Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Link: Teaching Reading: K-2

John Sinnett's Kindergarten Class

Looking Closer


Writer's Journal

Video Summary

The Teacher and the Class

Analyzing the Video
  Before Viewing
  First Impressions
  Looking Closer
  Summing Up

Making Connections

Selected Resources

Take a second look at John Sinnett's classroom to deepen your understanding of specific literacy strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.


Read-Aloud: Video Segment

Mr. Sinnett.

Find this segment 2 minutes and 9 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 3 minutes and 49 seconds.

Mr. Sinnett says that an important job of kindergarten teachers is to build students' background knowledge. In this video segment, the students read a book about Thanksgiving, focusing on holiday food.

  • How do Mr. Sinnett's questions build student knowledge of text and awareness of print?
  • How does Mr. Sinnett model good comprehension techniques? Note, in particular, how he invites students to make connections with the text.
  • On your Observational Checklist, note the ways in which Mr. Sinnett incorporates some of the Essential Components of Literacy into the read-aloud.

Independent Writing: Video Segment

Find this segment 9 minutes and 42 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 9 minutes and 5 seconds.

Mr. Sinnett talking to his class.

Mr. Sinnett takes his students through a careful, step-by-step process for writing, beginning with an illustration. "Your picture is your plan for words," says Mr. Sinnett as he launches a writing activity. Then, Mr. Sinnett and the class write together.

  • What are the four distinct steps that Mr. Sinnett takes the students through in their writing journals? How does his discussion with the students support the writing process?
  • How does Mr. Sinnett model good habits for independent journal writing? What are some of the examples of directions and explanations he uses when the students are writing? How do the writing procedures connect to what "good readers do" as well? What are the benefits of these procedures for the student as well as for the teacher?
  • Finally, how does Mr. Sinnett use the writing activity to create a community of learners in his classroom? How does this add to the overall tone created in the classroom?

Phonemic Awareness and Phonics: Video Segment

Mr. Sinnett's students.

Find this segment 18 minutes and 48 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 1 minute and 52 seconds.

Throughout the video, Mr. Sinnett demonstrates that phonemic awareness in kindergarten helps students develop as readers and writers. In this video segment, Mr. Sinnett uses a song to reinforce students' experiences with letters and their corresponding sounds.

  • How does Mr. Sinnett help his students to develop phonemic awareness?
  • How do these activities benefit the range of the learners in his classroom? How do these activities prepare students for first grade?

Next > Summing Up

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