The ability to work in detail and develop reading and writing readiness is one of the benefits of full-day kindergarten which is being explored in Boulder County Schools.
“They’re so engaged,” said Creekside Elementary teacher Stefani Anderson, one of seven Boulder Valley full-day kindergarten teachers who use best practices like such shared writing. “It’s a fun and exciting way to learn.” She was serving as scribe to her 22 kindergarteners as they wrote a sentence together about spiders paralyzing prey.
The children talked about the meaning of the new words, such as venom, poisonous, and paralyze. As Anderson wrote, she used a card with letter sounds matched to pictures to phonetically spell.
Last year the district started a “kindergarten cadre” of teachers from seven schools. They create model classrooms, utilizing intentional play directed by the teacher, writing, movement, song, and development of oral language. The district will introduce these practices this year to the remaining 26 full-day kindergarten teachers. Their classrooms will be open for observation.