Left to right progression is an important focus skill for kindergarteners; we really need to help our students get used to working from left to right every time!
Our students need constant reminders at the beginning of the year (and even throughout the year) to start a the left and move to the right.
Here is the reason why I like using this lesson when teaching reading from left to right and top to bottom.
This is something easy that I like to do to remind my students to start at the left and end at the right, whether they're in small groups, whole group or at their seats!
Before this lesson, I gathered my materials and checked out some extra support!
Materials I used:
(Cheap, easy and helpful- It couldn't get much better!)
Videos to reinforce this lesson:
This is a cute song that gets kids up and moving, based on right and left!
This is a simple video showing items on the left and the right- I like to have students act it out!
This is a great video showing that's got quality commentary and it also shows the L trick!
"Today, I am going to teach you a new strategy. You know how sometimes we get a little confused and end up writing our names backwards, or we end up reading a word backwards? Well, that happens to us all... until we learn some tricks to help remind our brains. Today, I am going to show you an easy strategy that you can use in our classroom to remind you to always go from left to right." (As you say this, point from left to right.)
"Here is our strategy: green and red. Which light means go?"
(Students will say, "green.")
"That's right! Green means go. So, what does red mean?"
(Students will say, "stop.")
"Right again! Red means stop! So, this is something you already know! And now, we are going to use that information to help us remember to go from left to right." (Point from left to right again.)
Using small, colored stickers, I place one green sticker on the left side of your ActivBoard or whiteboard. I point to that side and say, "Green means go." I have students repeat it after me- "Green means go." Then, I place one red (or pink) sticker on the right side of my ActivBoard or whiteboard. I point to that side and say, "And red means stop." I have students repeat it after me- "And red means stop."
While I point, making large gestures, I say "Green means go and red means stop." I have students point with me and repeat the sentence a few times.
"Now that you know the rules, I would like for you to go to your seat and show me the beginning of your name- where you would GO from."
When students sit and show me the left side of their nametag, I give them a green sticker and show them where to place it.
"Now, show me the end of your name- where you would STOP."
When students then point and show me the right side of their nametag, I give them a red (or pink) sticker and show them where to place it.
"Now, I want you to teach a friend next to you by pointing to your nametag and saying, 'this is where I start and this is where I stop.' Take a moment and teach each other."
"Now that we have the stickers on our board at the front and you have some at your seat, please remember to use them! They are there to help us remember to go from left to right. We start at green on the left, we finish at red on the right. If you're forgetting where to start reading or writing, look at your stickers to help you."
Once I have introduced the idea, students should be able to easily use it when reading or writing.
Also, I have students work on this in small groups, following this lesson. Here is a picture of my small group placemats where students keep their books and materials. I love how this place, that is their own, is now showing them some support!
Once my students have green on their left and red (or pink) on their right, I make sure to remind them of this when we are beginning to read or write.
I make sure to replace stickers that may fall off so students can rely on this throughout the year. Everyone in Kindergarten forgets every once in a while.
I keep the stickers on my ActivBoard or whiteboard and refer to them when working in whole group. I also encourage students to use the ones on their nametags during independent work time.
The part that I have personally found most helpful for my students is also placing these stickers at my small group table.
Each student has a placemat at my small group table. They must keep their books, materials and hands inside their own placemat. And, on their placemat, I place a green sticker and a red (or pink) sticker. That way, when I begin showing students which page to turn to, I can say, "Remember, start on the green, left side... then move to the right."
It works like magic pretty quickly and soon enough, your students won't need you to remind them!
As you can see in some of my other attachments, I use green to red coding for a lot of things. It helps train their eyes and it really reinforces left to right progression daily.
I can assess this task informally by really watching students as they read or write. I can do this in whole group, in small groups or while students are working independently. I check to make sure their words are written in the correct direction and that they are sequential. This isn't really something I can formally assess, but it is something that I can continually look for after I have set these expectations!
This task can really be supported and re-taught in small groups. I love to use these placemats that I made for our little magnetic chips that help with reinforcing left-to-right movement with phonemic awareness practice. I even have different versions, both with this built-in support, for my different reading groups!