A Concern, A Worry Or A Rant

It has been an busy week back at school after a short Spring Break (one week is so short, but, oh well). For the next few weeks our morning routines will be quite different as we focus on our unit of study about the Amazon Rainforest. It has been a tradition for our kinders to raise money to save an acre of this rainforest through RARANN as we learn about the flora, fauna and the indegenous people to this ecosystem. Our classroom is turned into a rainforest splendid with animals, leaves and trees that the children color, cut, draw and paint. We raise awareness about the need to conserve energy and earn money as we Recycle, Reuse and Use Less/Don’t Use of disposable materials. This week we have heard wonderful authors share how they came to write their books. We also watched our PSA videos that we collaborate with our 3rd Grade Water Buddies, again focused on what we can do to take care of our dwindling natural resources: conserving water and pollution being a major focus for the students. So our morning literacy block has taken a back seat. But our learning, our passion, our interest and engagement has soared exponentially. That is not to say that my kinders are not drawn to the Daily 5, they are, and have become incredible readers using their new strategies to read books and join in discussions and conversations about the text. My concern then is one about dependency: has this become a crutch for them, where reading is by leveled books and questions are limited to those texts. My worry then is one about having the opportunity to reach higher, to take the risk, to take the challenge and move out of the comfort zone. My rant then is one about making time and taking time to share the read alouds that include the myriad of genres from fiction, realistic fiction, non fiction, trickster stories, folk tales, fables and more. I want these books to be way beyond their reading level, I want my kinders to get lost in the story telling, the story, I want them to feel joy, laughter, concern, worry, to identify in some way with the characters. To make connections that identify them as thinkers, explores and navigators of their own learning. So I get to be the captain of my ship for now as I learn to balance and steer this boat making room for my cherished books (old and new that my PLN on Twitter shares) and the balanced literacy program that will help them become independent accomplished readers! I wonder how many of you face this dilemma and how you resolve it?
A PicCollage of our PSA

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