Grandma & Grandpa

I need to apologize to my grandma & my MOM!

I am such a SLACKER!

I think I have it all together..

I DO NOT! HOW? HOw to do it?

My Grandmother & MY MOM

raised a family, worked at home & outside the home,

and we always had stuff when we wanted it.

AND I NEVER ASKED HOW?

Grandma & Grandpa

My Grandma & Grampa

This is my GMA & GPA…

I miss them both.

They lived on a dairy.

 My GPA taught me about cows, HARD work, & what “silage” tasted like! ICK!

My Gma always wore a dress & heels. She was a petite little thing.

She wore toilet paper around her hair at night, so she would look “good” in the morning.

My Gpa didn’t give us candy.

 When we left his house, he would give us a teaspoonful of brown sugar

, from the jar in Gma’s kitchen.

 Nothing fancy..but it meant EVERYTHING to us!

They owned a peach orchard.

 40 acres of peaches.

I never really thought about it when I was little.

 It was just a “lot of trees”. HOW to keep it all together?

Engangement photo

Mom & Dad’s ENGAGEMENT photo

This is my MOM & Dad ( I just found this engagement pic.) HAHA

59 years

59 years together!

They worked hard.

My dad went to work every day.

 Dressed in his suit & white shirt

( that my mom ironed..I know ..with an iron & ironing board! )

And my mom worked a self-owned business,

was ALWAYS there when we got home form school,

 and helped us with EVERYTHING we ever did ( sports, clubs, school, etc).

And I never asked HOW?

How do you do it ALL?

And now this….

Both my GMA & My MOM canned fruits, made pickles, and baked goodies!

Now I don’t bake ( leave that gene to my sister, Susie).

I have NEVER made pickles..& probably won’t..BUT

I   CAN  FRUIT!   

I CAN FRUIT, A LOT!

I  remember walking into GMA’s garage & seeing shelves FULL of canned goods.

I grabbed bottles of canned fuits from my mom’s shelves in our garage.

Peaches, pears, cherries, etc, etc, etc,,   whenever we wanted!

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

It didn’t matter…it was always there.

HOW????

I never asked.

So now..I apologize to GMA & MOM.

I should have asked to help you peel, or slice, or wash, or……..or….or……

But, I cannot take it back.

SO?

I will follow in your steps.

I will teach MY DAUGHTER to can!

And my granddaughters!

I will continue the family tradition.

Only…we will use the recipe on my laptop.

( I know GMA & MOM didn’t do that!)

So here was my day TODAY ( from start  to finish ).

canning peaches

Canning Peaches – jars

canning peaches

canning peaches

Wash the jars ( hot water & heated dry) in dishwasher.

peaches

fresh peaches

peaches

washing peaches

peaches

blanched peaches

Wash..rinse…BLANCH (  Boil  whole peaches, then put in pan of ICE WATER!)

Their peels  just  slide right off!

Slice, Slice, slice!

canning "station"

Hubbies canning station

Too hot to cook inside!

Set up our campstove OUTSIDE!

Pan on the left is a sugar/water mixture.

Cook the peaches in for a short time, then pour into jars!

Hubby is sooooo  good at this!

peaches

Peaches in jars

canning peaches

Sliced peaches in jars

peaches

peaches in jars

Then…

Boil in a water bath ( 25 minutes ) to seal.

peaches

seal the cans

 and…

VOILA!

peaches

Canned peaches

peaches

canned peaches

There we go!

11 quarts of fresh canned peaches!

They will be sooo  good  this winter!

(Daddy gave us more peaches

…so I am thinking peach cobbler for dinner!)

or maybe…..

I SHOULD MAKE JAM!

Gma made jam……so did MOM….WOW!

This is HOW!

I should THANK them.   🙂

Here are some more posts to help me “get it all together!”

Planting Seeds

seed germinators

Spring gardening 101 and a FREE CHICKEN DANCE!

I love SPRING!

DID I MENTION…

I LOVE SPRING!

This Spring I taught my students how to recycle water bottles into seed germinators!

Hello Spring

I Love Spring!

I am an AVID  Gardener!
 
LOVE to get my fingers in the dirt.
 
We call my hubby “FARMER WITHOUT A FARM!”
 
