Kindergarten English/Language ArtsDear Kindergarten Families,
Welcome to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Family Pages. We hope the information you find here assists you in supporting your child while s/he is learning important skills and concepts throughout the kindergarten year. The information provided below is meant to outline some of the specific learnings your kindergartener will be engaged in this year. This guide offers highlights of kindergarten learning, rather than an exhaustive list.
Balanced Literacy addresses K-5 Michigan English Language Arts Standards through Reader’s Workshop. Reader’s Workshop includes five key literacy practices: (1) Interactive Read-Aloud, (2) Mini-Lesson, (3) Guided Reading, (4) Literature Study, and (5) Independent Reading. The K-2 resource is Guided Reading by Fountas and Pinnell and Literacy Continuum by Fountas and Pinnell.
The K-5 writing program is based on the Writer's Workshop model. It includes whole group mini-lessons, time for children to write individually, and time for writers to share their writing with each other. The Ann Arbor Public Schools uses Units of Study by Lucy Calkins and Ann Arbor-created Genre Studies as it’s core writing resources.
To take a deeper look at each unit go to: Atlas: Kindergarten ELA
Key Ideas and Details (Fiction and Nonfiction)
- Ask questions to deepen understanding of text
- Refer to important information and details
- Use evidence from the text to support statements about the text
Story Elements (Fiction)
- Recall important details about setting after a story is read
- Recognize and understand that texts may have settings related to different places and people
- Notice and understand a simple plot with a problem and solution
- Include problem and its resolution in telling what happened in a text
- Notice and remember characters in simple narratives
- Recall important details about characters after a story is read
- Messages and Themes
- Infer simple messages in a work of fiction
- Notice and understand obvious themes: e.g., friendship, family, growing, feelings
- Understand that a book can have more than one message or big idea
Book and Print Features (Fiction)
- Notice a book’s title and its author and illustrator on the cover and title page
- Notice letters, words, simple phrases, or sentences that stand out
- Tell the important events of a story using the pictures in the book
- Understand that some nonfiction books tell information and are not like a story
- Notice that a nonfiction writer puts together information related to the same topic
Vocabulary (Fiction and Nonfiction)
- Notice and acquire understanding of new vocabulary from read-aloud content
- Use new vocabulary in discussion of a text
- Understand that writers may tell stories from their own lives
- Draw a picture or series of pictures and tell or write about the pictures
- Provide some descriptive details to make the story more interesting
- Understand that writers of nonfiction texts have many ways to show facts: e.g, text, labels, drawings, photos
- Write short pieces of writing that are enjoyable to read and at the same time give information to readers about a topic
- Select interesting information to include in a piece of writing
- Understand that opinion writers tell about the topic they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic
- Write short pieces of writing that use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing
Partnering With Your Child’s TeacherWhen you have questions or concerns, reach out to your child’s teacher—you are an important part of your child’s education. Ask to see a sample of your child’s work or bring a sample with you. Ask the teacher questions like:
- Is my child learning to read and write?
- What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
- What can I do at home to make sure that my child is successful?
Helping Your Child Learn Outside of School
- Read to your child and have him or her read to you every day for at least 15 minutes. Pick out words that might be new to your child or words that have multiple or complex meanings. Discuss those words and how they add to what the writer is saying.
- Ask your child to retell a story in his or her own words by telling what happened first, second, third, etc.
- Ask your child to think about what the message of a story may be or what he or she learned from an informational book or article.
- Look for opportunities in everyday places to build your child’s vocabulary.
- Be sure your child has a library card. Children should select books in which they are interested to develop a passion for reading. Many libraries have book clubs and family activities that make reading fun for the entire family.
- Use technology to help build your child’s interest in reading. There are several websites where students can read books or articles online. The computer will help with words the student cannot read independently. Libraries also have computers students can use to access those sites. Feel free to ask a librarian or teacher for suggestions.