Category Archives: Reading | Writing

Reading, Phonics, Comprehension, Word Work, and Writing

UPDATE to Book Club Book Reports

This is crazy!

I’m getting  LAZY!

Now ..I work 3 jobs..I get up at 5:00AM and go to bed at 9:00PM.

I think I deserve some DOWN time!

BUT…

Then…I..get…really….complacient…procrastinate…LAZY!

So every once in a while…

I need someone to give me a little

PUSH    SHOVE    KICK IN THE  PANTS!

Time to  git’er DONE!

Larry the Cable Guy

Git ‘er DONE!

This has been one of those weeks!

So…

I have a packet I made that I use in my classroom

A  LOT!

If any of you already have this…

DO NOT FEAR!

Help is on it’s way!

Book CLub

Book Club Book Reports

Now,

MY KIDS LOVE THIS!

The packet is full of independent activities, comprehension questions, word work, etc

ALL related to the BOOK OF THEIR CHOICE!

I can use it with ANY book…

AND

My independent readers can read a book

 and as a GROUP

( can we say COLLABORATE )

they can DISCUSS & complete the pack TOGETHER!

Now I don’t use it daily…maybe once every two weeks or so.

It takes them a while & I really want them to “get into it”.

Lots of rewards, positive notes, specials when completed.

It’s a GOOD THING!

BUT…

It’s OLD. Really OLD.

It was in need of “A LIFT” ( in all the right places ).

It sounds like me!

SO…I DID IT!

I GOT ‘ER DONE!

And here she is…

ALL gussied up and purdy!

Book Club UPDATE Preview

Preview of ALL of the NEW additions to Book CLUB!

Book Club New cover

Updated Book Club Book Reports

Book Club Discussion Cards

Character discussion cards for Book Clubs

Book Report BOOKLET STYLE!

Booklets for Book Clubs! YES!

Grammar in Book Clubs!

Proper nouns in Book Clubs

Make a Book Connection in Book CLubs

Writing and Reading!

Booklet Book Clubs

Booklets for easy PREP & GO!

Booklet Writing in Book CLubs

Reading and writing BOOKLETS for Book CLUBS

Phoncs in Book Clubs

Book CLubs have Phonics pages too!

She has grown from 14 pages to 44!

She is ALL GROWED UP NOW!

I added a booklet style because

PAPER & INK ARE AT A PREMIUM!

So now…less paper…less ink…more productive teacher & students!

My Little LOVE…

Book Club

 is available

at my TPT store

(click picture)

1stgradefireworks

1stgradefireworks

You will  LOVE this!

Click HERE

Wendy

Need MORE LITERACY Information?

WHAT DOES READ AT HOME REALLY LOOK LIKE?

Welcome the VOWEL KIDS

Are YOUR students ready for GAMES..in centers?

Balanced Literacy WEEK 1

Check out these GREAT Products to help kiddos READ & WRITE!

Balanced Literacy

 

Bring on FAll

Bring on FALL! We are READY!

Have I mentioned…

I  LOVE  FALL!

OK…Many times.

I live in NORCAL.

We don’t have the  TRADITIONAL

4 seasons.

DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE  4   ????

In NORCAL…

we have

Summer ( 90-100 degrees )

Fall   (  80-90 degrees)

Winter   (  foggy…  60-70 degrees…sometimes cooler )

Spring  ( 70-90 degrees )

It’s OK…I LOVE my HOMETOWN.

Sometimes.

OH…well…  🙂

And so on.

SO now that it’s 80 degrees & FALL..

What’s UP in ROOM 3??

Fall Brings…

BRAG  TAGS!

We use Brag Tags on rings during the month.

They earn BRAG TAGS

for

 following classroom / school rules

AND

Lifeskills

At the end of each month…

They transfer their earned BRAG TAGS  from RINGS…

To string necklaces.

They get to wear their necklaces ALL DAY AT SCHOOL

and then

HOME!

( Parents are told at BTS night to

 REWARD their kids for necklaces

 at the end of the month!)  🙂

Fall Brings…

English   Language   Arts

Word Work

Word  Sorts…NO GLUE!

Pick 3 crayons.

Color the words according to the KEY!

Write!

Back from 2 week vacation.