We are “suburbanites” with a backyard farm. Chickens included!
 
Luna our backyard chicken

Black Chicken

Sunshine our white backyard chicken

Sunshine – white chicken

 
 
More on that later.
 
 
This year we installed
 
PALLET  GARDENS!
How to plant in a Pallet Garden

Grow plants in a PALLET GARDEN!

So easy!  
Lay down wooden pallet.
Fill with potting soil & steer manure.
Plant!
 
We did seeds.
And more seeds. (Rotate your crops)
 
We didn’t have a lot of room for “vines”.. so we did NOT grow pumpkins.
 
We did grow some BEAUTIFUL SUNFLOWERS in the back.
They need A LOT OF room. They got 10-12 feet TALL!

                                Check out my Sunflower Seeds Plant Unit.                                                                                AWESOME!

 
Grow vegetables that you eat. I wanted to show the kids
ROOTS, STEMS, LEAVES, FLOWERS, etc.
Choose plants that will help with that!
 
We also made individual planters for the kids to take home.
 
As we had been studying EARTH DAY…
 
We RECYCLED 
water bottles as seed planters!
Water bottles for planting seeds.

Recycled Water bottles for planting.

Start with water bottles.
Cut them in half.
Poke a hole in the lid.
Tie a knot in string & thread through the hole.
When lid is ON…string hangs DOWN.
Flip the  TOP of bottle..into the  bottom.
The bottom will hold the water.
Add soil.

Cut bottles in half. Add soil.

Add soil.
And seeds to top.
Fill the bottom with water.
The string acts like a wick…to water itself!
Water bottles growing seeds.

Recycled water bottles with seeds.

Water bottles as seed germinators!

We have sprouts!

Soon… sprouts!
We took them HOME at OPEN HOUSE!
The kids were SO excited to show off their garden.
Maybe THEY will become MASTER GARDENERS some day!
 
Happy Dance!

Happy Dance!

 
In honor of my 
CHICKENS…
 
Chicken Dance is FREE!
 
Word Game

Chicken Dance Word Game from 1stgradefireworks

Happy Spring to all!

APRIL 25 is WORLD Penguin DAY!

I know..It’s April

How can it be WORLD PENGUIN DAY?

via GIPHY

I don’t make these up… 🙂

To celebrate

WORLD Penguin Day (APRIL 25)

some bloggy friends and I have “LINKED” up to

give YOU some FUN and exciting ways to celebrate with your

students and your families!

Here are just a few penguin resources to get you started!

Thank You PINTEREST!

 

Earth Day is EVERY DAY

Happy Earth Day & A FREEBIE!

Earth Day is EVERY DAY!

New packet to help our kiddos understand that

Earth DAY is NOT a holiday!

It is a “lifestyle”.

We take care of  “MOTHER EARTH” and

she will take care of US!

This packet helps young kids understand the “value” …in coins… of  RECYCLING!
They read story problems and count coins! ( 2 FUN things !)

 

Here’s your   FREEBIE!

 

Do You teach NONSENSE words? YOU SHOULD!

I’ll admit it! ( Head hanging down).

I DID NOT TEACH NONSENSE WORDS!

UGH! BAD TEACHER!

WAIT! Let me tell you why!

I teach first grade. My students speak 6 different languages this year. They are JUST learning to read!

I thought NONSENSE Words were…NONSENSE!

I THOUGHT I was helping them by NOT CONFUSING THEM!

I admit it.

I WAS WRONG!

They need to experience PHONICS all around them!

They need to understand the phonemic sounds of ENGLISH!

Thank YOu, Della Larsen.

It’s NOT CRAZY! It’s good. It’s HELPFUL!

As I am re-thinking my BALANCED LITERACY instruction, I will NOW be adding phonics fluency using real and nonsense words to my lessons.

A short “BURST” of phonics, multiple times during my day, will help my students become

PHONICS MASTERS!

My newest change of “TEACHER MINDSET” is …NONSENSE WORDS!

OK… I’m IN!

Here is my newest product to HELP my kiddos with NONSENSE WORDS!

EARLY PREVIEW for YOU! 🙂

Real or Nonsense Words? How to help your students with phonics fluency.
Real or Nonsense Words? How to help your students with phonics fluency.

Tpt Link HERE!

