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*(Please click on images for a closer and deeper look!)

The Full Story

Nishka's work has demonstrated her ability to learn in a classroom setting filled with experiences that involve her prior knowledge and new discoveries. Her skills as an English Language Learner have grown with routine and consistency that I have worked to provide for Nishka's growth. Nishka has been invited, encouraged and observed to engage in many opportunities to prove and enjoy her growth. Take a look ahead at Nishka's daily sign-ins and activities/centers she has been interested in since her start with our program back in October 2022 when she and her family migrated from India to USA.

Nishka's Choice Time Activities

Nishka was observed to have certain interests upon her entry into our program. As her development changed with added skills, she was able to portrait her interest in the different centers of the classroom. She started off with interest in the centers where she could touch, smell, and move things around with her hands. In recognizing this interest, I wanted to use it to expand on her fine motor skills, especially when it came to writing her name, so I introduced her to the Water Table Center where there were an array of materials that involved grasping small items. The fine motor grasping skill was observed to be transferred over in her writing a few months later (as represented below in Nishka's Daily Name Sign-In).

"Understanding different types of play is important to the development of play based curriculum, but so is understanding how children experience play in different ways."

Dinnerstein, R. (2016). Choice time: How to Deepen Learning Through Inquiry and Play, PreK-2. (p.11) Heinemann.

Daily Name Sign-Ins

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Nishka's Self Portraits

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Nishka's Physical Development: 
Teaching Strategies Gold Data Fall 2022-2023

7a 7b Nishka Fall 2022.png

During Fall 2022, Nishka's name writing skills were progressing though falling under Pre-K Level. She performed at a Level 4 when it came to objective 7b: Uses writing and drawing tools. Level 4 describes a student to be: "Grips drawing and writing tools with whole hand but may use whole-arm movements to make marks. I supported Nishka to develop her fine motor skills by following through with our District 2 3K/Pre-K Center commitment to daily name sign in and monthly self portraits and getting Nishka to engage in these activities every time. It was evident that I had the tools to motivate her to engage and now I had the put resources together to get her to perform at Pre-K level with some activities that would target her needs; these included some one on one time and small group time. Large group activities were also beneficial to Nishka as I made sure to include her and ensure that her voice was heard even if she spoke in Hindi.   

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka:
Story Time

Nishka's abilities to speak English were progressing and it was essential to allow her grow. I sat with Nishka after having read the book A Ball for Daisy to Nishka and the entire class. Since she had been exposed to the book, it was an opportunity for Nishka to demonstrate what she knew using her language skills. She used what she knew to retell the story, by pointing at the pictures using a mix of Hindi and English words. I encouraged her by responding in English and was openly delighted by her storytelling.

"Dog, Daisy, wow" *says some more words in what I suspect to be in her native language, Hindi). -Nishka

Nishka's English Language Acquisition Development:
Teaching Strategies Gold Data Fall 2022-2023

Nishka ELL Fall 2022.png

Starting with Nishka's first day of Pre-K, I exposed her to English in the classroom along with supporting visuals to foster her language development and comprehension. In Fall 2022-2023, she relied heavily on visuals, performing at a Level 4: (Objective 37) "Responds to common English words and phrases when they are accompanied by gestures or other visual aids" and Level 4: (Objective 38) "Uses a few socially interactive English terms appropriately; uses one or two English words to represent a whole idea." Her parents shared that they have exposed her to very little English but mostly Hindi. The activity above was one of many that allowed Nishka's skills to flourish around language and expanded her interest in books. With this wordless book, Nishka was able to use her voice. Her language skills expanded because of her previous exposure to the book. I also modeled pointing at pictures in the book using my finger as I spoke therefore providing Nishka the prompt to follow along and do the same.With my scaffolding, she also listened to her peers contribute to the narrative of the story in a group setting. Throughout the day, I modeled language as I engaged in self-talk and in parallel talk.

Nishka's Literacy Development:
Teaching Strategies Gold Data Fall 2022-202

TSG lit Fall Nishka

Nishka's interaction during read alouds reflects her TSG Data: Objective 17a to fall under Level 3 and Objective 18a to fall under Level 1. With this activity, I was able to bring out Nishka's interest as I sat with her one on one. She responded and has been observed to become interested in stories (as image above) when one on one positive interaction is provided. During large group read alouds, Nishka is often quiet and will not speak. I work to encourage her to retell the story and wordless book "A Ball for Daisy" even as she speaks in Hindi with a few English words. After connecting with her parents about her development, they shared that they were not engaging in any read alouds at home but would start to in order to support Nishka's development.

