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  • L I S T E N I N G A N D S P E A K I N G :F I R S T S T E P S I N T O L I T E R A C Y

    A Support Document for KindergartenTeachers and Speech-Language Pathologists

    2008Manitoba Educat ion, Cit izenship and Youth

  • Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth Cataloguing in Publication Data

    372.622 Listening and speaking : first steps intoliteracy : a support document for kindergartenteachers and speech-language pathologists.

    Includes bibliographical references.ISBN-13: 978-0-7711-3645-0

    1. Language arts (Kindergarten). 2. Languagearts (Kindergarten)Ability testing. 3. Oralcommunication. 4. Listening. 5. Speech.6. ChildrenLanguage. I. Manitoba. ManitobaEducation, Citizenship and Youth.

    Manitoba Education, Citizenship and YouthSchool Programs DivisionWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

    Every effort has been made to acknowledge original sources and to comply withcopyright law. If cases are identified where this has not been done, please notifyManitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth. Errors or omissions will be correctedin a future edition. Sincere thanks to the authors and publishers who allowedtheir original material to be used.

    All images found in this document are copyright protected and should not beextracted, accessed, or reproduced for any purpose other than for their intendededucational use in this document.

    Any websites referenced in this document are subject to change. Educators areadvised to preview and evaluate websites and online resources beforerecommending them for student use.

    Print copies of this resource can be purchased from the Manitoba TextBook Bureau (stock number 80591). Order online at .

    This resource is also available on the Manitoba Education, Citizenship andYouth website at .

    Websites are subject to change without notice.

  • C o n t e n t s iii

    C O N T E N T S

    Acknowledgements vii

    Purpose 1

    Philosophy of Inclusion 2

    How to Use This Document 3

    Introduction 5

    The Importance of Oral Language 6

    Supporting Principles 7

    Collaboration 7

    Classroom-based Assessment 7

    Chapter 1: The English Language Arts Learning Outcomes and the 9Listening and Speaking Competency Areas

    English Language Arts General Learning Outcomes 11

    Listening and Speaking Competency Areas 12

    Combining to Maximize 13

    Specific Learning Outcomes and Competency Descriptors 15

    Chapter 2: A Model for Maximizing Listening and Speaking in the 19Kindergarten Classroom

    Collaboration 21

    Classroom-based Assessment 22

    Observation 23

    Record Keeping 25

    Differentiating Instruction 26

    Putting It All Together: A Model for Maximizing Listening and Speaking 26

    Starting Out 27

    Getting Acquainted 27

    Planning for a Variety of Learners 27

  • Learning about Particular Learners 28

    Monitoring Particular Learners 28

    Reflecting on a Classroom of Learners/Planning for a Variety of Learners 28

    Chapter 3: Literacy-Rich Learning Contexts to Maximize Listening 31and Speaking

    Routines 35

    Music 37

    Dramatic Play 41

    Language Experience 45

    Learning Centres/Work Stations 47

    Discovery Centre/Station 48

    Show and Tell Centre/Station 49

    Snack Centres/Stations 50

    Art Centres/Stations 51

    Classroom Library Centre/Reading Corner 52

    Sorting Centre/Station 53

    Book Talk Centre/Work Station 54

    Vocabulary Centre/Work Station 55

    Student-Created Wordless Picture Books 57

    Stop, Look, Listen, Think, Respond 61

    Read Aloud/Shared Reading 63

    Guided Imagery and Movement 67

    Personal Response 69

    Representation of a Personal Response 69

    Retelling 70

    Response to the Language and Sounds of Poetry 71

    Goal Setting, Self-Assessment, and Reflection 72

    Author/Illustrator Study 75

    Blackline Masters 79

    Focused Observation Template 81

    Individual Student Profile 83

    Maximizing Listening and Speaking Action Plan 85

    Class Profile of Listening and Speaking Competency Areas 87

    D o c u m e n t T i t l eiv

  • C o n t e n t s v

    Appendices 89

    Appendix A: Making Meaning through Oral Language: A Detailed View of the Listening and Speaking Competency Areas 91

    Appendix B: Grammar Support Page 93

    Appendix C: Phonology Support Page 95

    Appendix D: Using Kindergarten to Grade 4 English Language Arts:A Foundation for Implementation to Plan for Learning and Assessment 97

    Appendix E: Matching Listening and Speaking Competency Areasto the Kindergarten English Language Arts Specific Learning Outcomes 99

    Glossary 109

    Bibliography 115

  • A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s vii

    A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S

    Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth gratefully acknowledges the contributions of thefollowing educators in the development of Listening and Speaking: First Steps into Literacy: ASupport Document for Kindergarten Teachers and Speech-Language Pathologists.

    (continued)

    Members of theDevelopment Team

    Veronica Adams Brandon School Division

    Joanne Dumaine Division scolaire franco-manitobaine

    Carol Ferguson Pembina Trails School Division

    Carol Frisch Prairie Spirit School Division

    Leslie Goerzen Sunrise School Division

    Cori Gordon-Reid Frontier School Division

    Sharon Halldorson Seven Oaks School Division

    Brenda Margetts Interlake School Division

    Marlene McKay Frontier School Division

    Ginette Pritchard Western School Division

    Lynda Rosenstock Manitoba Child Care Program

    Sandra Samatte Winnipeg School Division

    Doreen Wood Frontier School Division

    Members of the Pilot Team

    Kim Baskerville Park West School Division

    Julie Bridgeman Park West School Division

    Nicola Cayer Pembina Trails School Division

    Beth Geisel Turtle River School Division

    Michelle Grenier Prairie Spirit School Division

    Stacey Guilford-Perrin Western School Division

    Karen Kernaghan Seven Oaks School Division

    Andrea Marginet Prairie Spirit School Division

    Cynthia McNicol Pembina Trails School Division

    Yvonne Prairie Seven Oaks School Division

    Ginette Pritchard Western School Division

  • L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c yviii

    (continued)

    Members of theDevelopment Team

    (continued)

    Jeannie Reid River East Transcona School Division

    Kelly Shipley-Vincent Seven Oaks School Division

    Helen Sommer Turtle River School Division

    Cathy Spack River East Transcona School Division

    Manitoba Education,Citizenship and Youth

    Staff School Programs Division

    and Bureau de lducationfranaise Division

    Joan BartleyProject Co-leader

    Development Unit Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment Branch

    Joanna BlaisDirector

    Program and Student Services Branch

    Lee-Ila BotheCoordinator

    Document Productions ServicesEducational Resources Branch

    Diane CooleyActing Director(Until March 2007)

    Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment Branch

    Darryl GervaisProject Co-manager(From May 2007)

    Development Unit Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment Branch

    Leslie GoerzenProject Co-leader(From Sept. 2003)

    Student Services UnitProgram and Student Services Branch

    Claudette LaurieConsultant

    Bureau de lducation franaise

    Anne LongstonProject Sponsor

    School Programs Division

    Aileen NajduchDirector(From April 2007)

    Development Unit Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment Branch

    Marjorie PoorWriter/PublicationsEditor

    Document Productions ServicesEducational Resources Branch

    Mark RobertsonProject Co-leader(Until Sept. 2003)

    Student Services UnitProgram and Student Services Branch

    Marilyn TaylorProject Co-manager

    Student Services UnitProgram and Student Services Branch

    Tim Thorne-TjomslandManager

    Student Services UnitProgram and Student Services Branch

  • A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s ix

    Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth also thanks the many interested individuals andconsultation groups who provided valuable advice and assistance in the development andreview of this document. In addition, Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youthacknowledges the contribution of Healthy Child Manitoba.