Real or Nonsense Words? How to help your students with phonics fluency. Great for EL's and EO's.
Real or Nonsense Words? How to help your students with phonics fluency. Great for EL’s and EO’s.
Real or Nonsense Words? How to help your students with phonics fluency. Fluency Practice and Sorting .
Real or Nonsense Words? How to help your students with phonics fluency. Fluency Practice and Sorting .
Real or Nonsense Words? How to help your students with phonics fluency. Fluency Practice and Sorting .
Real or Nonsense Words? How to help your students with phonics fluency. Fluency Practice and Sorting .
Real or NONSENSE? Helping your readers with BOTH!
Real or NONSENSE? Helping your readers with BOTH!

Finally…helping Readers is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE DO!

So, I will add READING REAL & NONSENSE WORDS to my literacy repertoire!

How about YOU?

Let me know how it goes!

Wendy

Writing Workshop

2020 is a New Decade | We get a “Balanced Literacy” DO-OVER – – Week 7: Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

2019 is the Year of BALANCED LITERACY!

But wait! THIS IS 2020!

Did I miss it???  NO!

2020 is a new decade!

And because 2020 was soooo bad…we get another do-over!

We get a BALANCED LITERACY  “do-Over”!

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR PLAN!

The Why? The What? and The How?

This Week:  Writer’s Workshop

Balanced literacy has been defined as  “an approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001)

It is an approach to teaching. NOT a curriculum. It is HOW we teach our students to be independent readers and writers. It is NOT what books we use to teach them.

Balanced Literacy has been defined in “components” or  “pieces” of literacy instruction.

This 8-week series will focus on the components of a complete BALANCED LITERACY program. We will focus on clear and concise definitions. Definitions that educators can discuss in collaborations. A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.

The 8 components we will focus on are:

  1. Read Alouds
  2. Shared Reading
  3. Guided Reading
  4. Independent Reading
  5. Modeled / Interactive Writing
  6. Shared Writing
  7. Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
  8. Word Work

Each week we will focus on one area of Balanced Literacy and share experiences,  teacher tips, and resources to support and expand our Balanced Literacy repertoire.

BALANCED LITERACY

This week:   Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop

This week we jump into Writer’s Workshop!

You can’t THINK of Writing without thinking …

LUCY  CALKINS!

Writer's Workshop

Lucy Calkins Guide to Writer’s Workshop

During the writing workshop, students are invited to live, work and learn as writers. They observe their lives and the world around them while collecting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing well-crafted narrative and expository texts. Students receive direct instruction in a minilesson, during which the teacher explicitly names a skill proficient writers use that is within reach for most of the class, then demonstrates the skill and provides students with a brief interval of guided practice using it. Students then have time to write, applying the repertoire of skills and strategies they’ve learned, while receiving feedback through one-to-one conferences and small group instruction designed to move them along trajectories of development.

Lucy Calkins

The four components of Writer’s Workshop are:

  1. The Mini-Lesson
  2. Writing
  3. Conferring
  4. Share

Let’s discuss each part.

1. The Writing Workshop Mini-Lesson

 The mini-lessons are short, focused, direct. They typically fall into the categories of classroom procedures, the writer’s process, the qualities of good writing, and editing skills. The lesson is 5-10 minutes of directed instruction. Start off your writing lessons by brainstorming ideas. This lesson will help set the stage for a year of writing by giving students a place to find ideas to put in their future writing pieces. If you use interactive notebooks or writing folders, each student needs a place to put ideas, writing pieces in process, and finished works.

Rockin Resources

Writer's Workshop

Tips & Tricks for Writer’s Workshop

Where the Wild Things Learn

Launching Writer's Workshop

Launching Writer’s Workshop

Teaching with Crayons and Curls

 

2) The Writing in Writer’s Workshop

In my first grade classroom, my students have a folder, a journal, and a Pictionary ( pictures and words ). At the beginning of the school year, we practice writing.

Our routines include:

  1.  First,  they draw a picture with your PENCIL. ( No crayons, yet )
  2. Next, they write the words. After one month of school, we are now beginning to write 2-3 sentences. NO— THEY ARE NOT PERFECT—-  We are just beginning the process.
  3. Last, they may color their picture …unless they would like to ADD MORE. And then they can ADD MORE words to match the picture!
  4. I like to play classical music while my students are writing. I FEEL it helps them focus on their writing and gives them a quiet, calm atmosphere to create.

