We are not born to read. Reading takes so many skills and capacities: from short- and long-term memory, to discerning symbols and assigning them meaning, to interpreting that meaning into words and then sentences. Eventually, we even have to use the information or stories that we read to make connections to our own lives and to other books.
Wow, that’s a lot to do in a very short period of time! The power of reading, though — the adventures and experiences we can have while reading and the relationships strengthened through reading — is well worth this learning process.
Here in Kindergarten at Harrisburg Academy, we are fortunate to have supportive parents who value reading regularly with their children. As research has shown time and again, a regular reading routine at home is a significant predictor of reading success for children.
Since the Academy educates children in preschool through 12th grade, we have the unique ability to facilitate guest readers (other students) in our classroom. This year, Kindergarten has developed a reading buddy relationship with 2nd grade. We had a great time reading our books to our buddies, and then they read some of their books to us!
Another fun addition this year that increases our opportunities for reading practice comes from the schedule change, offering Middle and Upper School students longer periods of time in which they can attend club meetings and Centers presentations as well as engage in independent study. We have several Upper School students who are coming to our classrooms every week to help with reading games, listen to reading by our students, and read to our students. The Kindergartners love reading with the “big kids,” and it’s so helpful to us as teachers because it gives us the opportunity to work in even smaller groups to pinpoint our reading strategy instruction.
We are thrilled to increase the amount of reading practice our children are getting, but also glad to remind our Upper School students about the complexity of learning to read (and hopefully, provide awareness of and appreciation for this skill their younger peers are working so diligently to acquire!). We’re looking forward to extending these special connections with Middle School students, too, in the new year.
Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.
Co-written by Shannon Novakoski (Kindergarten Teacher), Jennifer Graf (Assistant Kindergarten Teacher – Novakoski), Karen Weber (Kindergarten Teacher), and Kristina Yann (Assistant Kindergarten Teacher – Weber)