    Manitoba Education,Citizenship and Youth

    Staff School Programs Division

    and Bureau de lducationfranaise Division

    (continued)

    Lindsay WalkerDesktop Publisher

    Document Productions ServicesEducational Resources Branch

    Shelley WarkentinProject Co-leader(September 2005 toJanuary 2007)Consultant(September 2002 to June 2005)

    Development Unit Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment Branch

    Bureau de lducation franaise

  • P U R P O S E

    The purpose of Listening and Speaking: First Steps into Literacy: A Support Document forKindergarten Teachers and Speech-Language Pathologists is to help Kindergarten teachersand speech-language pathologists (SLPs) enhance the oral language* of all Kindergartenchildren within the playful literacy learning work and talk of the Kindergartenclassroom.

    This document draws together the Kindergarten teachers expertise in the Englishlanguage arts curriculum and the speech-language pathologists expertise in orallanguage to create a common understanding in order to facilitate the oral languagedevelopment of all children through collaboration and classroom-based assessment forlearning (formative assessment).

    The term educators will be used to refer to this primary audience of Kindergartenteachers and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) throughout this document, inrecognition of the collaborative role both teachers and SLPs play in the literacy-richKindergarten classroom.

    P u r p o s e 1

    __________

    * Terms printed in bold on first use are defined in the Glossary at the end of this document.

  • P H I L O S O P H Y O F I N C L U S I O N

    Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth is committed to fostering inclusion for allpeople.

    Inclusion is a way of thinking and acting that allows every individual to feel accepted,valued, and safe. An inclusive community consciously evolves to meet the changingneeds of its members. Through recognition and support, an inclusive communityprovides meaningful involvement and equal access to the benefits of citizenship.

    In Manitoba, we embrace inclusion as a means of enhancing the well-being of everymember of the community. By working together, we strengthen our capacity to providethe foundation for a richer future for all of us.

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y2

  • H O W T O U S E T H I S D O C U M E N T

    This document is intended to support Kindergarten teachers and SLP in the work theyalready do in Kindergarten classroomsthe model proposed in Listening and Speaking:First Steps into Literacy is a way to help them to focus instruction and assessment on orallanguage, not a way to increase the amount of instruction or work that educators do.

    Listening and Speaking: First Steps into Literacy is organized into the following chapters:

    Chapter 1: The English Language Arts Learning Outcomes and the Listening andSpeaking Competency AreasThis chapter describes the English language artsgeneral learning outcomes and how they connect and are enhanced by the fivelistening and speaking competency areas that have been identified. This chapterprovides educators with the common language needed to plan for learning and toshare what they learn about their students with parents and other members of theschool team.

    Chapter 2: A Model for Maximizing Listening and Speaking in the KindergartenClassroomThis chapter describes a model for Kindergarten classroom teachersand SLPs based on two interconnected processes: collaboration and classroom-based assessment.

    Chapter 3: Literacy-Rich Contexts to Maximize Listening and SpeakingThischapter provides a variety of literacy-rich authentic learning contexts, includingboth routines and instructional strategies, that focus on listening and speaking in theKindergarten classroom.

    The chapters move from a general understanding of oral language development to aparticular model that allows for collaboration and classroom-based assessment, andfinally to the specific learning contexts in which educators observe listening andspeaking in a natural and authentic literacy-rich environment.

    Each team of educators will develop in its own way and use this document accordingly.Some teams may find they already share a common understanding of the importance oforal language, but they need to learn more about working together to plan appropriatelearning contextsthese teams may focus on the learning contexts provided in Chapter 3. Others may be used to working together in the classroom, but not as familiarwith how learning outcomes can be assessed in terms of listening and speakingtheseteams may focus more on Chapters 1 and 2.

    H o w t o U s e t h i s D o c u m e n t 3

  • This document includes the following additional components:

    Blackline MastersThis includes four blackline masters (BLMs) for use andadaptation.

    Appendix A: Making Meaning through Oral Language: A Detailed View of theListening and Speaking Competency AreasThis appendix outlines the manyways children use oral language to make meaning and the diverse purposes forlistening and speaking with a variety of people in a range of contexts.

    Appendix B: Grammar Support PageThis appendix provides information thatsupports the understanding of grammar in the classroom.

    Appendix C: Phonology Support PageThis appendix provides information thatsupports the understanding of phonology in the classroom.

    Appendix D: Using Kindergarten to Grade 4 English Language Arts: A Foundationfor Implementation to Plan for Learning and AssessmentThis appendix focuseson determining targets for instruction and observation based on the needs oflearners.

    Appendix E: Matching Listening and Speaking Competency Areas to theKindergarten English Language Arts Specific Learning OutcomesThis appendixincludes a chart outlining particular connections between the Kindergarten Englishlanguage arts specific learning outcomes and the listening and speaking contextsthat can be used to focus instruction and formative assessment.

    GlossaryThe glossary defines terms that have been printed in bold throughout thedocument. Glossary terms are printed in bold the first time they are used.

    BibliographyThe bibliography provides an overview of all of the sourcesconsulted and cited in the development of this document.

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y4

  • I N T R O D U C T I O N

    The Kindergarten classroom in Manitoba has a longstanding tradition of being a placefor a time for learning, a time for joy. This philosophy of learning and teaching, based ontheories of early childhood,* is still the basis of todays Kindergarten English languagearts curriculum. Learner centredness, purposeful play, inquiry, and a natural/authentic(real-life) learning environment are planned literacy contexts for speaking and listeningas children interact with their learning environment, peers, and adults to constructmeaning of their worldthis is indeed a time for learning, a time for joy.

    Speaking and listening are the foundation of literacy. Literacy for emergent literacylearners, though much more complex than described here, involves two interrelateddimensions known as a set toward literacy or a literacy set:

    oral tradition (nursery rhymes, songs, chants, dance, etc.) book experience (gained through exposure to quality literature)

    The literacy set begins to develop at birth and continues as the child interacts withparents, family, and community (Holdaway, Foundations 3952, 5759). A diversity offamily and community experiences, including a variety of cultural traditions andlanguages, means that children arrive in Kindergarten with great differences in theirliteracy sets. Parents** are their childrens first teachers, and educators recognize this

    and build on it as they collaborate closely with the parentsand the students in order to celebrate this cultural andlinguistic diversity and make connections between newlearning and the childrens home experiences.