TEACHER…..CLEAN   YOUR   TABLE!

 I don’t have a teacher desk.           #bestdecisionever

Reading  ROCKERS!    #alternativeseating

Birthday  Books.

On each student’s birthday  ( or close  to ),

We make a class BIRTHDAY  BOOK!

We do these during  MUST DO TIME!

Independent work.

We have a “FRAME” style we use.

Everyone makes a page.

We STAPLE together and VOILA!

CLASS   BIRTHDAY  PRESENT!

We sing and dance as we PRESENT ( haha )  it to the birthday  student!

LAST..( whew..what a  week !)

Fall Brings…

GUIDED MATH

My  newest  &  favorite time of the day!

 We are doing

MATH  MUST  DO’s  &  MAY  Do’s

( Same format as ELA centers in the AM )

KEEP  YOUR  ROUTINES  THE  SAME!

We go the the MATH  Calendar  (  next to ELA  Calendar  )

after  lunch.

Math  Calendar

After  we go through the “math board”…

We NOW ( Quarter 2)  do MATH MUST DO’S.

(  Approx.  45   minutes  )

Must DO’s

#1    MATH    JOURNAL

Story  Problem  with  illustrations &  number  sentence.

#2    Math  Paper

A  Workbook Page FROM  YESTERDAY ( review )

#3    MATH   TUB  (center)  with a PARTNER

I do the whole class MATH lesson  BEFORE  centers.

SOMETIMES we do the workbook page together…sometimes they do.

Depends on the Lesson.  We  have a district curriculum to follow.

( Approx.  time    45  minutes  )

What  am I doing?

GUIDED   MATH   GROUPS!

I meet with 2-3  kids at a time.

We work on a STRATEGY.

NO  worksheets!

They need  to have independent  strategies to do ON THEIR OWN!

I  can’t  take the assessments  FOR THEM!

So…

Here is what’s UP  in room 3 in the FALL?

Need  supplements for ELA  or MATH?

Brag Tags

Balanced Literacy

Check out my store for GOODIES!

1stgradefireworks

Fall, Apples, & Johnny Appleseed



It’s ALMOST HERE!

FALL
The leaves will be changing, sweaters & boots come out of the closet, & PUMPKIN SPICED LATTE!

The world will be “balanced” again!

To celebrate the 
COMING OF THE NEW SEASON

I have a new product!
I LOVE APPLES!
Apple pie, apple cake, applesauce…apple everything!

September is the MONTH of celebrations!
We celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday too.
We make… APPLESAUCE!


To add to this year’s celebration..
I have a NEW product.

Apples are the BEST!


September Literacy Booklets for Apples and Johnny Appleseed.

Booklet style..2 on a page..B/W

21 PAGES of Reading, Graphic organizers, Word Work, Grammar, labeling, & Writing!
All in ONE BOOKLET!
Great for Whole Class, Small groups, Partner Work, Independent practice.

Early Finishers WILL LOVE THIS!

Fall themed. 

If you need more Literacy Products… follow 1stgradefireworks

I hope you can enjoy 
APPLES ARE THE BEST!

Follow my PINTEREST boards for MORE
FALL  FUN!!!
2019 the Year of BALANCED LITERACY!

2020 is a New Decade – We get a “Balanced Literacy” DO-OVER

And a FREE Balanced Literacy resource to help you get 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’s 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)

Fountas & Pinnell have been the guiding resource for Balanced Literacy. Today we listen.

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.

This week:   READ  ALOUDS.

As defined by education.com, the teacher reads aloud various types of text. She often models her thinking aloud as she reads. The students participate by listening to the text and the teacher’s thinking strategies and then trying some of them out by talking with partners. The teacher reads the text, therefore taking away the visual sources of information, so that students can focus on meaning and structure.

The READ ALOUD is done BY the teacher FOR the students.

Marie Clay (1991) writes that when teachers read aloud to students “meanings can be negotiated in discussion before, during, and after the story reading” (p.171). Reading aloud to students should include think-aloud or interactive elements and focus intentionally on the meaning “within the text,” “about the text,” and “beyond the text” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2006, p.33). Read aloud, as part of the gradual release of responsibility, feeds naturally into shared, guided, and independent reading as teachers demonstrate for students the ways the reading process works (Burkins & Croft, 2010).