Right now our writing stamina is at about 10-15 minutes. As we become better writer’s, our stamina will increase to about 30-40 minutes.

3) Conferring during Writer’s Workshop

 CCSD102

4) Sharing During Writer’s Workshop

We call it the AUTHOR’S CHAIR.

My students are placed into 4 groups. 10-15 minutes before we dismiss, we ask the 6 team members if they would like to READ or PASS. If they choose to READ, they get their journal and come to the big “TEACHER CHAIR”. They choose 1 story to share with us. Our emergent readers can tell us the story and then they show us their picture.

Later in the year, we will give one compliment and ask one question to the “AUTHOR”. They LOVE this! It is important to discuss “beginning writer’s” and “advanced writers”, ahead of time.

No hurt feelings and EVERYONE’S work is appreciated! 

Writer’s Workshop is a planned time during the day when students can create writing of their own.

During this time, guided writing small groups may be meeting with the teacher or individual conferences may be happening. Whatever your choice, embrace the attempts. The successes and the failures will make them better readers and writers. We learn from our mistakes. Hold them accountable. Quality work is always our goal.

 

These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

Read Alouds

Reading at Home

These Writer’s Workshop resource books for TEACHERS may be helpful for YOUR reading.

Writing Strategies

Writing Strategies

Writing Strategies

 

Launching Writer's Workshop the Book

Launching Writer’s Workshop the Book

Launching the Writing Workshop

So…Leave me a comment… What does Writer’s Workshop look like in YOUR classroom?

Also…  check out these WONDERFUL teacherpreneurs to connect with!

Sept, Teacher Talk

Check out these amazing teacher blogs on TEACHER TALK

2019 is the Year of Balanced Literacy! Word Work FREEBIE!

2019 is the Year of Balanced Literacy! Word Work FREEBIE!

FREEBIE!

 

SPRING Word Trees with EXTENSIONS

Spring Word Trees for Reading Fluency UPDATED with Easy-prep extensions.
Spring Word Trees for Reading Fluency UPDATED with Easy-prep extensions
.https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Word-TreesFluency-Practice-3646980

Spring is a time for renewal. A time for growth!

In our classroom, the “seeds” we have planted ALL year long, are NOW GROWING!

And they are GROWING FAST!

All of the letter sounds, phonics lessons, sight words, guided reading, etc, etc ,etc are NOW

taking root!

So NOW WHAT? How to make it STICK?

First and foremost, Practice. Practice. Practice!

There is NO MAGIC! ( SORRY to tell you that!)

For student’s to internalize learning and to become independent readers.

They must read. And read A LOT!

These sight word fluency pages will help YOUR students practice the reading skills and strategies YOU have taught, with fun and engaging content.

Easy Prep Spring Word Trees help students with sight words, fluency, and grammar.

Students show their greatest growth patterns in the SPRING!

And TEACHERS…REJOICE!

Teachers doing HAPPY DANCE
Teachers doing HAPPY DANCE

Student’s have the “AH HA” moments…

Students also cheer! The

“LIGHBULB” goes on!

The student "lightbulb" goes on!
The student “lightbulb” goes on!

To help with the SPRING FLING…

I have added a new component to MY Guided Reading for Spring.

Spring Word Trees UPDATED with EXTENSIONS!

Spring word Trees for Fluency Practice. Now with Extensions
Spring word Trees for Fluency Practice. Now with Extensions
Spring Word Trees for reading fluency. Updated with extensions.
Spring Word Trees for reading fluency. Updated with extensions.
Spring Word Trees for reading fluency.  Whole page or booklet style.Updated with extensions.
Spring Word Trees for reading fluency. Whole page or booklet style.Updated with extensions.
Spring Word Trees for reading fluency.  Whole page or booklet style.New Scrambled sentences extensions.
Spring Word Trees for reading fluency. Whole page or booklet style.New Scrambled sentences extensions.
Spring Word Trees for reading fluency.  Whole page or booklet style.UPDATED with new Scrambled sentences extensions.
Spring Word Trees for reading fluency. Whole page or booklet style.UPDATED with new Scrambled sentences extensions.