    Some children come to Kindergarten with a rich literacy setthat is evident in their listening and speaking skills.Educators will notice that they are already meetingexpectations at the outset of the Kindergarten year. However,

    the Kindergarten classroom is often the place where many children will take essentialfirst steps along their literacy learning journey. All emergent literacy learners will thrivein a supportive classroom where listening and speaking experiences are planned aroundopportunities for exploring language and interacting with peers, adults, and qualityliterature.

    I n t r o d u c t i o n 5

    __________

    * Theorists John Dewey, Maria Montessori, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky, and the Reggio Emilia approach from Italy, inCarol Garhart Mooney, 2000.

    ** In this document, the terms parent and parents refer to parents, guardians, and caregivers. The term parents isused with the recognition that in some cases only one parent may be involved in a childs education.

    We must recognize and honorthese ways of knowing as weplan instruction to meet theneeds of all children.

    Rog, Early Literacy Instruction 90

  • The Importance of Oral Language

    From birth, children engage in meaningful communication with those around them,interacting by using babbles and gestures. All children have the ability to learnlanguage, and they begin to communicate with everyone around them, practising andrehearsing sounds and gestures and developing their personality and very sense ofbeing. As they experience repeated situations such as mealtimes and play, they hearlanguage associated with the situations and eventually they learn to understand andexpress themselves in this language (Britton; Gonzales; Fisher, 17). Young children look,listen, and talk to socialize, express needs, share ideas and feelings, and to have fun.

    Learners continually use listening and speaking to explore, comprehend, andcommunicate ideas and feelings from early childhood into adulthood. An individualsuse of listening and speaking in day-to-day living and learning is much greater than hisor her use of, for example, reading and writing. Oral language is how we communicate

    with others in a wide range of social contexts such asplaying, eating meals, shopping, et cetera. Language is allaround usin homes, in schools, in workplaces, and so on.See Appendix A: Making Meaning through Oral Language:A Detailed View of the Listening and Speaking CompetencyAreas for more detail.

    Oral language development is key to the success of early literacy learners. Listening andspeaking support the development of childrens thinking and reasoning, and theirreading, writing, viewing, and representing skills.

    In addition, oral language is essential to collaboration and the maintenance of socialrelationships. If children are to be successful literacy learners in the Kindergartenclassroom and beyond, they need to be capable and confident listeners and speakers.

    Refocusing learning, teaching, and formative assessment in the Kindergarten classroomon oral language will better prepare learners for their future as fully literate participantsin their world.

    Oral and written language are intricately connected because spoken language is the basis for the development of reading and writing spoken and written language work together to develop language and literacy competence

    from childhood through to adulthood children who struggle with oral language often have difficulties with reading and writing, and

    children who struggle with reading and writing often have problems with oral language instruction in written language can develop oral language

    (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 17)

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y6

    Oral language is the primaryfoundation of literacy.

    Manitoba Education andTraining, Framework 5.

  • Supporting Principles

    The following concepts and processes have become supporting principles for theclassroom model that is at the core of Listening and Speaking: First Steps into Literacy (seeChapter 2 for a description of the model):

    collaboration classroom-based assessment

    Collaboration

    Collaboration among educators allows them to generate and share ideas and strategiesand to pool resources to maximize learning experiences in the classroom. Collaborationbetween Kindergarten classroom teachers and speech-language pathologists, with thesupport of school administrators, is an important component of the model that isdescribed in Chapter 2.

    Collaboration among educators begins with parents, who, as their childrens firstteachers, are the schools first source of information about the children and theirlearning. This collaboration among educators, parents, and students will grow andchange throughout the course of a childs education.

    Classroom-based Assessment

    Classroom-based assessment is when educators gather information about what theirstudents know and can do during authentic learning experiences in the classroom. Thisinformation, which is gathered over time, is used to provide descriptive feedback tostudents and to inform teaching. In the Kindergarten classroom, educators gain most ofthis information through observation of learners in literacy-rich learning/teachingcontexts. Instruction can then be differentiated to meet the diverse needs of students in aclass.

    Effective educators believe that all students can learn. They create environments thatinvite students to learn, and they welcome diversity in their classrooms. Educatorsrespond to the diverse needs of their students and ensure the success of all of theirstudents by differentiating instruction based on their observations.

    Differentiated instruction means offering students multiple options at each stage of thelearning process. It recognizes that there are many avenues to reach student learningoutcomes and that each student needs a complex and unique mix of basic instruction andpractice to reach his or her potential. (Manitoba Education and Training, Success, 1.5)

    A variety of instructional strategies (modelling, explicit instruction, guided practice,descriptive feedback, etc.) and student groupings (whole class, interest groupings, co-operative groupings, flexible groupings, and individual students) are used toprovide individual students with the instruction, scaffolding, and practice they requireto succeed in their learning.

    I n t r o d u c t i o n 7

  • Differentiation of instruction involves the gradual release of responsibility, where theresponsibility for learning gradually shifts from the educators to the students. Pearsonand Gallagher refer to this shift as the gradual release of responsibility, and theydiagram how the process works in their Model of Explicit Instruction. Educatorsintroduce a learning strategy with explicit instructionand modelling, followed by guided student practicewith teacher feedback, and eventually leading toindependent student application of the skill orstrategy. In the beginning, instruction is educator led,then instruction is shared/negotiated by theeducator and the student, and finally, instruction isstudent led.

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y8

    See Kindergarten to Grade 4English Language Arts: AFoundation for Implementation,Overview2021, and Successfor All Learners: A Handbook onDifferentiating Instruction, 6.4.

  • C H A P T E R 1

    The English Language Arts LearningOutcomes and the Listening and SpeakingCompetency Areas

  • C H A P T E R 1 : T H E E N G L I S H L A N G U A G E A R T SL E A R N I N G O U T C O M E S A N D T H E L I S T E N I N G A N DS P E A K I N G C O M P E T E N C Y A R E A S

    English language arts (ELA) in the Kindergarten classroom is largely about listening andspeaking, and this chapter describes how the listening and speaking strands can beenhanced by focusing on oral language.

    English Language Arts General Learning Outcomes

    The six language artslistening, speaking, viewing, representing, reading, andwritingare integrated throughout all five English language arts general learningoutcomes (GLOs); listening and speaking are two of the six language arts. (To ensurethat literacy instruction is balanced, Kindergarten teachers will refer to Kindergarten toGrade 4 English Language Arts: A Foundation for Implementation.)

    Key to all of these English language arts learning outcomes is the making of meaningthrough language. In the Early Years, much of this making of meaning is through orallanguage, that is, through listening and speaking. Children make meaning through playand interaction as they explore their home, their classroom, and their community, asthey talk with their family, classmates, and others in the school and community, and asthey share ideas, feelings, and experiences and make connections with others and theworld around them.

