Launching Daily 5 in kindergarten typically looks a little different from launching Daily 5 in any other grade. Kindergarten is unique in that it is often a child’s first experience with school and many of the children are learning school behaviors for the first time. We encourage teachers to use the initial days of school to build relationships and establish basic routines. Then, when Read to Self is launched, students are ready and can experience success.
To best prepare students for the launch of Read to Self in kindergarten, we spend the first week focused on what it means to be independent. Then, during Week 2, we introduce good-fit books and the Three Ways to Read a Book.
Week 2 in Kindergarten—Introduce the Three Ways to Read a Book, in three different lessons.
1. The first lesson models how to read using the pictures. Encourage students to look for details in the pictures, such as whom the story could be about and what could be happening. Explain that you can look at the setting in the picture, the expression on the characters face, and other small details that can tell you about what is taking place.
2. The second lesson uses the same book as before, modeling how to read using the words. Explain to your students that although they may not be able to read the words now, they might see some words they know, and that as the year goes on, they will recognize more and more.
3. The third lesson uses the same book again, only this time you will model how to read by retelling the story. Model what this looks and sounds like as you retell the first few pages. Then, call on a few students to help you as you continue through the book.
After the initial lesson on the Three Ways to Read a Book, I like to reinforce this concept by introducing my forever book and retelling the story to the class. We then take the next few days to let children bring in their Forever Books and model retelling to the class.
Along with the lessons mentioned above, I use the second week of school to introduce the concept of good-fit books. I do the Shoe Lesson mentioned in The Daily 5, or something similar to begin teaching this concept to children.
My overall goal by the end of Week 2 is for children to have an understanding of the word independence, along with exposure to I-charts, Three Ways to Read a Book, and good-fit books. Then, when Week 3 comes and I am ready to introduce Read to Self, things go smoothly because my students have the necessary background knowledge.