Reading Focus: Exploring language through experience, children’s literature, and student writing. Reading Skills: Building on previous knowledge of sounds, letters, and words; understanding the elements of story (main idea, character, beginning, middle, end); gaining confidence in reading through decoding, context, and memory; enjoying books at various levels independently. Writing Focus: Developing a variety of ways to explore and express ideas. Writing Skills: Using pictures and dictations to write stories with beginning, middle, and end; using symbols, letters, sight words, and environmental print to convey meaning; participating in shared writing experiences of poems, books, and letters. Listening & Speaking Focus: Gaining confidence and comfort being a member of a group, as well as a leader. Listening & Speaking Skills: Listening to others for meaning; following directions; identifying words that rhyme and create rhyming pairs; comparing and contrasting initial and ending sounds in words; speaking clearly to convey ideas and stories, and to describe events sequentially; speaking with adults and peers in appropriate ways; developing comfort in speaking to a group.