    The five ELA GLOs are as follows: GLO 1: Students will listen, speak, read, write, view, and represent to explore thoughts, ideas,

    feelings, and experiences. GLO 2: Students will listen, speak, read, write, view, and represent to comprehend and

    respond personally and critically to oral, literary, and media texts. GLO 3: Students will listen, speak, read, write, view, and represent to manage ideas and

    information. GLO 4: Students will listen, speak, read, write, view, and represent to enhance the clarity and

    artistry of communication. GLO 5: Students will listen, speak, read, write, view, and represent to celebrate and to build

    community.

    C h a p t e r 1 11

  • Listening and Speaking Competency Areas

    A development team of Kindergarten teachers and speech-language pathologistsworked together to look in more depth at how oral language connects to the ELAcurriculum. They identified five listening and speaking competency areas that reflectcurrent speech-language literature and early childhood literacy sources* and that can beseen in the ELA GLOs: conversation, grammar, oral stories, phonology, and vocabulary.

    These listening and speaking competency areas can be stated in detail: ConversationMaking meaning through conversation occurs when children engage with

    communication partners and exchange shared meaningful and relevant ideas and information. Grammar*Making meaning through grammar occurs when children understand and use the

    rule system of a language to enhance comprehension and clarity of communication. Oral StoriesMaking meaning through oral stories occurs when children listen to, create, and

    share connected ideas and experiences. Phonology*Making meaning through the phonological system of language occurs when

    children think about and use sounds in oral language. VocabularyMaking meaning through vocabulary occurs when children use and understand

    words to describe, explain, comprehend, and categorize.

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y12

    __________

    [*Barnes; Barrs, et al; Bloom and Lahey; Education Department of Western Australia; Halliday; Holdaway; Piaget,Montessori, Vygotsky, and Dewey in Mooney]

    * See Appendix B: Grammar Support Page and Appendix C: Phonology Support Page for information to support anunderstanding of these concepts in the classroom.

  • Combining to Maximize

    In this resource, the ELA GLOs are brought together with the listening and speakingcompetency areas to extend and enrich the listening and speaking strands of the ELAcurriculum and therefore the literacy learning in the Kindergarten classroom. Thediagram below shows how the expertise of the classroom teacher and the speech-language pathologist combine to maximize the listening and speaking of Kindergartenstudents.

    Figure 1C O M B I N I N G E X P E R T I S E I N T H E K I N D E R G A R T E NC L A S S R O O M

    KindergartenTeacher

    ELA LearningOutcomes

    Speech-LanguagePathologist

    Listening and SpeakingCompetency Areas

    Educators

    Maximizing Listening and Speaking of

    Kindergarten Literacy Learners

    C h a p t e r 1 13

  • The following insert describes this enhancement in the context of the daily life of theKindergarten literacy learner:

    Thus, when oral language becomes the focus for making meaning in a literacy-richKindergarten classroom, listening and speaking are an integral part of the playfulmeaning making that we see and hear throughout the daily life of the emergentliteracy learner.

    GLO 1: Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences.

    Kindergarten children bring their personal experiences, cultural diversity, various languages, and a literacy set (Holdaway, 1978) to their school learning community.

    Through planned and spontaneous oral interaction with others, these emergent learners extendtheir understanding about who they are as literacy learners and take ownership for their literacylearning journey.

    GLO 2: Comprehend and respond personally and critically to oral, literary, and media texts.

    Emergent literacy learners experience quality literature through read alouds, sharedreading, and their own choices of texts to explore, make connections, and share with others.Kindergarten children naturally respond to various texts through talk, play, and the arts.

    GLO 3: Manage ideas and information.

    Inquiry is the childs natural curiosity to explore the nature of things; in the Kindergarten classroom, this is all about listening and speaking. Hands-on, minds-on,

    talk-about experiences with peers and adult guidance stimulate deeper and creative thinking tosolve problems and develop new understandings and questions.

    GLO 4: Enhance the clarity and artistry of communication.

    Through various modes of communication, including the arts, emergent literacy learners share with/perform for a real audience their voice, stories, and ideas which reflect their everyday lives and the quality literature that they are experiencing.

    GLO 5: Celebrate and build community.

    Children build confidence and learn who they are within their classroom learning community through speaking and listening with others. Co-operation, respect, and diversity are celebrated frequently in the Kindergarten classroom.

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y14

  • Specific Learning Outcomes and Competency Descriptors

    Like the ELA learning outcomes, the listening and speaking competency areas are alsointegral to all learning contexts and may be the focus for instruction and formativeassessment. Whether educators choose to focus on ELA learning outcomes or listeningand speaking competency areas, they will be uncovering the ELA curriculum andenriching the listening and speaking skills of emergent literacy learners. The termtargets will refer to the clustering of appropriate listening and speaking competencydescriptors and/or ELA specific learning outcomes. These targets, determined by theneeds of learners, are the focus for planned playful learning, instruction, and formativeassessment within the daily work and talk of Kindergarten students. Appendix D givesan example to show this clustering of outcomes from GLO 3 in the Kindergarten to Grade 4 English Language Arts: A Foundation for Implementation to focus observation. (SeeAppendix D and the PowerPoint tutorial on the Manitoba Education, Citizenship andYouth website at for more information aboutdetermining targets.)

    Just as the ELA general learning outcomes are broken down into specific learningoutcomes for each grade level, including Kindergarten, so can the five listening andspeaking competency areas be broken down into more specific, observable descriptors.The chart on the next page (Figure 2: Competency Descriptors for Listening andSpeaking) outlines these descriptorshow educators see and hear listening andspeaking in the Kindergarten classroom.

    Because Kindergarten students develop and grow so quickly, like the growth of a flowerin a single season, this document uses the terms sprouting, budding, andblooming: sprouting refers to the children who need ongoing help to meetexpectations, budding refers to the children who need guidance to meet expectations,and blooming refers to the children who are meeting expectations at the end ofKindergarten. Sprouting and budding are growing toward those end-of-yearexpectations. Children grow and develop at different rates within and acrosscompetency areas. Any one child could demonstrate a variety of abilities; for example, achild may be sprouting as far as initiating a conversation goes, but be budding in termsof following directions.

    Determining targets (learning outcomes and/or competency areas) for instruction and focusedobservation is based on the learning needs and inquiry of children. Rather than using thetargets as a checklist or a means of covering content, educators identify the appropriate targetsthat specific children will need to develop enduring understandings. This facilitates an inquiryapproach for both educators and childreneducators gain a deeper understanding of what eachlearner knows and can do in order to plan next steps, and children explore, question, construct,discover, and infer meaning to deepen their understanding of their world and to pose newquestions. Targets change from the beginning of the year to the middle of the year to the end ofthe year, as the learners move toward end-of-year outcomes.

