The Common Core standards for Reading are organized into three general areas: Reading: Informational Text, Reading: Literature, and Reading: Foundational Skills.
In our blog series, Meeting Kindergarten Common Core, we are reviewing each Foundational Skill area and providing tips and strategies for meeting the standards using engaging, best practice activities.
We've already discussed the Foundational Skill standard for Reading Fluency. Another Foundational Skill for Kindergarten is Print Concepts. Here are the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts (ELA): Literacy Reading Foundations (RF) for Kindergarten (K) in this area:
Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.
Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.
Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters.
Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.
Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.
The best approach to meeting all of these goals is to "think aloud" while reading to children. Choose one or two print awareness goals for each reading. For example, a lesson focusing on the title could be structured as follows:
"Let's read this book. Here's the cover page. Let's find the title. Look, I see the title has two words. Let's count them. I see a space between the words. Look, I can put my finger in this space."
As adults, we take for granted vocabulary words such as "letter, word, sentence, space, title, author, page, and sound." As teachers, we should explicitly teach these words while reading to our students. It is beneficial to read the same book 4-5 times, with each reading focusing on one print skill, a phoneme awareness skill, or a phonics skill. Research indicates that repeated readings are also one of the best ways to improve student vocabulary.
We can also use our books as instructional tools to meet print awareness goals.
Here are some other fun ideas:
Spaceman Holding Word Spaces:
Spaceman is used to hold space between words. In Kindergarten, teachers can model how spaceman holds space between words by placing the man between words while reading aloud and teaching the words "space" and "word." Using big books, kids can use spaceman to go on a "space hunt" between words. Kids can also count how many words that they see on a page.
Teachers can put kids into groups of 2 or 3. Each team is on a "space mission" to count how many words are on a page. Pass out big books to each team. Then, create graphs of which team has the most words on a page. Voila! you've now targeted both math and reading goals.
Another benefit of this tool is that it prepares students for first grade writing expectations. Students familiar with this tool will understand what it means to appropriately space words within writing.
Environmental Print Activities
Another idea to meet these goals is to use Environmental Print. Most families have access to a camera or phone for taking pictures. Ask children to take 2-3 pictures of a sign or logo that they see over the weekend. Then, use these logos to teach children that words have meaning.
Teachers can also embed environmental signs into work with sight words (a phonics Common Core Standard), as seen below:
In our next blog, we will be discussing ideas for how to target the Kindergarten Common Core Phonological Awareness standards.
We'd love to hear from you and share ideas! How do you meet this standard? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also compiling more of our favorite activities on pinterest.