6. Instructional Strategies for Kindergarten and the Primary Grades

BOX 6-4 Continued

and was not corrected because the teacher was busy working with the group of eight. When students were finished with this seat work, they were told to read independently a book of their choice.

Ms. B worked with the group of eight by writing yesterday’s spelling pattern,


, on a slate board. She elicited words with this pattern in it—






—and wrote them down. She checked their understanding of


by asking a student to use it in a sentence. Then she passed out copies of a book to each child that had the word family in it. The children were familiar with the story and read along with the teacher in choral reading. When they had finished, she gave them each a laminated tag board mat and laminated letters. She asked them to write some words with the


pattern while she listened to one of the children read the story. As he read, Ms. B took a running record of his reading miscues, prompting him to use context cues to guess the meaning of unknown words. Finally, Ms. B introduced a new book to the children that contained the spelling pattern of the day,


. She previewed each page, eliciting prior knowledge from the students by asking them to expand on their interpretations of illustrations. Then she put the book in a plastic bag for each child to take home and practice reading with a parent.

With 30 minutes left in the language arts block, Ms. B began a process writing workshop on Thanksgiving activities. Students brainstormed about Thanksgiving activities while the teacher wrote down sentences that expressed their ideas. If previously taught spelling patterns appeared, she pointed that out. Once the brainstorming was complete, students wrote about their favorite Thanksgiving activity.

Using Direct Code Instruction

Ms. C started the language arts block by having the children sit cross-legged in front of her and playing a game that practiced discriminating the previously taught consonants




. After writing these letters on opposite sides of the chalkboard and asking the children to say their sounds, Ms. C explained that she would say words that would have either the /m/ or the /h/ sound at the beginning and that they should point to the corresponding letter on the board when they heard its sound.

Then Ms. C introduced an oral blending activity by explaining that she would tell them a story and might need their help blending some of the words. She started out: “The old brown frog sat in the /s/ /u/ /n/. Where did the frog sit?” After finishing the story, Ms. C brought out the children’s favorite puppet, Emmett, and said that they were going to play the game they’d played the day before where the children corrected the puppet when he left out a sound. For example, Ms. C would say “loud” and

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