    C h a p t e r 1 15

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    Figure 2 C O M P E T E N C Y D E S C R I P T O R S F O R L I S T E N I N G A N D S P E A K I N G

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y16

  • To see the relationships among the listening and speaking competency descriptors andthe 56 ELA specific learning outcomes and how they connect in the Kindergartenclassroom, see

    Chapter 3: Literacy-Rich Learning Contexts to Maximize Listening and Speaking Appendix E: Matching Listening and Speaking Competency Areas to the

    Kindergarten English Language Arts Specific Learning Outcomes

    While there are not direct correspondences between particular ELA specific learningoutcomes and particular listening and speaking descriptors, they are interconnected.The targets for quality instruction, learning, and assessment are clustered withinliteracy-rich learning contexts planned to maximize listening and speaking skills,strategies, and attitudes for all Kindergarten learners, whether they may be described assprouting, budding, or blooming.

    C h a p t e r 1 17

  • C H A P T E R 2

    A Model for Maximizing Listening andSpeaking in the Kindergarten Classroom

  • C H A P T E R 2 : A M O D E L F O R M A X I M I Z I N GL I S T E N I N G A N D S P E A K I N G I N T H E K I N D E R G A R T E NC L A S S R O O M

    Kindergarten classrooms buzz with talk, and in the model that follows, educators buildon that natural oral language to enhance the listening and speaking of their learners.Listening and Speaking: First Steps into Literacy promotes a flexible learning/teachingsituation where Kindergarten teachers and speech-language pathologists (SLPs)collaborate to

    plan rich and meaningful classroom literacy learning environments and contexts observe what the children know, feel, and can do in relation to listening and

    speaking reflect on their observations and instruction use observations and reflections to differentiate instruction

    Even if this flexible collaborative situation cannot be attained, the key process ofclassroom-based assessment will ensure that every child has an opportunity to developoptimal competence in listening and speaking.

    The model described here is based on two interconnected processes: collaboration andclassroom-based assessment.

    Collaboration

    Collaboration is a process that develops and deepens over time. The specific structurethat the collaboration among educators takes depends on the needs and resources ofparticular schools, classrooms, and individuals. The model for maximizing listening andspeaking in the Kindergarten classroom that follows promotes the collaboration of

    Kindergarten teachers and SLPs, who work together toprovide opportunities to maximize the listening andspeaking, and ultimately the literacy learning, of children inthe Kindergarten classroom.

    Kindergarten teachers and SLPs together with the studentsand parents make up the main teamother educators suchas school administrators, resource teachers, student servicesadministrators, divisional consultants, and so on may also bepart of the collaborative team. Classroom teachers and SLPswill consider their own situations and structure theirparticular teams themselves, based on what will work forthem.

    C h a p t e r 2 21

    Criteria for successful teaminginclude open, effective communication administrative support trust and sharing belief in a common goal understanding roles flexibility organization commitment extended thinking

    (Bubnowicz and Halldorson)

  • Collaboration between the classroom teacher and the SLP will vary from division todivision, school to school, and classroom to classroom. Ideally, they will haveopportunities to share in a classroom-based assessment process and to plan and reflecton their observations together. Meetings/discussions for the purposes of planning andreflection may be very informal as educators pass in the hallway or chat while childrenare entering or leaving the classroom. Discussions can also be via telephone or emailthe key is to be in contact, in whatever way works.

    Collaborative relationships are fluidrelationships shift depending on the students, thestaffing, the time period, et cetera. People move closer to each other or may move fartherapart, depending on circumstances. As a result, team members need to be flexible andthey need to communicate openly and effectively.

    The Kindergarten teacher is responsible for the learning and teaching in the classroom,but collaboration with the speech-language pathologist provides greater expertise formeeting the needs of all Kindergarten learners. For effective collaboration, educatorsneed to plan how and when to work together, ideally with the support of schooladministrators. Planning often begins in the spring for the following school year, as soonas educators meet their future students and their parents.

    The collaborative process outlined in this chapter draws on the expertise of theeducators, and focuses on the listening and speaking of emergent/developing literacylearners in the context of an authentic Kindergarten learning environment. WhenKindergarten teachers and SLPs share their professional knowledge and use it todifferentiate instruction, Kindergarten children have greater opportunities to develop ascompetent listeners and speakers. In addition, the educators will gain insight from oneanother about the childrens competence in oral language and how best to enhance it.

    Classroom-based Assessment

    Classroom-based assessment is a cyclic process within everyday instruction andlearning that encompasses ongoing planning, observing, scaffolding, responding, andreflecting on learning and teaching to improve student learning.

    Classroom-based assessment is formative (assessment for learning). Educators createvarious authentic literacy-rich contexts that will expose childrens thinking and learningin order to relate their observations to the intended learning targetsthe listening andspeaking competency descriptors and the ELA specific learning outcomes. (See Chapter 1: The English Language Arts Learning Outcomes and the Listening andSpeaking Competency Areas.) These specific learning outcomes and competencydescriptors will be referred to as targets in this chapter, that is, the targets for learning,teaching, and formative assessment.

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y22

  • Key characteristics of classroom-based assessment in the Kindergarten classroom are

    observation record keeping differentiated instruction

    Observation

    Observation has always been the main method of assessing learning in the Kindergartenclassroom. Educators continually and purposefully observe their children as they goabout their daily routines and learningexperiencesas they enter the classroom,participate in whole-class circle time, maketheir choices and group for learningcentres/work stations, eat their snacks,engage in purposeful play, prepare to leave,and so on.

    When educators observe children in a varietyof learning contexts over time, they learnabout the childrens strengths and any areasthat need support and development. Theyuse this knowledge to inform their planningand instruction.

    Observation ranges from noticing to keepingrecords of observations, that is, from passingobservation to focused observation.Educators make numerous passingobservations as they work with childrenthroughout the day. In fact, observation throughout the phases of learning (activating,acquiring, applying) allows educators to flexibly and fluidly support children in theirlearning.

    Educators are not observing all children at the same time but are selecting children toobserve over a period of time and in a variety of planned whole class and small group(interest, co-operative, and flexible groupings) literacy-rich learning contexts.Depending on students needs, some students will be selected for observation morefrequently than others.

    The following figure diagrams a cycle of instruction/observation and the transitionsamong a variety of groupings within the daily life of a Kindergarten classroom. Thislearning/teaching/assessment process may occur over months, over a week, over thecourse of a day, or even within minutes during the activity of the busy Kindergartenclassroom.

    C h a p t e r 2 23

    The purpose of kidwatching is to helpchildren build their capabilities to uselanguage to communicate and learn.Teachers achieve this by inquiring into whochildren are, what they know, what theycan do, and how they learn. Because someknowledge is evident in childrens dailylanguage and actions, kidwatchers arealways observing with a watchful,reflective eye. Because other knowledgelies beneath the surface, kidwatcherstransact with children and their families tounearth what else is there. Teachers makethese efforts in order to support childrenas they build upon their existing literacyknowledge and practices . . .

    (Owocki and Goodman, 14)

  • Figure 3 A N E N V I R O N M E N T F O R C L A S S R O O M - B A S E D A S S E S S M E N T

    Whole ClassCircle Time

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    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y24

  • Record Keeping

    In order to monitor childrens learning over time andto plan for differentiation, educators need to maintaindated observational records of behaviours andverbatim speech samples. These need to be keptsimple and time-efficient. Each educator will have apreferred way to manage record keeping and schooldivisions may have policies regarding recordkeeping.

