Pre-K Literacy Prioritized at School

Pre-K Literacy Prioritized at School

By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer

(March 25, 2021) Pre-kindergarten classrooms at Buckingham Elementary School in Berlin adopted curriculum resources for the 2020-21 academic year through a district initiative including American Reading Company 100 Book Challenge, Fundations and Fountas and Pinnell read-alouds to prepare students for kindergarten.

Buckingham Elementary is using the materials in a half-day program in two classrooms.

Denise Shorts, chief academic officer for grades pre-kindergarten through eighth, told the Worcester County Board of Education last Tuesday that Buckingham hopes to join Pocomoke Elementary School and Showell Elementary School soon in offering a full-day pre-kindergarten program.

The literacy initiative aligns with the instructional resources used in kindergarten through fifth grade at Buckingham Elementary.

According to the presentation from Principal Christina Welch, Coordinator of Instruction Cassidy Hamborsky, literacy coach Ali Giska, and teachers Lisa Lynch and Darlene Beall, Fundations was adopted to meet the phonics needs of students. Also, Fountas and Pinnell’s planned read-alouds support the 100 Book Challenge’s heavy emphasis on reading aloud to children.

“The theme-based text sets in the Fountas and Pinnell system allow students to compare stories, genres and authors,” Beall said in a video shown to the school board. “The fantastic library of books includes classic stories, new favorites and author studies.”

Additionally, Lynch said Fundations help students have a routine.

“The repetition of letter, key word and sound provides scaffolding for kids at multiple levels,” she said.

As part of the 100 Book Challenge, pre-kindergarten students are able to look at and read picture books daily and discuss the books to increase their oral development as well as literacy skills.

“During the writing portion of the 100 Book Challenge, students are given an opportunity to share their ideas and their stories just like the authors of the stories that we read together do,” Beall said. “They’re so excited to share their work, share their ideas with their classmates, and they’re learning to organize their thoughts to speak in complete sentences and to tell stories sequentially.”

The video presentation also included footage of read-alouds, repetition of sounds in the classrooms and students telling their stories.

“I was a kindergarten teacher for many years, and I have to tell you what they were doing in this pre-k classroom is really going to impact our students’ learning as we push them into kindergarten,” Welch told the school board.

Via Bayside Gazette

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