Kindergarten students will be immersed in a print-rich environment to learn the concepts of print, basic phonetic principals, comprehension of stories, and letter identification skills through systematic, direct instruction, individual and small group activities, and time spent exploring and reading books and other print material. Students will also learn to identify and name the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet, understand that letters represent sounds, and identify beginning consonant sounds in single consonant words. They will comprehend and relate stories through drama, retelling, drawing, and their own writing. Students will engage in a variety of oral language activities to develop their listening and speaking vocabularies and enhance their ability to communicate effectively. Students will communicate ideas through drawings, scribbles, letter strings, letter approximations, and dictation to adults. All aspects of literacy will be taught through a balanced literacy framework for instruction, enabling all students to become independent and strategic readers, writers, thinkers, and communicators.