*I linked up with Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business*
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 have found that starting at the end of September has been helpful. My school year begins at the end of August. Usually, I wait a solid month before introducing the idea of read to self. In the past, I have opened up library time (from a select group of books that are placed on the table these books are ones that I have previously read: Mo Willems, David Shannon, etc). Each day, we practice reading the books and caring for them. From here, we practice reading with a buddy. For the time being, that buddy is actually a stuffed animal. THis helps keeps the kids engaged and on task. Further, it limits how often they get up for a new book. Once they have mastered this, I begin with Read to Self. Sometimes, this introductory period goes faster than others.
2) 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"?
This is something I struggled with when switching from 1st grade to KDG last year. However, I have found that making it fun (and some what like a very exclusive membership) that the kids find it exhilarating. One way that I am able to keep it fun and exciting is by having the kids read with stuffed animals. It sounds simple, but it teaches them responsibility. They love playing teacher and "helping" others...even our 4 legged stuffed animal friends. In order to keep things exciting, we practice reading with the first graders and our 8th grade (Church) buddies. My kids feel so special sharing what they have learned/are learning with other kids. They see these students as role models...and want to be like them. My kids are always so excited to add minutes to our Read to Self time. The intrinsic motivation the kids feel is H.U.G.E. Some days, all they can talk about is how well they are reading and how many minutes have been added!
3) 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"?
This is definitely something I need to work on. At the beginning of my last year in first grade, I checked in often. However, I do not think that the kids understood how to evaluate their behavior. Often, they looked up at me, confused as to why I was disrupting their reading time. I found from then, that it was easier to glance at the kids to see the behaviors. I know this is something I need to work on for KDG.
To keep things exciting for my kids, we discuss what "good readers" do. I use the CAFE book to help with comprehension. As soon as I teach a strategy, the kids are amped to find similar uses in their own reading. I think showing the kids the proper reading/comprehension techniques helps with their overall enjoyment.
My biggest concerns this year is "fitting it all in." My school is (most likely) switching to SuperKids in the fall. I have