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    By jl

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    Don't worry so much. Does your school have specific outcome skills for kindergarteners? If so, look at those and see where your class is. Letter and sound recognition is the hurdle in kindergarten and if your kids are there, GREAT. Some may not be and that's o.k. too--it is still all so developmental at this age. Reversals are very common through part of second grade--don't worry about that. As for your colleagues--are their kids writing independently or are they imitating writing? Are they copying teacher directed sentences and words off the board like Good morning. Today is... Yes, they are practicing their printing and learning that these groups of letters make words, but they really aren't writing. As for reading--are they imitating reading behaviors--directionality, expression, retelling from pictures--if so great. If the other kids are really reading, I have a feeling they are the exception in the class or they are remembering a story that has been read repeatedly. Put your mind at ease. It sounds like you are doing a great job. If you do want to push a bit, start exposing them to theme related vocabulary and appropriate sight words. Have them circle the in the poems. Have them put a box around color or number words in a chart, etc. If you want to write, give them journals, have them draw and then dictate a sentence to you. Some will string together a group of letters that make no sense, some will copy words from around the room, and some will actually write. All of it is fine. You are doing fine and you are experiencing what all first year teachers experience--have I done my job well? Next year you will sit back and relax and say, "To think I was worried about this!' Enjoy your children and keep exposing them to reading and writing. When the light comes on, they will blossom--usually a joy reserved for first grade teachers. I can remember my first graders all of a sudden being able to read in January, and thinking I had a hand in it. Well, guess what? You have also had a hand in it. You have given them the foundation and they will fly when ready.

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