Anita Archer Podcast

11. Decoding Instruction Kindergarten

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Decoding Instruction Kindergarten

Grade Level: Kindergarten

School: Kihei Elementary School

Location: Maui, Hawaii

Videographer: Dima Yaremenko

Elapsed Time:  12:39

Introduction: While the goal of reading instruction is always comprehension, systematic decoding instruction must occur in the primary grades to form the foundation for comprehension.  We must always remember that decoding is necessary, though not sufficient, for comprehension (Students also need sufficient vocabulary and background knowledge and language skills.)  There is no comprehension strategy powerful enough to compensate for the fact you can’t read the words.

Focus: As you watch this video,

1) Note any good instructional practices.


1) Note any good instructional practices.

  • Used instructional routines.

o   When introducing the initial set of words, the teacher used the following steps with each word.

§  (Writing first letter.)  “What sound?”

§  (Writing second letter.) “What sound?”

§  (Running finger under two letters.) “Blend it.”

§  (Writing third letter.) “What sound?”

§  (Running finger under three letters.) “Blend it.”

o   When rereading the list of words, the teacher again used an instructional routine so that all “cognitive energy” could be placed on the words not the task.

§  (Pointing to word.) “Sound out this word.  Put your thumb up when you know the word.”

§  “Whisper that word to your partner.”  (Teacher monitors individuals.)

§  (Tapping on word.) “What word?”

§  (Erasing word.)  “Gone word.”

  • Reread and sentences to increase automaticity on the words.
  • Stressed meaning even as words are being read
  • Modeled “curiosity”.  “I wonder….”
  • Gained responses from students (choral responses, partner responses, thumbs up, acting out).
  • Supported the English Language Learners through clear language, repetition, gestures, and demonstrations.
  • Maintained a positive climate.

o   Smiled and nodded at students.

o   Verbally acknowledged them.

o   Reinforced them with “Gone Word” game and Special Clap.

  • Put the back row of children in chairs so that they could see the instruction.
  • Delivered the instruction in an engaging manner.
  • Conveyed the joy of teaching and learning.

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