Sunday, November 10, 2013

Winners and Guided Reading Part 3: The Emergent Reader

First, I want to announce the winners from my Blogiversary Giveaway!  Congrats ladies and a HUGE thanks to those that helped me with all the wonderful prizes. I just noticed I am only 12 followers away from 500 followers!  All I can say is WOW!

I also want to talk about what I do with Emergent Readers.  Those are kids who know at least 40 letters (upper & lowercase added together) plus at least 5 sounds.  I just tested my students on Friday and every single student is now an Emergent Reader.  I am so proud of them!

Step One:

I quickly give them 3 previously learned sight words.  If there is a word we will encounter in the book we are about to read, I make sure that is one of the words.  Otherwise, I just pick words the group is having trouble with.  I give them clues if they struggle (ex. "It has 4 letters.") so they don't make a mistake.

Step Two:  Book Introduction.
 I give the gist of the story, go on a story walk and talk about cross-checking.  Cross checking is the number one skill this group of kids needs to learn.  That is where they check the first letter of the unknown word with the picture.  For example, is the word going to be pony or horse?  They'll have to get really good at checking the first letter of the word.  

Step Three:  Read the Story
I ask the kids to whisper read the book to themselves.  I lean in and listen to them one at a time.  I like to give them different pointers each time they read.  

 I take a minute or two to talk about something that good readers do. 
One-to-one matching
Use picture clues
Get your mouth reader

Jan Richardson suggests covering the picture with a piece of paper and having the group try and read the words without visual cues.  This makes sure they attend to the words and not just guess.

Step Four:  Teach a new sight word.

I take time to introduce a word that was in the book that I haven't formally introduced in class yet.  These are the four steps I follow each day:
I have them close their eyes while I take a letter out.  They open their eyes and try to figure out what is missing.

Then they make the word on their tray.  Then they mix up the letters and remake the word.

The students will "write" the word on the table with their finger.

Lastly, they write the word with a dry erase marker.

Step Five:  Sound Sorts, Making Words or Sound Boxes (pick one)

I love how easy Jan makes sound sorts.
Level A:  Initial consonants
Level B:  Initial consonants and/or vowels a & o
Level C:  All short vowels
Level D:  Digraphs (initial and final)
Level E:  Initial blends

I talked about the procedure for sound sorts in my last post on guided reading so I won't go through it again.  If you need some sound sorting cards, you can check mine out here.

Jan also makes Making Words and Sound Spelling a snap to figure out with her guidelines.  I honestly haven't done a lot of these because my kids needed some more work with sound sorts. 

On the second day of guided reading, you use the same book and the same procedure but the focus is on writing.  I dictate a simple sentence usually using the same pattern as the sentences in the book.

Level A kids should get a 3-5 word sentences.  Level B kids get 5-7 words in their sentence and Level C, 7-10.  I have the kids repeat the sentence a few times while counting the number of words on their fingers.  I then draw a line for each word in the sentence on their paper before giving it to them.  I allow invented spelling but sight words MUST be spelled correctly.

That's it!

I start testing for 1st trimester report cards tomorrow so we will take a break from guided reading.  I'm excited to see where my kids are at but I'm really going to miss hearing them read.  It makes my heart sing to hear a kinder read for the first time!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Currently...November Edition

Time to link up with Farley!

**I hate laundry day.  I don't mind putting in the clothes but I hate taking them out.  It drives my husband crazy.  I'm trying to be better...

**My kids are reading rockstars this year!  I had 4 start the year as A readers and 16 at a Pre-A.  Now I'm down to only 1 Pre-A and the rest area at A & B.  I'm loving seeing their progress!

**My little sis is having her first baby in February and I'm throwing her a shower.  My theme is Ready to Pop!  Popcorn, cake pops, BlowPops, etc.  I just need to get the invites out soon!

**I hate drama but unfortunately have to deal with some at work right now.  Happy thoughts sent my way would be appreciated.  Enough said.

**I would love to have someone come deep clean my house!

**My yummy pin is from Serious Eats.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie.  YUM!

Link up with your currently here!

There is still time to enter my Blogiversary giveaway!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Guided Reading Part 2: The Pre-A Reader

Pre-A students are kiddos who know less than 40 uppercase and lowercase letters (added together) and less than 5 sounds.  They are in need of some heavy interventions to get them up to speed.  Outside of the guided reading lesson I have those kids run through a letter tracing book daily.

Our Title 1 teachers are taking our lowest kids and running through the book every single day.  A student traces the capital letter and says the letter name.  Then they trace the lowercase letter and say the sound the letter makes.  Last, they point to the picture and says the name of that.  It is important they trace with just their finger (not a pointer or a marker).

If a student knows less than 10 letters, they should begin by tracing just the letters in their name and the letters they already know.  Add more pages once they start to catch on.

During the guided reading lesson I follow Jan Richardson's plans from her book The Next Step in Guided Reading.  You can get her plans for free here.

I start with one of her eight ways of working with letters.  My lowest group did number 7 the other day.  That is where I say a word and they find the matching letter on the ABC chart.   It is a quick way to know which sounds are still tricky for them and which ones they have mastered.

I wrote in my last post
 how much I love these trays.  I attached the alphabet chart to the cookie sheet with contact paper.  I can easily take off the letters I don't want to work with before each session.

I also work briefly on letter formation (since most of my low kids have difficulty making the letters).  I STRESS starting at the top every single time.  Bad habits die hard though! 

Next, we move on to working with names.  I have one little guy who can write his name but can't name the letters so I work with just him on this.   
 I typed up his name and put it in a zipper pouch so he can use a dry erase marker to rainbow write it.  Inside the pouch are the letters of his name and his name puzzle.

 We run through the letters every day. 

The next step is to do one working with sounds activity.  I alternate between clapping syllables, recognizing rhyming words (thumbs up or thumbs down) and picture sorts.

For me, picture sorts sounded like a great idea BUT all those little cards stressed me out.  Plus, my picture cards were different sizes and I didn't have enough for a small group.  I finally just made my own that would fit in a baseball card organizer.

There is a very specific order for how a picture sort should be done.
1.  Say the picture.
2.  Say the sound the picture starts with.
3.  Say the letter that makes that sound.
4.  Put the picture under the correct letter. 

After working with sounds, we finally start to work with books.  I basically do echo reading with this group.  The big thing is teaching this group concepts of print.  I also work a ton on tracking print (one-to-one).

 The last part of the lesson is interactive writing.  We work together to write a sentence.  Then we cut it up and put it back together like a puzzle.

I struggle with fitting everything into one day so I do the writing part the second day.

If you are looking for some picture sort cards, allow me to show you my newest product.

I made picture cards for the following sorts:
1.  Initial Consonants (Pre-A & Level A)
2.  Medial Vowel Sounds (Level B & C)
3.  Beginning and Ending Digraphs (Level D)
4.  Initial Blends (Level E)

I have also included the pages for your own letter tracing book for your Pre-A kids.  A kind follower suggested I also add some letter cards to use as headings for the sorts and/or to organize the letters so I added them, too.  Thanks for the great idea Yvonnee!

I included this pack in my 20% off Blogiversary sale.  Check it out here.

Also, don't forget to enter my Blogiversary giveaway!  There are 4 $10 TPT gift cards up for grab plus some AMAZING products from my blogging buddies and I!

I'll be back to post about Emergent Guiding Reading groups soon!