    The section Blackline Masters provides record-keeping templates to use and/or adapt. Thetemplates are meant to be adapted to suit particulareducators needs, not to be followed in a prescribedway.

    __________

    * See Figure 2: Competency Descriptors for Listening and Speaking, Individual Student Profile BLM, Appendix E,and/or Kindergarten to Grade 4 English Language Arts: A Foundation for Implementation.

    Focused observation is purposeful and systematic. Planning for focused observation includes thefollowing steps:

    1. Review the listening and speaking competency areas and how they relate to the learningoutcomes. What do we want our students to know, be able to do, and feel about themselvesas literacy learners?

    2. Identify two or three children for focused observation. Who do we need to know more about?

    3. Select one or two targets for instruction/assessment.* What do we need to look for?

    4. Plan learning contexts (see Chapter 3) in which to observe the children. Where and when willwe observe?

    5. Determine how to record observations of childrens learning over time. How will we monitorlearning over time? (See below.)

    C h a p t e r 2 25

    Tips for Anecdotal RecordKeeping Date observations for

    reference. Record the context/learning

    experience. Record observable

    behaviours/verbatim speech. Use significant abbreviations. Support records with student

    examples (e.g., video clips,images, art work) as evidence.

    (Boyd-Batstone, 233; Manitoba Education and Youth,

    Independent Together)

  • Differentiating Instruction

    Educators plan their whole classroom around differentiating instructionthisdifferentiation is the life of the Kindergarten classroom.

    After making observations and discussing/reflecting onwhat their observations might mean for classroominstruction, educators use what theyve learned as the basisfor differentiating learning opportunities in the Kindergartenclassroom. Differentiation is done by planning for a varietyof groupings, instructional strategies, and resources, andtailoring them to the needs of particular children. In the

    Kindergarten classroom, this could mean directing certain children to the dramatic playcentre to encourage conversation and the use of bodylanguage, or grouping particular children together forchanting poetry or singing songs to work onarticulating certain sounds.

    In general, educators differentiate at least threecurricular elements: content, process, and product.Learning opportunities may be simple or complex;tasks may be highly structured or open-ended;students might work independently or as part of agroup. Students may show their learning by talkingabout what they have learned, by demonstrating anew skill, or by making something. The intent ofdifferentiating instruction is to maximize each students growth and individual successby meeting each student where he or she is and assisting in the learning process.

    Putting It All Together: A Model for Maximizing Listening and Speaking

    In the model outlined here, the processes of classroom-based assessment andcollaboration between Kindergarten teachers and speech-language pathologists combineto enhance the oral language development of learners.

    Although the model is described here in a step-by-step fashion, the following phasesmay be fluid and dynamic within the various team situations:

    Starting Out Getting Acquainted Planning for a Variety of Learners Adjusting for/Learning about Specific Learners Monitoring Specific Learners Reflecting on a Classroom of Learners/Planning for a Variety of Learners

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y26

    For more information ondifferentiating instruction, seeManitoba Education documentsSuccess for All Learners andIndependent Together.

    Differentiated instruction meansa method of instruction orassessment that alters thepresentation of the curriculumfor the purpose of responding tothe learning diversity, interestsand strengths of pupils.

    The Public Schools Act,Appropriate Educational

    Programming Regulation155/2005.

  • The model is cyclicobservation begins and ends within a whole class instructionalcontext. As time progresses, Kindergarten children explore, inquire, and learn in smallerinterest, co-operative, and flexible groupings. The Starting Out and Getting Acquaintedphases depict the outset of the school year, but the other four phases recur withvariations as the cycle repeats throughout the Kindergarten year.

    Starting Out

    The Starting Out phase begins as soon as educators meet their students and theirparentsin many cases this is in the spring term at the time of Kindergarten registrationor during community wellness fairs, and in other cases it could be during classroomvisits or orientations promoted by the schools. The collaboration between theKindergarten teacher and the SLP begins, as they share information about the childrenand begin to develop and/or extend their common understanding of oral language inthe Kindergarten classroom. They also start to think about and plan how to design aliteracy-rich learning environment to maximize listening and speaking for this group oflearners. They ask themselves reflective questions such as What have we already learnedthat can help us plan a literacy-rich learning environment for this class?

    Getting Acquainted

    Once students arrive at the Kindergarten classroom in the fall, educators immediatelybegin to observe and interact with the children, gathering formative assessmentinformation about what the learners know, feel, and can do. During the first days andweeks of school, educators get to know their students by observing the children duringclass routines, with their parents during drop-off and pick-up times, with other childrenat recess, and so on. At the very beginning of the school year, Kindergarten teachers andSLPs reflect on what they know, make/revisit their plan, and book classroom andmeeting times together. They ask themselves reflective questions such as What have wealready learned that can help us plan a literacy-rich learning environment/contexts for this class?What do we see and hear in our class in terms of listening and speaking?

    Planning for a Variety of Learners

    Educators will focus observations on targets (specificlearning outcomes and/or listening and speakingcompetency descriptors), selecting two to three individualsto observe in smaller groupings as the children explore,discover, and go about their work at various authenticlearning experiences: a classroom routine such as wateringthe plants, a planned learning centre/workstation such asmathematics inquiry, and/or during a flexible groupingsuch as modelling story telling at the art centre. Educatorsask themselves reflective questions such as How do we meetthe needs of a variety of emergent/beginning literacy learners?

    C h a p t e r 2 27

    See Chapter 3 for suggestionsfor Literacy-Rich LearningContexts to Maximize Listeningand Speaking and Success for AllLearners: A Handbook onDifferentiating Instruction formore information about andstrategies for differentiatinginstruction.

  • Learning about Particular Learners

    During the daily learning experiences, educators may note a small number of childrenwho display a variety of listening and speaking needs. Educators make adjustments tolearning experiences in order to re-visit these particular individuals in a small flexiblegrouping for further instruction and observation focused on more specific targets. Theyask themselves reflective questions such as What are particular learners strengths, and whatlearning gaps are emerging?

    Monitoring Particular Learners

    Once educators have worked with particular learners in a flexible grouping, they thenobserve them back in their interest and/or co-operative learning groups to add to theformative assessment information they have gathered and to clarify their earlierobservations. Together, the Kindergarten teacher and the SLP continue to plan their nextsteps for providing an appropriate learning environmentthey might use a tool such asthe Maximizing Listening and Speaking Action Plan BLM. They ask themselvesreflective questions such as How will we plan next steps to maximize listening and speakingskills and strategies for particular learners?

    Reflecting on a Classroom of Learners/Planning for a Variety of Learners

    Finally, educators return to the whole class for general observation and reflection. By theend of the cycle, the educators will have gathered a variety of formative assessmentinformation to reflect on and to inform further planning to meet individual needs (thatis, to differentiate learning). They ask themselves reflective questions such as How willwe plan and tailor the learning environment to differentiate learning opportunities and ensurethe success of all learners?