Nishka points to alphabet.jpg

Alphabet Knowledge

Nishka's alphabet knowledge developed as I highlighted connections between writing her name during sign in and seeing her picture on our classroom alphabet chart. During Nishka's start of Pre-K, she was unfamiliar with the alphabet song. I sung the song and played it daily, making this an important part of our learning. Another one of our alphabet charts is located near the Music Center, a center which Nishka visited often. Whenever she noticed her picture on the chart, she came over and said, "Nishka!" I decided to take on this opportunity to repeat the ABC's song while pointing to the letters on the chart. Over time, Nishka matched the letters as she sang along to the ABC song. Her picture card labeled with her name on the "N" letter provided a significantly meaningful environmental print tool that supported Nishka's English language skills and alphabet knowledge.

Nishka's Literacy Development 
Teaching Strategies Gold Data: Fall 2022-2023

16a 17b Nishka Fall.png

Nishka was able to develop a Level 1 for Objective 16a  Identifies and names letters and a Level 2 for Objective 17b: Uses print connect. With activities that were put together to support her growth, Nishka's abilities were noted through observations, notes, pictures and one on one interactions etc. She is expected to keep growing in these literacy domains with targeted instruction that I would develop (see activities above).

Nishka using the Choice Time Chart

Nishka at Choice Time Chart.jpg

Nishka is able to utilize the Choice Time Chart as a tool of autonomy for Choice Time. I have guided Nishka into using the chart appropriately before, during and after Choice Time. When she is in front of the chart, I remind her of the centers that we have available by naming the centers for her and pointing to the visuals as I do so. I invite her to join me and she starts to point at the visuals alongside with me. She is able to point at pictures/labels to state the center she wishes to engage in. I invite her to repeat after me in naming the center she wishes to play and work in. I have worked to ensure that this tool of autonomy supports Nishka's fine motor skills as she has to remove her card from the velcro, insert it into a slot and then place it back on the velcro piece after Choice Time is done. I have also ensured to use this piece of autonomy by ensuring that her English Lnaguage skills progress with verbally naming centers and prompting her to do the same. 

Physical Development
Teaching Strategies Gold Data: Winter 2022-2023 

7a 7b Winter Nishka

During Fall 2022, Nishka's name writing skills were progressing though falling under Pre-K Level. She performed at a Level 4 when it came to objective 7b: Uses writing and drawing tools. Level 4 describes a student to be: "Grips drawing and writing tools with whole hand but may use whole-arm movements to make marks." She made her way up to Level 5 for the Winter 2023 TSG Checkpoint which is described to be between Level 4 description and Level 5 description of: "Holds drawing and writing tools by using a three-point finger grip but may hold the instrument too close to one end." In Winter 2022-2023, her abilities to control tools with her hands are at Pre-K level. 

Nishka's Literacy Development
Teaching Strategies Gold Data: Winter 2022-2023 

Winter Nishka

With this data, activities like the one above, allowed for Nishka to develop her literacy skills from a Level 2 to a Level 3 in Objective 17b) Uses print concepts, and a Level 1 to a Level 2 in objective 16a) Identifies and names letters. With daily routine engagement in this activity, Nishka was able to identify the letters in her own name at Level 2. I am confident that Nishka can level up to a 3 or 4 by the end of school year (Spring 2022-2023) with continued engagement and more activities like the ones presented, that stem from her interest as I continue to provide scaffolding, one to one and small group activities. Objective 18a has documentation that shows Nishka moving up from a Level 1 to a Level 2 as she has started to interact during one on one read aloud whenever she was able to engage with me. I am still supporting Nishka to engage in our large group reading experiences so that she can make connections through the story.

Nishka's English Language Acquisition Development:
Teaching Strategies Gold Data Winter 2022-2023

Nishka ELL 37 & 38

In Winter 2022-2023, Nishka was less dependent on visuals, performing at a Level 5. She communicated using 2-3 phrases such as "Red ball." "I like this." "No, Daisy." "I don't know." "Yes/No/Ok." Nishka also started to respond to "How are you doing?" with "good" or "fine." With my supports for Nishka, she started to follow one step commands without visuals and started to become more interested in read alouds.

Nishka's Heggerty Assessment Report 

Nishka Heggerty
Nishka Heggerty

Nishka's first time with Heggerty's phonemic awareness curriculum started in Pre-K. After being invited to attend the Heggerty training with coach, Ellenia Lyons, I was able to deliver instruction with Heggerty on a daily basis and support Nishka with the ability to identify sounds and segment words into syllables among other skills presented in the data above. I will continue to work with Nishka as I deliver daily whole group instruction and in addition will develop small group instruction. After attending the Heggerty training for a 2nd time post assessment of my students, I learned about how to target goals in small group instruction. The next steps for Nishka are to develop proficiency at onset fluency where she is currently performing at a 40% so that she can successfully develop awareness around initial phoneme isolation in words. I will then move on to the next segment and ensure that I target her strengths to influence a proficiency percentage in these areas. Blending Onset-Rime and Segmenting Words Into Onset are Kindergarten skills that I have been trained to expose my student to. Nishka will continue to be exposed to these skills as well.

Communication from Mom

Nishka' mom email building pic.png

Nishka's mom sends a picture of Nishka in front of her building in support of our Building Unit of Study!

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