I am not in NC but I have taught my early childhood teacher education students at Bloomfield College a tweaked alternative to KWL. Tony Stead who has postings on Reading Rockets uses a slightly different kind of KWL. He now calls it the RAN strategy. He discusses it in detail at this website, https://www.readingrockets.org/article/nurturing-inquiring-mind-through-nonfiction-read-aloud. although it is not specifically for Prek, it is a wonderful approach that enhances the regular KWL tool/strategy. Here is the gist of it:
K - What do I think I know about this topic? Strategy lets children know that everything they think they know may not be accurate. As the concepts or ideas are confirmed or not, the teacher goes back to the chart and children have a chance to confirm their knowledge.
Confirmed: Here the children go back to the list of concepts and ideas that they listed in the "What do I think I know . . .?" It gives learners an opportunity to confirm prior knowledge.
We don't think this anymore - In the third category, the children go back again and look at their "What do I think I know" list and remove/cross out those ideas that were not confirmed. It gives students an opportunity to rethink what they previously thought to be correct.
Exciting New Information - This category encourages students to think about information that is new learning, allows children to think about and share new learning
Wonderings is the final category and is the same as the L in KWL, "What do I want to Learn?" - This can lead to active engagement for student-led inquiry.
I have also seen an H added to the KWL where the teacher will discuss with the children the how of their learning - How did they learn this new information.
The first K is where you start to spark thinking and uncover their ideas and concepts about a topic. With a Prek, you cannot spend a lot of time in large group before you move on. If you are having trouble holding the children's attention, perhaps the topics that you are addressing in the KWL are not of interest to the children. You should observe and listen to the children in their play to get a sense of what they are interested in learning. If you have to follow a particular curriculum, you then might try to align their interests to what you are being asked to teach. Most standards do not tell you what to teach but tell you what they should know and be able to do at the end of the year. How you do it is usually left to the teacher even if you are using a commercial curriculum.
I see also that you have said there are a lot of "behaviors" and these are preventing you from following through with plans. Are your routines ingrained and do you follow through on them, reminding children how community life in the classroom is lived? It might be a good idea to reflect on your plans and try to think through why you are unable to follow through with them.
Nora Krieger, PhD
Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
Highland Park, NJ
Sent: 02-19-2023 01:52 PM
From: Calista Weygoldt
Subject: KWL charts in NC Pre K, and behaviors
Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum. I was wondering how many teachers in the North Carolina NC Pre K Programs utilize the KWL charts and how do you do it? My methods so far don't feel sustainable and with the number of kids in my class (17) my assistant and I are super overwhelmed with behaviors and often fail to follow through with plans. There is certainly a lot fo unpack but starting the conversation is at least a beginning.