    Notice that the Reflecting on a Class of Learners/Planning for a Variety of Learnersphase is the culmination of the observation cycle, and it is also the outset of the nextcycle. The cycle is recursive; it responds to learners needs and revisits targets forinstruction and observation throughout the Kindergarten year.

    Figure 4 charts the elements of the various phases, with arrows indicating the dynamicsof the cycle.

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y28

  • C h a p t e r 2 29

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    Figure 4A M O D E L F O R M A X I M I Z I N G L I S T E N I N G A N D S P E A K I N GT H R O U G H C O L L A B O R A T I O N I N T H E K I N D E R G A R T E N C L A S S R O O M

  • When educators plan and work collaborativelyfocusing their observations on listeningand speaking targets, reflecting upon their observations, and differentiating learningchildrens oral language skills and strategies are firmly established. Kindergartenchildren who have experienced an enriched oral language environment will havegreater opportunities for success in all of the language arts (viewing, representing,listening, speaking, reading, and writing) throughout their schooling and as lifelonglearnerslistening and speaking are the foundation for literacy and learning.

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y30

  • C H A P T E R 3

    Literacy-Rich Learning Contexts to MaximizeListening and Speaking

    Routines Music Dramatic Play Language Experience Learning Centres/Work Stations Student-Created Wordless Picture Books Stop, Look, Listen, Think, Respond Read Aloud/Shared Reading Guided Imagery and Movement Personal Response Author/Illustrator

  • C h a p t e r 3 33

    C H A P T E R 3 : L I T E R A C Y - R I C H L E A R N I N G C O N T E X T ST O M A X I M I Z E L I S T E N I N G A N D S P E A K I N G

    Kindergarten classrooms are busy and buzzing places, with awide variety of learning experiences going on. Children learnthrough play, and the classroom environment offers themchoices and opportunities to play with others using all kindsof materials (e.g., sand, water, clay, paint, etc.) and equipment(e.g., musical instruments, balls, etc.) in spaces that evoketheir imagination, letting them play in fantasy worlds ofcastles, forests, offices, outer space, kitchens, ships, orwherever. During all of this play and learning, children look,listen, and talk, and it is essential that educators maximizelistening and speaking by providing literacy-rich learningcontexts for their Kindergarten learners.

    As stated earlier in this resource, when educators (Kindergarten teachers and speech-language pathologists) collaborate within the Kindergarten classroom, this combinedexpertise will also maximize childrens listening and speaking. As educators observe andreflect on what learners know, feel, and can do, they will be able to both plan for andrespond to opportunities that enhance learning for all children within the classroom.

    The following learning contexts for facilitating and maximizing oral languagedevelopment reflect specific characteristics of effective practices. Each one providesopportunities for

    joyful play recognizing and supporting cultural and

    linguistic diversity in the classroom enriching the five English language arts general

    learning outcomes with the integration of thelistening and speaking competency areas

    clustering the ELA SLOs and the listening andspeaking descriptors to uncover curriculum

    engaging in authentic classroom-based assessment that is seamless with instruction differentiating instruction for students with a variety of needs engaging all students in listening and speaking in a supportive and literacy-rich

    learning environment a variety of groupings (whole class, small groupsinterest, co-operative, and flexible

    groupingsand occasionally individual) spontaneous talk student-initiated choices and inquiry developing multiple intelligences

    Early childhood educationalprograms of the future shouldincreasingly provide ongoingopportunities for children tomake choices, to expressthemselves in words and actions,and to learn to trust and respectthemselves and others. All thiscan be accomplished through arich and active play life.

    Gibson and ManitobaDepartment of Education, 1

    According to Montessori,knowing how to arrange aninteresting, beautifulenvironment for children is asmuch a part of teaching asknowing how to select finechildrens books for the library.

    Mooney, 27

  • L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y34

    a variety of entry points for teacher-led, shared or negotiated, and student-ledinstruction as described in the gradual release of responsibility (see Glossary andKindergarten to Grade 4 English Language Arts: A Foundation for Implementation,Overview20-21)

    offering explore time/think time/wait time

    The following learning contexts are not a comprehensive list of all of the learningcontexts in the Kindergarten section of Kindergarten to Grade 4 English Language Arts: AFoundation for Implementation (suggested in column 2) that could be used to develop orallanguage; instead, the following learning contexts (including strategies and routines) areintended to show educators how to focus on the development of listening and speaking.

    Many of these learning contexts are already familiar to educatorsthe differenceproposed here is one of perspective, with an emphasis on developing learners abilitiesto listen and speak. The idea is not to add to what is already being done, but to focus itdifferently. Educators may also apply the same assumptions to focus their own favouritelearning contexts and experiences on listening and speaking.

    Each suggested learning context has been explained in detail from the perspective oforal language developmentthrough the listening/speaking lens, so to speak. Thefollowing components are included:

    Targets for instruction and observation/assessmentThe suggested targets forinstruction and observation at the outset of each learning context show theconnection between the listening and speaking competency descriptors and the ELAspecific learning outcomes. When educators select two to three targets relevant to the

    needs of their learners, they will also be uncoveringcurriculum. (See Chapter 1: The English Language ArtsLearning Outcomes and the Listening and SpeakingCompetency Areas.) Note that the specific learning outcomeslisted for each learning context may have been shortened forbrevity and to fit the learning context (i.e., parts of the SLOmay have been omitted). Description of the learning context (including routines and

    strategies) Language facilitative tips Think about . . . suggestions for observation/assessment BLMs

    The following literacy-rich learning contexts for maximizing listening and speaking(including routines and strategies) are suggestions for educators, not a definitive manualon implementation.

    The learning contexts are formatted so that each can be pulled out for individualreferencethis means there is a certain amount of repetition of common elements suchas the Think about sections. Page numbers throughout this chapter refer toKindergarten to Grade 4 English Language Arts: A Foundation for Implementation.

    All learning centres/work stationsneed to begin with teachermodelling and time to discussand set learning or behaviouralcriteria. Depending uponindividual learning needs, somestudents will require moresupport in co-operation andengagement than others.Routines, criteria, groupings, andaccessible resources are integralto classroom management.

  • Routines

    Description of Learning Context

    Daily routines provide a necessary management and learning experience forKindergarten children which facilitates the daily life of the classroom. Routines areintegral to building a respectful community of emergent and beginning literacy learnerswho can articulate Who I am and What I can do.

