July 2016 – Della Larsen's Class

How do I start reading groups in Kindergarten??

July 31, 2016

Whether your new to kindergarten this year, or you’re a veteran. The question remains, where do you begin reading groups when the kids can’t read??  Kindergarten reading groups often don���t involve any ���reading��� in the way parents typically think. They may not actually read ���I see the fat cat.��� until the end of the year. But don���t be fooled, the ground work that is laid in the first half of kindergarten is crucial to being a successful reader.              But where do we start? The answer is simple…letter naming.  I don’t just mean they can memorize the letters. That’s just not enough. Kindergarten students need to identify the letters out of order, in both upper and lower case and in different fonts. A child���s ability to quickly name letters is an indicator of whether they will be a successful reader or one that struggles. Don���t race through this critical step!!!  This is where we start. The very first step in learning to read is knowing how to recognize the characteristics that make a letter different from other letters. Our youngest learners need experience noticing these small differences. Don���t skip over this step or rush through...

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5 Ways to Start Off The Year Right With Parents.

July 24, 2016

That time of year is getting closer. Whether you go back to school in August or September (or gasp!) July, the kids are starting to get ready to come back. This time can be especially exciting if your child is going off to kindergarten. You can bet that at every party and cookout this summer the little kiddos have been asked if they are excited about going to kindergarten.  Not to mention the parents. Sending your child off to kindergarten is such a happy time it’s also a time filled with a little trepidation. This year the poem I send out every year is a little more poignant as I send my “baby” off to college. (sniff, sniff) Thoughts at the Bottom of a Beanstalk Once upon a time there was a little boy named Jack who was about to climb his very first beanstalk. He had a fresh haircut and a brand-new book bag. Even though his friends in the neighborhood had climbed this same beanstalk almost every day last year, this was Jack’s first day and he was a little nervous. So was his mother. Early in the morning she brought him to the foot of the beanstalk....

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Classroom organization made easy. Really!

July 16, 2016

There are some people who are just naturally organized.   Everything is in its place. It comes to them instinctively. If that’s you, you’re lucky. I envy you. I’m not that person. I have to work to be organized. I have to be intentional. After all these years I feel like I’ve tried everything. I start out great; I’m committed. But I have to confess, I don’t follow through. I don’t put things away. It just becomes a big mess.  I’ve found there are some things I’m good at and some things I’m not. For all those things that I struggle with, and organization is one of them. I need help. Since I work alone, the only other people who can help me are the kids!  They are my saving grace. I NEED them. My favorite trick I’ve learned is to delegate. Once I learned to do this we actually starting having less (I wont dare say none, but less) missing glue stick caps. Honestly it was the ban of my existence. Constantly having to throw out perfectly good glue sticks gone bad,  because we couldn’t find the cap. I hear you, “Oh I just keep a little baggie full...

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4 tips to actually having reading groups the first week of kindergarten

July 10, 2016

 There will be those who tell you don’t have reading groups before Halloween unless you have an assistant, 4 parent volunteers, and a death wish. Not true. There will be those who tell you, you won’t smile until Christmas. Not true. I honestly believe the longer you put off starting groups the harder it will be. So rollup your sleeves and let’s figure this out.                                                So last week we talked about my biggest secret to successful reading groups in kindergarten if you missed it, check it out here. The kids are at fun centers; blocks, water table, dramatic play. You’ve  just called 4  kids to the table for our very first “reading group”. But as soon as the 4 little sweeties sit down. There is a problem at the water table. Billy stole Emily’s teapot. Jason knocked down Sarah’s castle. Caitlyn needs to go to the bathroom. Yikes, you can’t even begin with the 4 in front of you because the class is falling apart. You abandon the group and just try to “police” the larger group.  You go home...

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