Saturday, January 16, 2016

Differentiating Word Work in Guided Reading Groups

Word work can be a challenge to plan for when meeting with a variety of leveled reading groups. I try to use the same resources for my lower leveled groups and just switch up the actual activities being done for each group to meet their needs. Check out what I've done for my PreA-C leveled groups with a simple set of CVC word and picture cards!

These activities are all quick and can be done several days in a row so that different students end up choosing different cards each time. We just spend a few minutes doing these activities before doing our new stories. They are a great way to get students to warm up to reading each day!

Have a great day!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Readers are Guided Reading Groups

I started something new this year to take a step back during my guided reading groups. I wanted my readers to take charge of the group, instead of me always leading them along. And let me tell has been wonderful!

I began a "Reading Leader of the Week" format. Each week one little reader is our leader. I wanted my readers to realize the importance of reading (readers are leaders!) and to take more ownership of their guided reading time. I realized I was always doing the talking when doing a picture walk, strategy suggestions, comprehension questions, etc and decided to change that. 

The reader leader is in charge of running our group- he/she gets materials for the group, leads the picture walk (while sitting in my chair which is just so special to a little kid in it of itself!), provides a strategy suggestion to use when reading difficult words and asks comprehension questions.

I use this little bucket full of random things that were in my classroom for Our Reading Strategies. After leading the picture walk, the reading leader chooses one thing from the bucket and shares how to use that strategy. This is probably the most exciting part of being the reading leader because really those little toys are just fun! 

Here's a closer look at our reading strategies we've been focusing on in the groups. I will change this doc throughout the year as we progress to using other strategies. The reading leader and the other kids in the group absolutely LOVE getting to share a different suggested strategy each day!

On the whiteboard behind our guided reading table, I have two charts hanging up. One explains what a reading leader does. At the beginning of each week we review as a group what the reading leader will be doing. The second chart has each of my students' names from each group so the students all know the rotation and know when it is their week. Oh boy do ALL my little readers get SO excited when they know their week is coming up. It is so cute!

I also have my reading leader asking questions about the text. Some of my reading leaders do not need my help at all. Others I guide them to meaningful questions through question stems, student made word question cards or simply reading questions to ask. I also include answer stems so that the readers answering the question are using good vocabulary and common language. By including the question stems, I ensure that my reading leader is asking higher order thinking questions. I highly recommend letting your readers take over- you'd be surprised just how good your friends are at asking questions- no matter their ability level!

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Seasonal Guided Reading Passages for Your Earliest Readers

My earliest readers are beginning to make gains toward being ready to read Level A passages! We've been working hard at learning those letter names and sounds and then putting those sounds into words. While working on those things in isolation, I've also been focusing on reading very simple sentences that include simple sight words and one other word that connects directly to a picture. I've been using my Guided Reading Passages for Level Pre-A - a new seasonal edition! My little readers have been doing so well and I'm so proud of their progress. They are able to point and read ONLY the words on the page- instead of making up really long sentences to match the picture. :)  

My little readers love reading the stories and then drawing and labeling pictures to show their understanding. I just LOVE little kid writing and pictures so much- they always turn out adorable!

Of course, their next favorite part is when we pull out the highlighters! I also enjoy this step because it is a simple way to reinforce their knowledge of the sight word we are focusing on in each text. This quick little step can really help your little readers actually learn and remember those sight words!

The running record is a great way to check in on students to see if they are ready to move on or need a little more practice at the current level. It is such a handy resource for me to quickly pull out and use as an assessment!

Having a lesson plan all ready to go for each story also makes planning super easy...I've got everything all printed and ready to go for each lesson!

Click the image below or here to check out the pack- on sale for 50% off though the weekend {Nov 7 &8}!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

{Free} Ten Frames App

I am always looking for new ways to teach ten frames.  I see my students who understand ten frames, have a stronger sense of numbers and understand number relationships.  When teaching ten frames this year I came across a great free app-10 Frame Fill.

10 Frame Fill is a great app that allows you to easily differentiate for student learning.

My students are still working on counting and understanding numbers up to 10 are simply moving the yellow counters to fill the ten frame, answering the question each time "how many more to make 10?"

