At the end of the year I returned to the children’s assessment portfolios, and once again asked them questions about letters, sounds, numbers, colors, shapes, etc. Miss Slinger did her final assessment measuring vocabulary, rhyming, and alliteration. And then I looked at all the results and thought about them.
You know, when it’s the end of the year, you realize it’s too late to have done anything differently!
On the bright side, I rock at teaching letters and sounds. Everyone did really well with recognizing capital and lowercase letters, and in identifying letter sounds. I think most of my class knows at least 18 capitals, 18 lowercase, and 15 sounds. Many of them know all 26 in each category, and even my special education students did really well. So I feel good about sending them off to kindergarten, ready to go with learning how to read.
On the not-as-bright side, while my kids did okay with rhyming and alliteration, several of them did not meet the benchmark. I do teach rhyming and alliteration, but not as a daily routine, the way I do with the letters. And I have to admit, I’m kind of haphazard about fitting in my phonemic awareness stuff.
When I look back on the year, and look ahead to the new year, I definitely know what I want to improve. I did a great job with my read-alouds and book discussions two years ago, but not as well this past year. I’d like to teach phonemic awareness skills in a systematic, logical progression. I’d like to teach more content with each theme — maybe even do something on the first day (what do we know about zoos? what do we WANT to know?) and the last day (what did we learn about zoos?). And I’m still struggling to teach science, so I’m thinking about doing it sort of indirectly, with more nature and outdoor time.