Now my students can read, practice sentence structure with words, AND WRITE!

ALL in one easy-prep page!

HAPPY DANCE! 🙂

Spring Word Trees for Reading Fluency UPDATED with Easy-prep extensions.
Spring Word Trees for Reading Fluency UPDATED with Easy-prep extensions.

Happy Spring!

1stgradefireworks logo
1stgradefireworks logo
McBlarney TIME Time to the hour and half Hour

The “WEE” Little Ones are a’WATCHIN … What time is it?

What TIME is it?

It’s McBLARNEY TIME!

 
‘Tis the month of MARCH!
 
The “WEE LITTLE ONES”..
are a’watchin..
 
 
 
(Like my Gealic?) HAHA
 

What TIME is it?

ALREADY?
 
BTW…
There are 294 days 
…until CHRISTMAS! 
Just wanted to  FREAK YOU OUT!!!!!

What TIME is it?

It’s ONLY  MARCH!
Whew!
 
As an “official” IRISHLASS.
 Well…kinda…married a McCarty…
IRISH TO THE MAX!
And ..I carry Scottish/Irish genes.
 
So I AM an “IRISH  LASS” !
 
One of my fav. poems..I know it’s a song!
I love the lyrics!
 
 
 
The chorus…
 
When Irish eyes are smiling, 
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring. 
In the lilt of Irish laughter 
You can hear the angels sing. 
When Irish hearts are happy, 
All the world seems bright and gay. 
And when Irish eyes are smiling, 
Sure, they steal your heart away.
 
 
Awwww….
Makes me heart HAPPY!
 
I have been to the “EMERALD ISLE”.
I have “KISSED THE BLARNEY STONE”
…kinda gross.
( Story another time )

What TIME is it?

It’s McBlarney TIME!

 I want to share some “Blarney” with YOU!
 
 
 
 
 
And
 
 
 
 
Celebrate the WEARIN OF THE GREEN
on St.Paddy’s DAY!
 
Go n-éirí an bothar leat
(May your journey be successful)
 
* Don’t forget to wear YOUR GREEN on St. Patrick’s Day
…don’t want to get
PINCHED! 🙂
 

Shared - Interactive Writing

2020 is a New Decade | We get a “Balanced Literacy” DO-OVER – Week 5: Modeled / Interactive Writing

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

2019 is the Year of BALANCED LITERACY!

But wait! THIS IS 2020!

Did I miss it???  NO!

2020 is a new decade!

We get a BALANCED LITERACY  “do-Over”!

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR PLAN!

The Why? The What? and The How?

This Week:  Shared / Interactive Writing

Balanced literacy has been defined as  “an approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001)

It is an approach to teaching. NOT a curriculum. It is HOW we teach our students to be independent readers and writers. It is NOT what books we use to teach them.

Balanced Literacy has been defined in “components” or  “pieces” of literacy instruction.

This 8-week series will focus on the components of a complete BALANCED LITERACY program. We will focus on clear and concise definitions. Definitions that educators can discuss in collaboration.

A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.

The 8 components we will focus on are:

  1. Read Alouds
  2. Shared Reading
  3. Guided Reading
  4. Independent Reading
  5. Modeled / Interactive Writing
  6. Shared Writing
  7. Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
  8. Word Work

Each week we will focus on one area of Balanced Literacy and share experiences,  teacher tips, and resources to support and expand our Balanced Literacy repertoire.

BALANCED LITERACY

This week:   Shared / Interactive Writing.

This week we jump into Shared & Interactive Writing!

You can’t THINK of Writing without thinking …

LUCY  CALKINS!

 

Shared Writing

During shared writing, the teacher transcribes the entire text while engaging students in a rich discussion about how the text should be composed.

  • Shared writing is taught to small groups or a whole class in briskly paced, 5- to 20-minute lessons.
  • First, develop and extend children’s background and language knowledge on a topic or experience of interest.
  • Establish a purpose for the writing and an intellectually engaging opportunity for students to apply new learning. Students might write a letter to a local newspaper or write directions for a new game they have developed.
  • Write the entire text yourself in front of students (using chart paper or document viewer) while requesting input from students regarding aspects of the writing where they most need to expand their expertise.