My higher students are able to see a ten frame as a "missing addend" problem. This helps transition students into subtraction problems and helps them to better understand number relationships.  

There are many options to choose from in order to help best meet the needs of all of the students in your classroom.  I appreciate that I can expose higher students to a variety of subtraction and missing addend problems to help them to see a ten frame with an equation.  

The best part about this is app is that it is FREE and still has lots of options to choose from.  Hope you can use this app in your classroom to help students better understand relationships of 10!

Happy Saturday!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween Mini Book Freebie!

I wanted to share a cute Halloween mini-book with you all! It is perfect for your emergent readers. The text has just a few repeated, simple sight words and predictive text to match the pictures on each page. It is perfect to add into your guided reading books for this week or next. You can even have your readers repeatedly read it after you've done it together. Halloween is always a super exciting topic of discussion, so they'll be excited to read this one over and over again. :)

All you have to do is print, copy and assemble! 

 After reading through the story, my little readers went back and highlighted the word "am" throughout the story. Of course, highlighters are always fun for my readers! Plus, it gets them to focus on a specific word within the text.

 I love the way their responses on the last page turned out! They all LOVED getting the chance to share about their own costumes.

You can download this freebie here! I hope your little readers enjoy the fun Halloween themed story!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Guided Reading: Fall Themed!

Guided reading is such an important part of the day for most elementary students. This being the case, I find that it's critical to keep it exciting for those little readers. You want them to keep on improving in regard to reading level, comprehension and motivation! This year I've done this through the addition of seasonal passages. So many of my readers have been making connections with things they've done this fall season that match right up to our stories. This makes guided reading that much more meaningful for them!

I write the passages to align with F&P leveling system- it is quite the lengthy process, but I'm always so happy to see my readers progress through the levels! In these packs, I also include a lesson plan that I use for each passage. I include a running record for each passage as a way to assess my student's abilities on a regular basis. I'll be back on soon talking all about why I love running records- so be sure to check back!

Check out each pack by clicking each image below!

If you are interested in seasonal passages for the year by level, check out my growing bundles- grab them for a great deal now! {Click the images below}

If you have all sorts of levels in your room, like I do, check out the mega growing bundle for all levels A-M for the entire year! {Click the image below}

Happy Reading!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Establishing a Community of Readers

Both when I was a classroom teacher and in all my years as a reading specialist, I have students who lack confidence in themselves as readers. So, one of my goals has always been to make students gain confidence as readers. The main reason for this is because I do not want them to think learning to read is too hard and just give up. I not only want to help them become readers, but I also want them to learn to love reading and to feel confident as readers.  Check out some of the things I do in my room that you can also (hopefully easily) implement as well to help your little readers grow! :)

 Letting your students know and realize that they are readers and can read is so important. I don't let my readers get away with saying "I can't read" because it just isn't true! I love our "we are readers" sign with each reader's signature on there, it really creates a community of readers in our room! Each reader also made their own "loves to read about" banner to hang up by our sign. We talked as a group about the different things each reader enjoys! You can check this activity out here.

There are so many amazing books out there that encourage readers of all ages! I highly recommend any and all of these books to be read at the beginning of the year.

As teachers we all know how meaningful it is to be super enthusiastic. It really gets everyone more excited about whatever it is you are about to do together. By simply talking about reading throughout each day, you will notice a difference in how excited your readers get about reading each day!

Being a reading specialist, my theme each year is simple: READING! I think it is a great idea to encourage readers all day through things hanging on your wall. If it's important to you, it will be important to them too! You can grab the reading posters (on the upper right) for free here. You can also grab the poster (another freebie) from the bottom left from the super sweet Mrs B's First Grade.

This is something so simple to do once you get in a routine with it...but all it is: call your students your readers! This again makes a world of a difference in helping them realize that they are READERS!

 Another way to get your readers excited about and interesting in reading is through reading profiles/student interest surveys.  These are great to do at the beginning of the year. I recommend meeting with small groups or individually with each reader to talk about their favorite topics, characters, etc. It will tell you lots about your little readers. I absolutely loved used these reading profiles this year- you can grab this amazing Reading Profile freebie from Stomping Through First!

Have a great day!

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