    Kindergarten educators spend a great deal of their planning and teaching time duringthe first few weeks of the school year establishing classroom routines; they areconstantly making adjustments from their ongoing observations to the learningenvironment to sustain many opportunities for choices and exploration. Focusing on theidea that a routine is a context or process that supports risk taking, co-operation, andpersonal identity within the classroom learning community, the following routines mayprovide rich contexts for observing authentic listening and speaking behaviours:

    Targets for Instruction and Observation/Assessment

    Specific Learning Outcomes: Listening and Speaking Competency Descriptors:

    1.1.1 Talk about personal experiences.

    1.1.2 Listen to experiences and feelingsshared by others.

    1.1.5 Talk about reading and writing stories.

    3.1.2 Ask questions to satisfy personalcuriosity and information needs.

    3.1.4 Choose different ways to gatherinformation and ideas; recall directions.

    4.4.3 Demonstrate active listening andviewing skills and strategies.

    5.2.1 Participate in co-operative groupactivities.

    5.2.2 Demonstrate attentiveness in groupactivities.

    5.2.3 Recognize variations in language use athome, on the playground, and in theclassroom.

    5.2.4 Find ways to be helpful to others anduse group process.

    Conversation: Use language appropriately to gain

    information, to get things, to directothers, to comment on the world, and tohave fun.

    Follow a sequence of three-or-more-stepdirections.

    Grammar: Consistently respond appropriately to

    questions and directives.

    Phonology: Speak intelligibly.

    Vocabulary: Recognize, name, and describe

    categories.

    C h a p t e r 3 35

  • Arrival Time Morning Meeting or Circle Time Taking Attendance Singing Daily Agenda Calendar (weather and/or number) Class Jobs Introducing new materials or work

    stations/centres Cleanup Reflection Dismissal

    BLM:

    Focused Observation Template

    Think About . . . observing two to three targets in a variety of contexts and over time recording focused observations (verbatim comments and/or observable

    behaviours) to determine prior knowledge, possible gaps, and startingpoints for instruction

    strategies for scaffolding, guiding, or extending learning providing for the gradual release of responsibility from

    teacher-modelled to shared and guided to student-led learning

    Maximize opportunities to observe and/or instruct by using these languagefacilitative tips: Expand on student ideas/utterances, adding comments related to what they have said

    and how they have said it (e.g., considering pacing, volume, tone). Model complete sentence structures and key vocabulary (e.g., build vocabulary about

    roles and responsibilities). Scaffold concepts/sentence structures for students. Have students repeat or rephrase key ideas to support understanding.

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y36

    As I set up my classroombefore the start of school and asthe children and I change theappearance of the roomthroughout the year, it reflectswhat I believe about childrenand how they learn. I organizethe room so that children canlearn the classroom routineeasily and can take care ofthemselves and their belongingsindependently.

    Fisher, 27

  • Music

    Targets for Instruction and Observation/Assessment

    Specific Learning Outcomes: Listening and Speaking Competency Descriptors:

    1.1.4 Express preferences for favourite oral,literary, and media texts.

    2.2.1 Participate in shared listening, reading,and viewing experiences using textsfrom a variety of forms and genres.

    2.2.2 Share personal experiences and familytraditions related to oral, literary, andmedia texts; talk about and representthe actions of people in texts.

    2.2.3 Share feelings evoked by oral, literary,and media texts.

    2.3.2 Develop a sense of story throughlistening, viewing, and retellingexperiences.

    2.3.4 Appreciate the sounds and rhythms oflanguage [such as nursery rhymes,personal songs, finger plays . . .]

    3.2.4 Use auditory cues to understand ideasand information.

    3.3.2 Represent and share information andideas; compose with a scribe.

    4.1.2 Share ideas and experiences throughsinging.

    4.4.3 Demonstrate active listening andviewing skills and strategies.

    5.1.3 Relate aspects of stories to personalfeelings and experiences.

    Conversation: Use language appropriately to gain

    information, to get things, to directothers, to comment on the world, and tohave fun.

    Use language to communicate physicaland emotional feelings.

    Use language to demonstrate anunderstanding of the feelings of others.

    Verbally participate in group discussionsappropriately and spontaneously.

    Grammar: Spontaneously produce a wide variety of

    grammatically simple and complexsentences.

    Demonstrate a wide variety of word-building concepts.

    Oral Stories: Tell and listen to experiences of self and

    others. Describe a two- to three-step process in

    sequence. Verbally respond to oral stories/ read

    alouds. Consistently demonstrate active listening

    to stories.

    Phonology: Creatively play with the sounds of

    language (i.e., rhyming, alliteration). Speak intelligibly.

    Vocabulary: Recognize and use subject area/topic/

    theme vocabulary (e.g., holidays, trees,nocturnal animals, etc.).

    Explain same, similar, and/or different. Recognize, name, and describe

    categories (e.g., sorts into colour, shape,size, and other attributes).

    C h a p t e r 3 37

  • Description of Learning Context

    The benefits of music in the Kindergarten classroom are numerous. Music is at the heartof language learningit develops listening skills and self-expression, helps children toknow their bodies, and encourages sharing with others, naturally.

    Daily and diverse musical experiences bring rhythm to the Kindergarten classroom.Young children are natural musicians. Their energetic bodies clap, stomp, and boogie toa beat. Singing and humming are the background music to their play.

    Music permits the acquisition of a repertoire, but it also builds language, creativity,imagination, and sensitivity to both language and community. The skills gained in themusic-rich Kindergarten classroom contribute greatly to the harmonious developmentof the children and to the achievement of the Kindergarten learning outcomes.

    Some musical experiences you might plan for in a Kindergarten classroom are

    singing finger play rhymes nursery rhyme to songs rhythm creating own versions of songs in response to a song or story creating songs using words and gestures repetition and spontaneous singing singing games dances

    When planning musical experiences, consider the following suggestions:

    Using a listening centre, provide cassettes and song books with pre-recorded songs,rhymes, and so on from the classroom repertoire.

    Expand on the development of listening skills, creativity, oral expression bothspoken and sung, precision, and pleasure.

    Provide many opportunities to learn, create, and practise songs, finger plays, dances,et cetera.

    Provide opportunities for students to hear themselves sing, recite, retell, and so on.

    L i s t e n i n g a n d S p e a k i n g : F i r s t S t e p s i n t o L i t e r a c y38

  • BLM:

    Focused Observation Template

    Think About . . . observing two to three targets in a variety of contexts and over time recording focused observations (verbatim comments and/or observable

    behaviours) to determine prior knowledge, possible gaps, and startingpoints for instruction

    strategies for scaffolding, guiding, or extending learning providing for the gradual release of responsibility from

    teacher-modelled to shared and guided to student-led learning

    Maximize opportunities to observe and/or instruct by using these languagefacilitative tips: Encourage student response using music/song, finger play, dance, drama, and/or art. Provide visuals to accompany learning of new songs (i.e., Rebus during singalong).

    C h a p t e r 3 39

  • Dramatic Play

    Targets for Instruction and Observation/Assessment

    Specific Learning Outcomes: Listening and Speaking Competency Descriptors:

    1.1.3 Share experiences, feelings, andthoughts.

    1.2.4 Wonder about and question new ideasand observations.

    2.2.2 Share personal experiences and familytraditions related to oral, literary, andmedia texts; talk about and representthe actions of people in texts.

    2.3