Kindergarten: our reading philosophy makes a difference!
Wheaton Christian Grammar School recognizes that each child develops differently as he/she begins the reading process. Therefore, we lay a rich and firm foundation for all children to develop a lifelong love of reading. We equip children with the skills and knowledge to become proficient readers.
Our classrooms are rich in literacy experiences, allowing students to develop as readers in an engaging environment. Children are immersed in fine literature, songs, poems, and rhymes which promote oral and written language growth. We teach and practice daily letter recognition, letter sounds, and sight words that form the foundation for reading success. We differentiate instruction to meet students at their developmental level, guiding and growing them into independent readers.
Definition of Reading
At Wheaton Christian Grammar School 100% of our students completed the kindergarten year at or above grade level in reading based on the 2015 TerraNova 3 test scores. With the rich exposure to print and the consistent instruction in phonics, most students will begin reading at some level in kindergarten.
According to the reading curriculum, there are three levels of readers in kindergarten:
Emergent Reader – An emergent reader can read a simple text containing some sight words and some decodable short vowel words. Usually the text has limited words on a page, controlled repeated vocabulary, repetitive sentence patterns, and strong picture support. The child is able to gain meaning from what they have read.
At-Level Reader – An at-level reader can read a more complex text containing many sight words, decodable short vowel words, and words with blends and digraphs. Usually the text has two to three sentences per page, more complex sentence structure, and less dependency on repetitive patterns and pictures. The child is able to gain meaning from what they have read.
Independent Reader – An independent reader can read a complex text containing richer vocabulary and more formal and descriptive language. Usually the text has longer sentences, more text per page, greater variation in sentence patterns, and less reliance on pictures. Independent readers read fluently, with more of their focus on comprehension than decoding.