THE IMPORTANCE OF DAILY ROUTINES...
One of the most important things that you can do to make your young child feel safe is to establish as much routine in his life as possible. Children (and adults) feel the most secure when their lives are predictable. When adults provide environments that feel safe, children learn that they can trust others to take care of them and meet their needs, so they become free to relax and explore their world.
The message contains a greeting, date, class information, several sentences containing current sight words and letters. Later in the year, different types of punctuation will be also used for discussion. Each sentence is written in a different colour. This helps the student understand where the thought begins and ends.
Actually, the morning message is one of the most important teachable moments of the day. In the beginning of the year, I point as I read each word. The students repeat after me. As the students learn more words, they will eventually read the letter without the teacher assistance. The students are asked if they can spot any everyday words. Students are selected to come to the chart and point to them. The teacher circles them. The sentences are then read. Punctuation is discussed beginning with periods (stop signs). We also have discussions with students that letters put together make words, words put together make sentences and that sentences put together are our thoughts that can be written and read.
There is a calendar that is visited daily. Our daily routine is developed incorporating several concepts.
- Months of the year and days of the week is practiced daily.
- Counting by ones and tens also. There are many song choices for teaching these concepts ( I often go to www.youtube.com)
We develop a pattern when adding days of the week to our calendar. We count and keep track of how many days we have been in school. We are developing a number line for this, using apple cutouts. We write a number on each apple making every tenth apple a different colour. We attach them on our wall in a line that will travel around our classroom.
- Counting the number line (by ones or tens) becomes part of calendar time.
Three sight words is introduced every Monday. Songs and games is also used daily to reinforce word recognition. The games and songs will be used weekly, in order for the student to become familiar with them. New sight words will be replaced weekly with the same games and songs.
Letters are introduced on Mondays, according to the curriculum calendar. The teacher gathers an assortment of small items or picture cards that begin with the letter, to help with the introduction. As each item is shown, the teacher has the students say the name of the item by asking ‘What do you hear?’
We use the Jolly phonics songs and games for Phonological Awareness and Letter Recognition. The games and songs will be used weekly, in order for the students to become familiar with them. New letter and letter sounds will be replaced weekly with the same games and songs. The following is a link with many added games for teaching phonics.
Alphabet Sound Song
An Alphabet sound song will be sung twice a day at the beginning of the year. The teacher or the student points at the letter as they are sung. It is very important for the student to LOOK at the letters as they are sung!
Our Word Wall is placed closed to eye level. We begin our Word Wall during staggered week by adding students ‘names, written on index cards. Each day, the teacher adds more names. On Monday, when the entire class is present, we read the word wall together. The teacher will point and say each letter and then the words that follow. The students repeat. As the year progresses, the students will read the word wall without teacher assistance. The word wall will be read daily.
A new nursery rhyme will be introduced each week (Monday). The nursery rhyme is revisited daily.
Several stories will be read and discussed daily in the PreK-4 classroom. These may be them or curriculum related or just for fun. New vocabulary will also be discussed daily. Dramatizing familiar stories with simple props is also highly encouraged.
Each student will have a writing journal. Pre-K students are emergent writers. The more they are allowed to experiment with writing, the sooner they will progress. The teacher models handwriting daily. Students should write their names and the letter of the week in their journals. They are not expected to write on a straight line. We will begin by having students drawing a picture in their journal. They can then dictate a sentence about it while they watch the teacher writes their words on the paper. Every page will be dated to show growth. As the year goes on, they will be able to copy a sentence with sight words, then draw a picture. Towards the end of the year, the teacher might assign students to draw a picture on a particular topic, then sound out and write their sentence using inventive (ear) spelling!