In this course, students learn oral language, phonological (relating to the relationships among speech sounds that constitute the fundamental components of language) and phonemic (ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds/phonemes in spoken words) foundational skills in addition to letter recognition and printing before beginning reading and spelling instruction.
In kindergarten, students begin to establish their identities as readers while they build the foundational skills for reading. In the first unit, We Are Readers, children develop concepts of print, phonemic awareness, phonics, and the knowledge necessary to use story language to support their approximations of reading. The second unit, Super Powers: Reading with Print Strategies and Sight Word Power, glories in children’s love of play as they learn “super power” strategies that help them work on fluency. In the third unit, Bigger Books, Bigger Reading Muscles, children attempt more difficult books with greater independence and use reading strategies to read with more accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. The last kindergarten unit, Becoming Avid Readers, helps youngsters role-play their way into being the readers you want them to become. They pay close attention to characters, setting, and plot while reading fictional stories, become experts in nonfiction topics as they read together in clubs, and play with rhyme and rhythm while reading poetry.
The kindergarten units begin with helping children approximate writing by drawing and labeling first in all-about books and then in stories. The first unit, Launching the Writing Workshop, acknowledges that most children will be labeling their drawings—and the letters in those labels will include squiggles and diamonds. The second unit, Writing for Readers, helps children write true stories—but does so fully aware that the hard part will be writing read-able words. By the later kindergarten units, children are invited to use their new-found powers to live writerly lives. In How-To Books: Writing to Teach Others, Unit 3, students write informational how-to texts on a procedure familiar to them. In Persuasive Writing of All Kinds: Using Words to Make a Change, the fourth and final unit in the kindergarten series, students craft petitions, persuasive letters, and signs that rally people to address problems in the classroom, the school, and the world.