Among the many benefits of a read aloud, Rog (2001) lists the following:

  • building vocabulary
  • developing understandings of story structures
  • supporting developing connections between print elements
  • encouraging high levels of understanding
  • teaching the reading process in a meaningful context
  • modeling fluency
  • motivating students to read

There are many types of print for Read Alouds. Classroom library books, Big Books, chapter books, charts, and poetry are resources for teachers to read TO students.

Here some great educators share their resources.

first-grade-read-aloud-opt-400x634

15 Read Aloud Books for First Grade

Erica at what do we do all day    

has a list of First Grade Read Alouds.

firstgradereadalouds

19 Perfect Read Alouds

Mia at the Pragmatic Mom also has a list.

Pinterest has many fun and exciting ideas!

The main goal of a read aloud is to engage students with the text.

To create their own thinking based on their life connections,  and discuss the text with peers. Each will bring their own comprehension based on their life experiences. As they learn to communicate their thoughts and understanding to others, their own comprehension will expand. The teacher has an opportunity to draw the students INTO the book. Use your posters, viusals, artifacts, and  storytelling techniques to be the characters, create the world using your voice, and open the doors to new adventures.

Slide1

How to PLAN Read Aloud Lessons

Paige from Our Elementary Lives showsand storytelling Read Aloud Lesson.

And there are MORE. Click the links below for more information on READ ALOUDS.

Upper Elementary Snapshots

The Inspired Apple

Intentional Homeschooling

A Dab of Glue Will Do

In summary, a READ ALOUD is a book, a chart, a poem on a smartboard, or any other text in your classroom supplies, where the teacher reads TO the students using self-questions and think aloud reading strategies. The goal is to model fluent and expressive reading. The students then INTERACT with the text through discussions, writing, and/or thinking for themselves.

These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

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

51Sj5mMOXJL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_

The Ultimate Read-Aloud Resource

The Ultimate Read-Aloud Resource 

516PEG6FPDL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

The Read-Aloud Handbook

The Read Aloud Handbook

I hope YOU are prepared to practice DAILY Read Alouds in YOUR classroom!

Stay tuned for next week… Week 2 Shared Reading.

Please share with friends.

Leave me a comment…How do YOU use Read Alouds in YOUR classroom?

Print

Read Aloud for 15 Minutes

Read Aloud

Partner Reading Comprehension Sticks. Talk about your READING!

For MORE Balanced Literacy Resources..

CHECK out my TpT Store 1stgradefireworks

HAPPY New Year!

Wendy

My October Dilemma…What to teach? Freebie!

So my dilemma.
We have a two week vacation
 from Oct. 1-Oct. 15.

(NO COMPLAINING HERE!)
BUT…

We return on Oct. 16.

 MONDAY

15 days (exactly ) until….

YOU  KNOW  IT

TUESDAY, October 31, 2017

HALLOWEEN!
Parties,
CANDY,
Kids who can’t wait to get home ( highly DISTRACTABLE!)
(some schools…not mine….)
COSTUMES!

So …
My  dilemma.

When we go back,
Do I put out HALLOWEEN themed centers?
Do I keep it OCTOBERish with Columbus, Halloween, Fall, Pumpkins,etc?
Do I just “touch” on the “HOLDIAY” stuff…and Promote the FALL  stuff?
Do I  add  THANKSGIVING?

Should I keep it ALL going until THANKSGIVING?

What to do?  What to do?????

BTW…   I  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE   FALL!
My favorite  season.

YUMMY!
But…
CONTENT is EVERYTHING!
My student’s MUST take a BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT in December.
I want them to do well.

( I don’t think there will be a HALLOWEEN question on it.)
Unless it’s about 

HOW MANY CANDIES DID YOU EAT ALL TOGETHER?

So ..what to do?   What  to do?

INTEGRATE!

I must teach SCIENCE and SOCIAL STUDIES!

( Living things…life cycle…Plants/animals…Lifestyles Long Ago..)

So here is MY plan:

Reading:
  • Nonfiction about pumpkins, apples, plants
  • Biography about Christopher Columbus, Squanto
  • Fiction about Fall, Halloween, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving
I am checking my district curriculum ( yes, we have one )
for REQUIRED (Tested )  Skills & Strategies for this quarter.