Think about what you have just read.

Ready to expand?  Here you go!

  • During the writing, model processes needed by your students. Have a small whiteboard available, for example, to demonstrate to students how to say a word slowly and write sounds heard into “sound boxes” (Clay, 2006) before writing a phonetically regular word into the text for them. 
  • Demonstrate in-the-moment revision during shared writing as necessary to construct a strong draft. Reread the text to students from time to time to discuss what needs to be written next or to monitor whether or not the text conveys information clearly.
  • Do not deliberately make errors during shared writing. Model the immediate construction of a high-quality draft.
  • Read the completed text to students.
  • Post the text in an accessible spot in the classroom, and provide opportunities for students to read or use the text multiple times over the next several days or weeks.

Read Write Think

Shared writing is a process teachers use to help children to understand how to write a particular kind of text and to provide them with a model piece of writing to emulate. It involves a teacher producing some text on the board with input from the class. The students ” discuss and collaborate” while the teacher is the scribe.

The main difference between shared and interactive writing is who is holding the pen. In shared writing, the teacher holds then pen and serves as the scribe. The teacher also serves the roles of… summarizer of ideas, questioner, and prompting for quick decisions on spelling and print concepts.

Interactive Writing

Interactive writing is a cooperative event in which
teacher and children jointly compose and write text.
Not only do they share the decision about what they
are going to write, they also share the duties of
scribe. The teacher uses the interactive writing session to model reading and writing strategies as he or she engages children in creating text.

Through questioning and direct instruction, the teacher focuses
the children’s attention on the conventions of
print such as spaces between words, left-to-right
and top-to-bottom directionality, capital letters,
and punctuation. Clay (1979)

Firstgradenest.com

Mrs. Richardson’s Class

These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

Read Alouds

Reading at Home

These Interactive Writing resource books for TEACHERS may be helpful for YOUR reading.

 

 

So…Leave me a comment… What does INTERACTIVE WRITING look like in YOUR classroom?

2019 is the year of Balanced Literacy! FREEBIE!

2019 is the year of Balanced Literacy! FREEBIE!

FREEBIE HERE!

 

Independent Reading

2020 is a New Decade | We get a “Balanced Literacy” DO-OVER – Week 4: Independent Reading

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

2019 is the Year of BALANCED LITERACY!

But wait! THIS IS 2020!

Did I miss it???  NO!

2020 is a new decade!

We get a BALANCED LITERACY  “do-Over”!

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR PLAN!

The Why? The What? and The How?

Balanced literacy has been defined as  “an approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001)

It is an approach to teaching. NOT a curriculum. It is HOW we teach our students to be independent readers and writers. It is NOT what books we use to teach them.

Balanced Literacy has been defined in “components” or  “pieces” of literacy instruction.

This 8-week series will focus on the components of a complete BALANCED LITERACY program. We will focus on clear and concise definitions. Definitions that educators can discuss in collaboration.    A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.

The 8 components we will focus on are:

  1. Read Alouds
  2. Shared Reading
  3. Guided Reading
  4. Independent Reading
  5. Modeled / Interactive Writing
  6. Shared Writing
  7. Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
  8. Word Work

Each week we will focus on one area of Balanced Literacy and share experiences,  teacher tips, and resources to support and expand our Balanced Literacy repertoire.

BALANCED LITERACY

This week:   Independent  Reading.

Week 1:  We discussed Read Alouds.

Week 2: We discussed   Shared Reading.

Week 3:  We discussed Guided Reading.

This week we jump into

INDEPENDENT READING.

Let’s talk about INDEPENDENT Reading.

DEAR, SSR, Silent Reading, RAH, etc..  Whatever you call it…we call it

INDEPENDENT READING!

Independent reading is a time when students read text with little or no help from the teacher. They are usually at their seats or in comfortable places around the classroom.

In my classroom they may be at their desk, on a stool, in a rocker, or even…under a table or desk. Only one rule… You MUST be reading!

