My goal as a kindergarten teacher is for students to learn to use the tools for successful and lifelong learning. This means that kindergarten students are like apprentices in the workshop with the teacher. Some of the tools they must learn to use are:
One of my favorite examples that I use to explain this compares the words "mouse" and "rat". The words begin and end with different sounds. Often, if there is a picture or drawing present, a student can't tell the difference between a mouse and a rat. That's when I say "Use the Clues" and walk the student through the questions they need to ask themself about the word.
Students need to become independent readers right from the start. As they are taught the skills, remind them to use those skills. This promotes the self-confidence and self-reliance that helps make a successful and lifelong learner.