Getting ready to Read / Kindergarten Readiness


Familiarity with print and books:  
It's important for your child to know that people read words, not pictures, and that the words she sees in print 
are related to the words she speaks and hears. She also needs to know how books work — that you begin with the cover right-side up and move from front to back, one page at a time.

Reading milestones:
bulletRecognizing print in everyday life, on cereal boxes, 
street signs, and more
bulletKnowing you can use print for many different purposes, 
from stories to grocery lists
bulletHolding a book, turning the pages, and pretending to read
bulletFollowing the series of events in some stories
bulletAsking questions and making comments that show she 
understands what you read to her

Letter recognition:  
The more letters your child is able to instantly recognize and name by the time he starts kindergarten, the quicker he'll 
be able to focus his attention on other tasks such as the sounds associated with each letter. It's easiest for your child to begin learning the letters in his name.

Reading milestones: 
bulletSinging the ABC song  
bulletRecognizing the shape of letters
bulletStarting to learn the sounds of letters: "B" makes 
the "buh" sound

Sounds of speech:  
Technically called "phonological awareness," this is 
the ability to discern the sounds in words. Word play is key to phonological awareness because it entails listening to the way words sound and 
recognizing how they change. Developing a sense of syllable is another key part of phonological awareness and is an important precursor to sounding 
out words.

Reading milestones:
bulletIdentifying letters and realizing that they represent 
the segments of her own speech
bulletUnderstanding that "dog" does not rhyme with "cat"
bulletClapping out syllables in familiar and unfamiliar 
words — cow/ boy, ro/ de/ o

Phonemic awareness:  
Before children learn to read print, they need to understand that words are made up of speech sounds, technically called phonemes. The 44 phonemes in the English language are the smallest parts of sound in a spoken word that make a difference in the word's meaning. For example, changing the first phoneme in the word "hat" from /h/ to /p/ changes the word from "hat" to "pat," and so changes the meaning. Reading expert Louisa C. Moats, co-author of Straight Talk About Reading, says phonemic awareness is essential because our writing system is a representation of speech sounds. "Ninety percent of the time, kids who have reading problems have a weakness in their ability to detect and identify speech sounds," Moats says.

Reading milestones:
bulletNaming several words that begin with the same 
sound — bat, boy, and bell
bulletReplacing one sound with another — replace the first 
sound in pig with /d/ to make dig.



Kindergarten Readiness

By: Mrs. LeAnne Austin (Kindergarten teacher Beresford Elementary)

          “What can I do to help my child prepare for Kindergarten?”  This is a question I have been asked several times throughout my years of teaching.  Below I have included some helpful steps parents can use in order to help their child get ready for Kindergarten.

          First of all, be sure to talk with your child clearly and directly from the time they are an infant.  It is important to take the time to listen to them and answer their questions because this is how many children learn.  While you are riding in the car, you can play different rhyming word games or look for various letters on the road signs and recognize environmental print.  This is one of the beginning steps of your child learning how to read.  Nursery rhymes are also very important for children to learn.  You need to say them over and over as constant repetition is good for children.

          Reading books to your child is one of the most important steps to making reading fun so children will want to read.  It takes only fifteen minutes a day to create a reader!  Always keep plenty of reading materials around the house and involve your child in selecting books as much as possible.  Encourage your child to participate by asking open-ended questions that make your child think.  Be sure to also talk about the pictures throughout the story and ask them to make predictions about what may happen in the story.

          Some other helpful ways to get your child ready for Kindergarten are to keep books where your child can easily get hold of them and have a set time each day where you have story time.  You may be reading some of your child’s favorite stories over and over again.  Modeling and rereading are important steps to helping your child learn how to read.  Another idea is to give your child books as presents or rewards, which will enhance their love for reading!

          Writing development is another important aspect to Kindergarten Readiness.  Provide your child with crayons, pencils, and paper with a special space for your child to write.  Also, give them an opportunity to write, scribble or draw whatever they would like and demonstrate to them how to write their name.  Parents should encourage their children to read their writing to them.  Magnetic letters are also useful tools for children to use when they are learning how to read and write. 

          Children should be familiar with various number concepts  when they approach Kindergarten.  Parents should work with their child on concepts such as sorting similar objects by color, size, and shape.  They should also be able to count to ten and recognize groups of one, two, three, four, and five objects.  Another important idea is to know and recognize the basic shapes such as the triangle, square, circle, and rectangle.

          These ideas and concepts listed are a few things you can do to help your child prepare for Kindergarten.  I hope that they will help your child get ready for Kindergarten and have a successful and rewarding experience!   



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