As we delve into our reading…I make SURE to incorporate TESTED strategies.
Questioning? Sequencing? Retelling? Etc..etc…

Vocabulary?   Again…check NECESSARY vocabulary for success!
I spend A LOT of time on necessary vocabulary. I have 10-12  English Language Learners.
They need visuals, modeling, & practice before they can “TAKE ON” the new information.

Phonics?   Spelling?   Grammar? 
 Required phonics skills for this quarter.
What to use for  Spelling? 
BOTH!
  Required spelling skills AND  thematic vocabulary words. 
WHAT?      WHY?

Because…I want them to have some  INTRINSIC vocabulary to use easily in their..
WRITING!

I want MY Mummy!  🙂
Sorry….couldn’t  resist.
Writing:

  • “How To”..grow..carve…etc… about pumpkins, apples, plants
  • “Informative”  about Christopher Columbus, Squanto,Pilgrims
  • “Narrative”  about Fall, Halloween, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving
  • Thank You cards, Invitations, Lists, Etc.
Again….I am checking my district curriculum 
for REQUIRED (Tested )  Skills & Strategies for this quarter.

Whatever our REQUIRED writing prompt will be
( I already know mine  is INFORMATIVE)

We will practice, practice, practice!
I won’t skip the other genres.
Just FOCUS on the INFORMATIVE!

BUT wait!
I want crafts! I want CUTSIE! I want products! 
I Love BOOKS!

And so…we will make CUTSIE lapbooks, paintings, charts, stories & crafts
 about???

Fall, Halloween, pumpkins, apples
, plants, Christopher Columbus, 
Squanto, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving

DON’T  tell  our FIRE MARSHALL..

I might HANG THINGS UP!
Definitely!

I won’t tell,  if YOU won’t tell.

MATH:
  • addition / subtraction
  • missing addends
  • place value
  • graphing
  • story problems

And MATH??
Lots of Graphs, addition & subtraction, problem solving, story problems
ALL ABOUT THEMES!

How many apples, pumpkin seeds, candies, turkies, indians, etc, etc.
(Math Journals are GREAT for this!)

and, yes..

I will need to keep it going until Thanksgiving.
And I will need to use EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY!
And yes… it will take planning, and prepping…

BATS! 



Black  Cats

Growing  Pumpkins

Making APPLESAUCE!
Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed!


And YES
I WILL LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

You see…
FALL IS MY FAVORITE SEASON OF THE YEAR!
To those of you who hung in there to the bottom of this LONG POST…
A FREEBIE FOR YOU!
Happy FALL!

Helping FIRSTIES become Better Writers

Can First Graders become BETTER WRITERS?

Hello everyone!

My name is Wendy McCarty.

I am the creator behind…

1stgradefireworks

I create classroom and homeschool materials

that engage young minds and help the teacher to support instruction.

You can see my products in my TPT Store:

1stgradefireworks

Today’s Topic…

Writing in First Grade

Now… I wish I was PERFECT.

I wish my kiddos were PERFECT.

There are NO Perfect PEOPLE!

NO Perfect KIDDOS.

No  Perfect.

Now that we have gone there…how do we get close?

We get  BETTER!

Better Readers.

Better Speakers.

Better Writers.

Better..Better…Better

( My Mantra )

HOW?

We write EVERY DAY.

Usually..more than once.

We write about our day in school

…things we like

…stories we have read

…new words we have learned

…new thoughts we have had

etc.etc.etc.

I try to do a mini-lesson on a strategy.

I add new vocabulary.  In CONTEXT.

We make connections.

We expand our thinking.

We TALK!

And it can be noisy.

It’s OK.

Sometimes LEARNING is messy.

And loud. And busy.

It’s OK!

We do writer’s workshop.

My kids write.

AND they LOVE IT!

HOW?

Give them paper, pencils, markers, colored pencils, etc…

Give them…TIME!

And … LET THEM TALK!

My classroom is NEVER quiet!

Talking

about writing,

 during writing,

and after writing.

TALK, Write,  Create!

Are they perfect?

NO.

Is that OK?

YES!

*(Update)

I have added new

VOCABULARY BANNERS

to my

Writing Center.

