Readers and Writers Workshop
Designed to turn kids into life-long, confident readers and writers our dedicated afternoon program is supported by mentor texts and writing prompts. Students explore opinion writing, informational texts, personal narratives, and more as children learn about story structure, character traits, the writing process, and reading strategies. Following a group mini-lessons small groups rotate between Guided Reading (with on level texts and direct teacher support), listening library, and writing workshop stations. With lessons rooted in anchor texts this program has all the makings for building an accomplished reader. Combined with our love and appreciation for quality children’s literature we build fluency and reading strategies. What can we infer or predict? Let’s explore story structure! As reading detectives let’s clarify and build conclusions. What are genres? What are informational texts? Writers Workshop invites students to write by making the process a meaningful part of the classroom curriculum—it is student centered and offered with consistently.
For growing Kindergarten writers we will use Nellie Edge’s curriculum for writing and High-Frequency Sight Words. The goal of the program is to quickly build comprehension and letter/sound knowledge using an authentic literacy approach. The Nellie Edge sight words are referred to as heart words and they give children clear learning targets and celebrate mastery, we best practice heart words through authentic writing experiences.. Together we discover how writing teaches reading as we explore directed drawing experiences, interactive song circles, and more. Learning milestones are best achieved through diverse differentiated learning experiences that tap into the child’s skills, prior language learning, and interests. We encourage you to read the following introductions to Nellie Edge to get a broader sense of engaging literacy instruction and a meaning-centered classroom:
Handwriting Without Tears
We support our efforts as writers and readers with continued use of a popular SWS curriculum HWT. As we enter into Kindergarten our exploration deepens with further use of lower case letter work. Current SWS friends will be familiar with the language and approaches in this program. With handwriting we are forming comfortable and authentic habits for a strong foundation in writers and learners.
We progressively learn and develop different skills related to phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and parts of grammar. We unlock the secrets to be great readers! We utilize a close-read curriculum to support the skills of readers as well as our study of parts of language (nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, etc.). Afternoons include small group leveled guiding reading. Dedicated sessions center on phonics and then phonemic awareness—distinct and critical.
For logical, mathematical curriculum the kindergarten concepts covered include: counting, shapes, positional words (first/last), ordinal numbers, tracing and writing numbers, adding, number lines, bar graphs, subtraction, place value, money & time, skip counting, word problems, basic geometry, and more. The lessons center on hands on activities with the workshop model so concepts can be introduced, reviewed, and reinforced in a hands on manner. Workshop rotations include opportunities for collaboration, direct instruction, skill building, games, and differentiation. Teachers support learning with mini-lessons and concept modeling with the workshops providing time to practice skills.
Our afternoons fold in science, art, or social emotional lessons. In many schools these sessions are called enrichment because they enrich your child’s basic learning experience. In our early learning settings we mark social emotional regulation as the most important Kindergarten readiness piece and this is an area that we continue to support growth. Children are naturally curious and creative and directed science and art experiences prompt creativity, investigation, mastery, and more. While these elements are infused across the day we appreciate the time to spotlight these learning domains.
Curriculum Map, sample weeks
The following snapshot gives you a glimpse of the Scope and Sequence of the year of ELA and Math topics:
8 rotations are provided each morning some example categories could include:
1. Word work (heart word exploration new and review, cvc words)
2. Puzzle/Write the Room
3. Phonics (letter sounds, onset and rime, blends, segmenting)
4. Listening library (Epic! Audiobooks, Big Books exploration, mini-books, just right reading)
5. Writing (Nellie Edge writing prompts, authentic sight word use)
6. Workstation (art, book unit theme)
7. Handwriting/printwork HWT
8. Parts of language, phonics, etc.
8 rotations are provided daily, some example categories could include:
1. Science (light table, small world, unit table)
2. Blocks, building (logical, mathematical construction)
3. Math (hands on concepts)
4. Puzzle or games
5. Math (number sense, Counting Collections)
6. Teacher table, Horizons workbook
7. Table Choice
Rotating across the week specials center on art, science, and social emotional learning—you will note that all learning domains of course intersect across the day. Some specials have included:
Science: Study of leaves, pumpkins, or other seasonal elements. Weather, migration, overall scientific theory, STEM moments like bridge building or simple machines.
SEL: The group plan, our feelings and words, families and communities, zones of regulation, mindfulness.
Art: Culture inspirations, famous artists, color theory, exploration of mediums and tools, and more!