1) How far into the school year do you think kinders need to be to be able to begin the process of Read to Self? What is realistic? When do you plan to begin implementation?
I think that students need to definitely have been successful in the building stamina exercises, at least for three minutes. At first, I was thinking maybe a week and half of practicing this, maybe two, with them at their desks. However, I’m learning that I don’t do enough modeling as I think I do, and I want this to work, so I don’t want to move too fast with this. I think I’m really going to have to take a close look at my students, and let their behavior tell me when it’s time to move on. REALISTICALLY??? It’ll probably be in September or maybe even October before we can really begin to implement this, especially since there are so many other things that we have to do and cover as it pertains to routines and procedures.
2) How will you make sure that each child views him/herself as a reader (whether they are reading words or not)?
I think this is where the modeling of the different ways to read a book comes in. I know that I’ve taught this before, but never as explicit, and never at the beginning of the year. I’m searching right now for books that all children can be successful, regardless of where they are. I’m grabbing up picture rich books wherever I can find them!!!! A lot of times we have students come to us to read their books, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a child to come up and read the book to me, choosing the way that suits them. That is one thing that I will definitely implement this year.
3) What are some ideas you have about “Launching Read to Self” in kindergarten? How will you go about it and what are some ways to make sure it is “kinder friendly”?
As I stated before, I want to model, model, model like crazy!!! I definitely think this is the key. Not to the point where they can recite everything that I’m going to say, but still do the opposite when given the chance. I’m also thinking about creating some kind of award that deals with staying on task during read to self. Another thing that I really want to incorporate is allowing the student’s to choose based on their interest. Sometimes we can become so focused on them reading, reading, reading, that we take the fun out of it. I’m finally allowing the REAL fun back in!!!!!!
4) How will you/do you build the children’s belief that this IS important? What can we do to encourage the ones who do not value it and create disruptions for others?
I think it is important to build a sense of urgency with students. One way I do this is to make real-world connections, especially with something that they like to do. I think incentives can help, but it is important to not rely too much on this, because we want to move students from extrinsic to intrinsic rewards.
5) How valuable is Checking In and Reviewing with kindergarteners? How often will you do it? When will you do it? What are some different ways to “check in”?
Extremely valuable!!! No one will know how they are doing, including the teacher, if no one is checking in!!! This is a great way to also reinforce correct behavior and to correct students who are doing it inappropriately. Definitely everyday in the beginning, and less as the school year progresses. Definitely checking back in when a mini-review is needed.