Fall Vocabulary Banners for WRITING

Fall Vocabulary Banners for WRITING

The banners

help my

 beginning writers

( HOW DO YOU SPELL…..??? )

and my

EL students

(LOTS of VISUALS )

See how I use the

VOCABULARY BANNERS

Here.

For WRITER’S WORKSHOP

 If you need a starting point...

Monthly Writing Pages

WITH

VOCABULARY Helpers

at the

bottom of EVERY PAGE!

I LOVE TEACHING!

I am currently headed into my 27th year teaching…ALL of them in first grade!

My kiddos ask me “WHY don’t YOU ever GRADUATE to Second Grade?”

I tell them

“First Grade is IN my HEART!”

You can follow me at:

https://1stgradefireworks.net

https://www.facebook.com/1stgradefireworks

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/1stgradefireworks

https://www.Instagram.com/1stgradefireworks

https://www.pinterest.com/1stgradefirewor

Follow me:   TPT    FB   IG   Pinterest

1stgradefireworks

3 Steps to Sight Word Fluency

3 steps to sight word fluency.

Not exactly steps..a hop..a skip..and a JUMP!

When teaching my kiddos to read,

I use MANY tools!

Books, whiteboards, markers, pocket charts, flashcards, etc..

But… when teaching sight words

or

high-frequency words

or

FRY words, Dolch Words etc, etc, etc.

It ALL comes down to this…

IF YOU CANNOT READ  SIGHT WORDS

You WILL NOT read at grade level!

Scary??    YES!

 HOW  DO  WE HELP???

We research.  We try. And we try AGAIN!

There are MANY resources on Pinterest

to help you find lists, and lists, and lists of words!

27-awesome-sight-word-activities-for-kids-pin

Awesome Sight Word Activities

27 Awesome Sight Word Activities

sight-words-pin-700x1000

Sight Word Activities

Learn Sight Words Through Play

And LOTS of OTHERS!

HFW Dots from 1stgradefireworks

Awesome Sight Word Activities

HFW Dots

NOW I know what to teach…

 HOW  do  I Do  IT?

Here are your

3 steps to Sight Word FLUENCY!

steps

Step 1

Matching  Game

Each student makes their OWN word cards on colored paper.

(Practice sounding out, spelling, & writing EACH word)

I use 8 – 10  words.

Then they cut them apart.

Find a friend who has a different colored paper.

Both friends turn their word cards face down.

Rock, paper, scissors…winner goes first.

Choose one of YOUR word cards and one of your friends.

READ BOTH CARDS…friends help if needed.

If they match…keep BOTH cards. If not, turn them over and partner’s turn!

Winner has the most matches at the end of time

( or when ALL cards are  turned over)

PLAY  AGAIN!

Kids playing Sight Word Matching Game

Awesome Sight Word Activities

Great PARTNER work!

steps

STEP  2

Pocket Chart

MAKING WORDS

and

MATCHING WORDS

I use

MAKING WORDS

 GRADE  1

Making Words for Sight Words

Awesome Sight Word Activities

for my word study WORD WORK.

I make the letter cards and the word cards.

We pocket chart them ( my kiddos like to play SCHOOL during MAY DO time).

One of the Activities is

MAKING  WORDS!

Pocket Chart for Sight Words

Awesome Sight Word Activities

After MAKING WORDS

we play

MATCH IT!

Pocket Chart Match Sight Words

Awesome Sight Word Activities

Turn them over & MATCH IT!

We also invented

SPEED READER

(NOT SPEED RACER!)

I turn them over & as a class,

we read as FAST AS WE CAN!

Step 3

steps

Word Wall for Sight Word Fluency

We play

I SPY

They use their whiteboards

and I call OUT…

I SPY A WORD ON THE WORD WALL that

starts with a “_____”  and RHYMES with “____”.

They find it on the all…and write it on their boards.

Sometimes I will change it up with

“A verb that starts with a “__”, etc. etc.

 The main theme here is PRACTICE…PRACTICE PRACTICE!

No matter how many “steps” it takes…

they need practice activities & time

to HOP, SKIP, & JUMP  into FLUENCY!

Balanced Literacy for the Primary Classroom

ALL Classrooms should be a BALANCED LITERACY Classroom!

