ELA stands for English Language Arts.  We use the  Common Core Standards to guide what our children need to learn.  ELA includes reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. 
In kindergarten, students will learn the alphabet and the basic features of letters and words. They will break down spoken and written words into syllables and letters and identify the sounds each letter makes. These important skills will enable your child to learn new words and to read and understand simple books and stories. Students will also learn to write and share information in a variety of ways, including drawing, writing letters and words, listening to others, and speaking aloud. Activities in these areas will include: 

• Naming and writing upper- and lowercase letters
• Matching letters to sounds & other methods to decode unfamiliar words when reading/writing
• Learning and using new words
• Identifying words that rhyme
• Reading common sight words such as the, of, you, are, she, and my
• Asking and answering questions about a story the teacher reads out loud
• Identifying characters, settings, and major events in a story
• Recognizing the person, place, thing, or idea that an illustration shows
• Participating in discussions by listening and taking turns speaking
• Using  drawing, speaking, and/or writing to describe an event, give information or an opinion
• Taking part in shared reading, writing, and research projects
• Expressing thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly

Take some time to visit this Parent Roadmap to learn more about ELA in Kindergarten and how you can support your kiddo!

How do we teach it?

     In Kindergarten at Taylor Mill, we incorporate a methodology called Orton Gillingham—a technique in teaching reading.    
     This is a multi-sensory approach that incorporates the three learning pathways, which are: auditory, kinesthetic, and visual.  It is a multi-sensory program that will enable students, by direct instruction, to review, learn new concepts, practice, and to apply what they are learning.  Research shows us that an approach that is multi-sensory, systematic, structured, sequential, and cumulative helps students acquire concepts and store them in their long-term memory.
     Quite often, students may study for weekly spelling tests and perhaps do very well, but when later asked to read or write a particular word from that test, they cannot apply the knowledge in context or on paper.  Phonetic concepts will be taught each week in a sequential, relevant manner.  Once concepts are taught, students will apply them in words, sentences, and stories.  Students will not have to study phonetic concepts or spelling rules due to the constant review and application.  It is the non-phonetic (sight) words that must be studied weekly.  If/when your child is ready for spelling tests, they will contain both phonetic and non-phonetic words.
     The idea is to produce confident, independent, and knowledgeable readers with strategies to fall back on in school and in life.