reasoning behind it?

2. I do not understand what all goes in doing the letter of the week.
So mainly I do a lesson about the letter that we are learning that week, we identify the uppercase, lowercase, sky write it, then they all tell me words that begin with that letter so I create an anchor chart with the words and the pictures next to the word. So the follow up is that they choose 4 of those words and write and illustrate in their journal.

That's what I do because the LPs on Eduphoria are not specific at all. I do not know what else to do or what other skills we should do with the letter of the week, considering this is kindergarten and not Pre=K.

Thanks for your help!


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Old 01-27-2019, 06:48 PM
 
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Quote:
1. What is the purpose of having a kindergarten student copy down a story in a station, if they are not able to read it independently...then they take that home as the product?
My fellow teachers have those as stations, and basically they copy down this story about 3 times in 3 different stations...and i don't see the benefit of it. I know that perhaps it is something that I am missing myself, but could someone please explain the reasoning behind it?
I don't see value in this. I think some practice copying has value (the ability to track from a vertical surface to a horizontal), but even that is somewhat limited.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
What is the purpose of having a kindergarten student copy down a story in a station, if they are not able to read it independently...then they take that home as the product?
Yeah, I also dont see the value there and it wouldnt be one of my stations. maybe they are working on learning that letters make up words and that words convey meaning by spending so much time with test that they cant read...do the color or find words that start with "a" or site words? I'm really stretching it to validate this activity.

Quote:
2. I do not understand what all goes in doing the letter of the week.
So mainly I do a lesson about the letter that we are learning that week, we identify the uppercase, lowercase, sky write it, then they all tell me words that begin with that letter so I create an anchor chart with the words and the pictures next to the word. So the follow up is that they choose 4 of those words and write and illustrate in their journal.
Many programs require the systematic and purposeful introduction of letters and sounds via a letter of the week type approach. We had to do 2 letters of the week when I taught kinder because we were required to be through them alphabet by a certain date.

I did similar exercises that you do but I also did Heidi Songs letter videos every day which incorporates sky writing with visually viewing and singing about the sound of the letter and how to write it. I did the same activities over and over and over because kids this age need a lot of repetition and repeated exposure before they can really understand it and recall it. One of my centers was also often a picture sort-words that do start with "P" and those that dont for example, or an actual letter sort with all letter that have a hanging tail or tall letters or other look alikes ect. Another would be making the letter and something that starts with its sound out of play dough.
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Copying
Old 01-28-2019, 04:03 AM
 
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Not 100% sure...on the copying, my guess is perhaps handwriting and/or motor skills practice? If so, copying a story over and over is dull. You can add tracing lines, cutting, finger “paint” with sand, and do on. I don’t really think copying a story is appropriate, but maybe this is what they’re thinking!

As for the alphabet, you could add in a book of the week (TPT has something I used for a low second grader that was made for kinder) that is a little pocket book. It has a cover with the letter, several picture examples with a word, and a handwriting page. You can add stations that focus on your letter do week (I.e. clothespin clips on the letter, etc.).

Our kinder teachers have a craft station and they have a technology station (iPad, listening center, calculators just for fun), unplugged old keyboards, etc.
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:23 PM
 
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Quote:
1. What is the purpose of having a kindergarten student copy down a story in a station, if they are not able to read it independently...then they take that home as the product?
I also do not see value in this. As Zia said, there is limited value to copying at all, and it's more in the ability to track. Once they are able to do that I very rarely have kids copy anything.


Quote:
2. I do not understand what all goes in doing the letter of the week.
This varies greatly, and the whole letter of the week can be done well or be a waste of time. We do it, but just as a springboard for other activities (I fully expect my kids to know all of the letters and sounds by now), so we aren't "learning" the letter at this point. One of our independent centers each week is an ABC notebook where they put 4 stickers with pictures of things that start with the letter, and then write a sentence to go with each picture. We learn a song (just for fun), and use that letter for our handwriting and phonemic awareness focus. We also let kids bring in something to share that starts with the letter to work on their verbal skills and oral sharing. I use McCracken spelling and use the letter for the focus during that as well.


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Fine Motor
Old 01-30-2019, 02:58 AM
 
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1. I definitely think the copying is fine motor (plus some reinforcement of letter formation). Kids today simply do not come into K with the fine motor skills they used to have - they don't spend as much time before they get to us coloring, playing with playdough, building with Legos, etc. Most of them haven't started learning to tie (Velcro) and some of them don't even get to use scissors at home. The consequence is that their printing is far messier than it used to be.

(But I agree with mixing in some other forms of practice so it doesn't get so dull!)

2. I think you're doing the right things so far. If you're getting bored with it, you could have them bring in something for show-and-tell that starts with the letter, cut the letters out of old magazines to make a collage, or try to 'make the letter out of kids' (either like these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mmji-z2vcbU

or sitting criss-cross on the floor or playground in the shape you could see from above. - Think old dot matrix printers, only the dots are the kids.)
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