IMG_9620-2B-25281-2529.JPG

Check out FLEXIBLE SEATING

Independent reading is children’s reading of text — such as books, magazines, and newspapers — on their own, with minimal to no assistance from adults. It can consist of reading done in or out of school, including purely voluntary reading for enjoyment or assigned reading for homework. There are strong associations between independent reading and reading achievement, and many researchers believe that independent reading plays a key role in the development of reading fluency (speed and ease of reading), vocabulary, background knowledge, and even spelling. Not surprisingly, motivation also is associated with independent reading; children who are interested in and motivated to read tend to do more independent reading. Unfortunately, children with learning disabilities in reading often do not read independently, because they tend to find reading effortful, may have trouble obtaining books at their reading level, or may have generally negative attitudes toward reading as a consequence of repeated failure.

Reading Rockets

IR involves the full participation of the teacher. This means the teacher is instructing, scaffolding, and conferring with students (Reutzel, Fawson, & Smith, 2008) during IR time. For example, the teacher educates students in how to select appropriate books, scaffolds student understanding of specific text types, and confers with students to assess their understanding of what they have read.

Literacy Worldwide

Make the TIME for Independent Reading

If you’re really looking for independent reading to be successful with your students, you’ve got to commit class time to it. Students always see what we value by how we approach it during class. And if we want to be certain students get something done, we have to do it during class.

How you make this time is up to you. Elementary classes that tend to have students all day long can have a special fixed time each day allocated to independent reading. Middle and high school classes can allot a small portion – perhaps 10 or 15 minutes – of a class period towards independent reading each day before putting the book away and focusing on the day’s lesson. Others might prefer to wait until Friday and spend the whole class period reading that day.

Teachhub

How to Get Kids to Read Independently at Home?

Each WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY  they bring their RAH folder back.

I have them choose 2 books…YES…2 books to put in their folder.

( I place a pile 20 or so, of books at each level … *disclaimer…right now I have 5 Guided Reading groups…

I group their PILES of books at the Guided Reading group level…

So they really are taking home books at THEIR reading level.

Just a little teacher  “nudge”  in the right direction!

They choose two books, put them in their envelopes, 

and put them in their cubbies.

They keep them for 2 nights…hence bringing them back WED. & FRI. 

We change them for two NEW books … and here we go again!

How to Get Kids to Read at Home

Tips to Bring Independent Reading Into The Classroom

So, how do you realize the benefits of independent reading in your own classroom? Here are a few ideas:

  • Build independent reading time into each student’s day whether in school or at home. Class time is especially effective since it provides students a distraction-free time in their day to read.
  • Offer a selection of books at each student’s reading level and from different genres and help them find books they might enjoy.
  • Let each student make a reading list of five books they want to read and set reading goals.
  • Find creative ways for students to share books with one another, including things like book clubs, video projects, blogs or discussion time.

Educationdive

Jennifer Serravallo answers ’10 Questions About Independent Reading’

Independent Reading Activities

If you’re like most people, after reading a really good book you want to tell someone about it; you want to share.  Let students share their excitement over books!

Here are 8 activities that will engage students in sharing what they read.

  1. Illustrate an important character or event in the story.
  2. Create an advertisement to promote the book.
  3. Have students pick out words they are unfamiliar with and make a word wall.
  4. Make a bookmark that represents the theme or main idea of the book.
  5. Write a question to the author or a character in the book.
  6. Have them illustrate their favorite part of the story.
  7. They can write a letter to a character.
  8. Have them make a connection to a life experience.

In summary…

  • Allow students CHOICE..choice of books & choice of reading area.
  • Build in time for independent reading EVERY day..model reading,too!
  • Debrief their independent reading time. DISCUSS it!

Tools that may be helpful:

Book Boxes for Independent Reading

Book Boxes for Independent Reading

Gallon Zip-Lock Bags for Independent Reading books.

Gallon Zip-Lock Bags for Independent Reading books.

HOW TO GET BOOKS for Independent Reading?

Use SCHOLASTIC BOOK CLUBS, Donor’s Choose, and/or garage sales to add to YOUR classroom library for independent reading books.

From Striving to Thriving

From Striving to Thriving

From Striving to Thriving

No More Independent Reading WITHOUT SUPPORT

These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

Read Alouds

Reading at Home

So…Leave me a comment… What does  INDEPENDENT READING look like in YOUR classroom?

Check My Writing FREEBIE! 2019 the year of Balanced Literacy!

Check My Writing FREEBIE!
2019 the year of Balanced Literacy!

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