By: Liezel L. Diona, Teacher II
Malapad na Parang ES
Lobo Sub-Office, SDO Batangas
A young reader’s journey begins in kindergarten. This foundational year sets the stage for future academic success and a lifelong love for reading. Being proficient in reading in kindergarten provides students with a strong literacy foundation that will support their learning across all subjects throughout their educational journey. First, let us define what it means to be proficient in reading in kindergarten.
Proficiency in reading in kindergarten refers to a child’s ability to effectively engage with and understand written text. Readers of this age may not be able to comprehend complex or lengthy texts, but they should be able to decode and understand simple words and sentences. It is worth always mentioning that reading is one of the most crucial skills that children must learn in kindergarten.
It is an important ability that they will need for the rest of their life. Many kindergartens teach reading using a phonics-based method. This implies that youngsters learn to recognize the component sounds that comprise words. It is a kindergarten teacher’s responsibility to spark, nurture, and support a child’s interest in reading during this critical year. With this, there are things we must early identify and intervene with children to ensure their long-term success in reading.
First, our kindergarten students must be able to recognize letter sounds and associate them with corresponding letters. Research suggests that early identification and appropriate intervention can significantly improve long-term outcomes for children at risk of reading failure. To support these kindergarten learners, it is essential to provide targeted instruction and support in their early literacy skills. This can be achieved by implementing evidence-based strategies and interventions that focus on phonemic awareness, letter recognition, and early reading skills.
Second, is the recognition and understanding of letter groups or combinations, such as blends or digraphs. By teaching students to recognize and decode these letter groups, educators can further enhance their reading proficiency in kindergarten. Through this, these young learners can develop a more sophisticated understanding of the language — English or Filipino — and improve their reading proficiency. Giving them fun and engaging activities in which they can practice identifying and manipulating letter groups can make the learning process more enjoyable and effective.
Third, kindergarten students must be able to recognize common sight words. By introducing students to high-frequency sight words, educators can help them build a bank of words that they can recognize instantly, without having to sound them out. This bank of words can serve as a strong foundation for reading fluency and comprehension in kindergarten and beyond.
In addition, it is vital to monitor and track the progress of learners who may be struggling with reading in kindergarten. As kindergarten is where they start building the foundations of reading, we teachers must provide regular assessments and progress monitoring to identify students who may need additional support and instruction.
Nevertheless, with the aforementioned strategies that we can implement in kindergarten, we have to remember that the most important of all is that our learners develop a love for reading. By creating a positive and nurturing reading environment, incorporating engaging and diverse reading materials, and fostering a love for stories and books, educators can instill a lifelong passion for reading and set the stage for continuous growth and success in reading throughout their academic journey.