I have met more and more young children interested in literacy. Although reading is not a skill we expect to be mastered at this age, I do not want to hold them back. Whether I am working with friend’s children, my child, clients, or students, literacy is an important life skill. If you have joined the roadmap to reading course, you know that it is full of resources and downloads applicable to a classroom, home, and clinic environment. This course is easy to follow and is step by step to set up success. There are materials and learning opportunities for all learners! In this post I am going to share some ideas on bringing more reading into early childhood and kindergarten classrooms.
I am a master data taker in every capacity. Anything that can be turned into data, is! Assessment is most important when introducing new skills, continuing progress, and maintaining skills. There are many different kinds of assessment tools and it is important to choose the ones that I am most comfortable with. It is also important to choose the right assessments for all of the learners we work with. The purpose of assessments are to find out where someone is currently demonstrating skills and to gather information on where they should go next.
Whether using formal or informal assessments, they help you determine what you should be working on next with your learner, they help you see if a skill is too easy or too hard for your learner, and to see what IEP goals your learner will benefit from. Most importantly, assessments should be ongoing, continuous, and varied. If we have a system that isn’t giving us enough information, I modify our system.
- Large Group: Large group instruction is my favorite. I know that it is not best for all learners, so I modify all lessons and differentiate as needed. I utilize large group activities to work on watching peers, waiting, taking turns, passing materials to one another, independence, and participation. Specifically for reading, I am also able to work on pre-reading skills during large groups. I model looking at pictures in books, going on picture walks, predict what will happen next based on clues, answer comprehension questions, etc.
- DT: Reading can be implemented all over the classroom or in-home environment. In a Discrete Trial environment, the reading skills should be focused one at a time. There are so many resources that can be used. It is important to use materials and resources appropriate for each of your learners based on them as individuals. Using discrete trial helps our learners who may not learn best in a large group setting or indirectly.
- Fluency: Fluency works on the accuracy and speed of specific skills. The world we live in is fast paced, and some skills we teach our learners requires speed. Fluency helps build and expand on academics and reading skills that we are teaching and maintaining. Using fluency can work on both receptive and expressive programs.
- Guided reading groups: Guided reading groups may be hard if you only have one learner that is a reader. This is when I utilize large group activities. If there is an opportunity to join other classes for peer buddies or to join other guided reading groups, that is an option if you only have one reader. Guided reading groups help group readers on similar levels to expand on their reading and comprehension skills. Guided reading groups are important to balance out teaching literacy.
Just like all areas of the classroom, teamwork is important for the success of our learners. If and when I want to implement something new, I am sure to talk with the team about it. Buy-in from them is the best way to be sure that the programs and skills will be worked on consistently with each of our learners. I also believe that my team has a lot to offer! Each of them are invaluable members to our classroom. We review where our learners are performing and where we want them to go by looking at the data. We discuss the activities and options for teaching more skills. My team and I work together to find out the why of any teaching method, assessment, or program we want to use.
My goal for this school year is to implement more reading activities and lessons for all children I work with. I am going to continue The Autism Helper Literacy Course and keep learning! I am going to use breaks in the coming weeks to review the past videos and catch up before the school year gets away from me. This course is a wonderful resource along with The Autism Helper reading curriculums, literacy curriculums, reading work tasks, and so many other resources. There is something for each of our learners whether they are pre-reading, reading, or above grade level. Looking at the individual learner and using the appropriate materials and assessments will be key to the success.
Join the waitlist for the literacy course here: https://theautismhelper.com/courses/literacy-course/