Reading Toolkit in the Classroom
Being able to implement the TCRWP at our school has taught me an immense amount about not just reading instruction, but also tools that help kindergarteners focus on specific strategies and skills. When I talk about tools in kindergarten, it often means something physical or tangible for them to use. So here is a little bit about what's in each kid's reading kit in my classroom.
1. Reading Box: Each child has a box with his or her class number on it (not visible as it's on the narrow side). Some of my colleagues put pictures of the kids on the side of the box, I chose not to so that next year I wouldn't have to change anything. This is where everything is kept.
2. Reading folder: a standard tool in any TCRWP reading kit. For every Reading workshop, kids use this to make a plan (order in which they want to read the books in their book baggies) and stack the books on the green dot, as they read through the stack they put the books on red and when they are through the stack it's time to reread them all again until the end of workshop. My folders are laminated so that I can use them for more than one year.
3. Whisper Phone: This is a tool I learned about for the first time when I came to this school. It basically helps the children to clearly hear their own voices even if they are whispering as they read, at the same time it manages the volume they use. Overall, it keeps my Reading Workshop quiet enough that all the children are focused and not distracted by a peer who is reading too loudly next to them. It also encourages those with softer voices, to listen to their own reading. These too are numbered so there is no mix up, and we don't share too many germs ;) (Oh! and these are completely washable and dishwasher friendly!)
4. Book Baggie: Again, this is a typical part of any Reading Workshop. Each week the children go book shopping for ten books in their independent reading level. These books are the books they read during workshop as well as take home and read every night. We do not encourage them to read all the books every night, but it gives the children a choice of books through the week that is appropriate for independent reading and to independently practice strategies taught in school. Of course included inside the baggie is a reading log for parents to fill out with their kids.
5. Personal goals/strategies: Like my Writing Workshop kit, I have the same sheets in Reading where I give children individualized goals or strategies I want them to work on. Once they are able to do it, they get to put the post it on the opposite side where it says "I can do it!"
6. Toolkit baggie: This is where the kids keep any little materials or tools I give them to help them with certain strategies.
7. Post its and a pencil: This goes with my lesson on Thinking Marks where the children use Post its to help them remember parts they want to discuss with their reading buddies. Here is the chart that goes with that:
8. Googley eye: This is given to children who need encouragement to look and point to the words as they are reading them. It just makes 1-1 match more fun :) Later when the novelty of this has run out I'll give them finger lights (much cooler ;))
9. Word Ring: Something that is not in the picture that I've added recently is a ring with word cards on it. This is a ring of 5-6 high frequency words that that individual child is working on reading/recognizing consistently. I give the children words based on their high frequency word assessment as well as whenever I read with them and find a high frequency word in their books they are struggling with. So in my personal teaching kit, I keep a set of blank cards with one hole punch and a Sharpie with me so I can add cards onto their word card ring whenever I confer with them.
So that's what's in my students' reading toolkits! Would love ideas for other things you may give your students or ways I can improve my current materials.