ALWAYS  begin with BALANCED  LITERACY!

And so we begin.

Matching Words

Making Words

I Spy

To help with Sight Word Mastery
CLICK on the links for help!

Small Groups

Those Crazy Word Walls

Hi Ho Hi Ho..It’s Off to High-Frequency Work we GO

Ready to TRANSFORM your Classroom 

into a 

BALANCED LITERACY Classroom?

Here you are! 

Balanced Literacy 

If you need more help, check out my TPT Store. LOTS of goodies in there!

Wendy

Can reading be the #1 predictor of academic success?

First and Foremost,

Reading is the #1 predictor of academic success.


Consider this my DISCLAIMER…

I am NOT  A  College Professor.

I do NOT have a MASTERS ( or above ) 

in ANYTHING!

I am just a teacher.

A first-grade teacher.

A first-grade reading teacher.

A Veteran (27yrs ), a first-grade teacher,

in a TITLE 1 SCHOOL!

I have seen a LOT! Done a LOT!

Hear me ROAR!!!!!

 So, I repeat.

I am a teacher. I teach reading.

circle of students looking at books

(Aren’t they cute????)

I have been through:

Whole Language

Environmental Print

Interactive Writing

Phonemic Awareness

Leveled Readers ( DRA, GSP, AR, Lexile)

Phonics

Words Their Way

HFW

Sight Words

High-Interest Reading Books

SIPPS

Read Naturally

Daily 5

And 

A MULTITUDE OF PUBLISHER’S CURRICULUM!

New sets every 7 years!

Next, having said this…

1 thing most curriculum’s have in common :

READ!

READ A LOT!

And then…READ SOME MORE!

Young girl reading a book

So …

My little sisters…

YES…both of my LITTLE SISTER’S are 

PRIMARY TEACHERS!

We were discussing school.

Yes… we do that!

 We are trying to WRAP our minds around the

“READ…READ…READ more”

and they will 

“GET IT!”  (way of thinking.)

happy baby

Well, maybe

I  LOVE reading with kiddos!

See my post here about the

 GUIDED READING TABLE!

But then my concern is…

When I “release” them to read,

When I want them to become INDEPENDENT readers,

Where do they “learn” the skills to use when they “get stuck”?

Will they use strategies, when they don’t know what’s happening?

When a story isn’t making sense…do they keep reading?

If they keep reading…

Will all the skills and strategies come TOGETHER?

At a recent PD, my little sis said she understood the 

READ, READ, READ philosophy.

Integrate science, social studies, math, technology

INTO  literacy!

YES!

Writing and Reading

COMPLIMENT  and Coexist

WITH  each other!

You can’t have one without the other!

THEY NEED EACH OTHER!

BUT…

-Me  SPEAKING-

on my soapbox

There needs to be a BALANCE of:

Skills & Strategies

in conjunction with independent reading & writing!

THERE!

I said IT!

Reading & Writing SKILLS:

Letter Sounds

Blends

Vowels

Word Families

Chunks

Grammar

Punctuation

High-Frequency Words

Capitalization

Handwriting

and MORE!

Comprehension

Questioning

Summarizing

etc, etc, etc…

(I sound like my Education College Professors!)

I was listening!

ALL of these “lessons” MUST be taught

IN CONJUNCTION with 

Reading & Writing!

Yes…To be a better reader…

YOU  MUST  READ!

BUT…to be a better reader who UNDERSTANDS…

You must have skills and strategies  to use

WHEN  you read and write!

NOW…CAUTION!!!

baby with glasses

Unless you are teaching ADULTS in a COLLEGE CLASS…

A 40-minute LECTURE on diagramming sentences

IS NOT…I REPEAT…

NOT

the way to do it!

If you WANT to spend 40 minutes discussing grammar…

CHUNK IT!

Read a little.

Discuss it.

Let it soak in.

And do it again. And again. and again!

READ!

Do 2-3 MINILESSONS over a few days…

Let it SINK IN!

Show  kiddos:

  What it looks like.

Where to find it.

How to use it.

Why we use it.

When to ask for help.

Kinder-Grade 1-Grade 2 teachers…

UNITE!

Mini-Lessons with a WORKSHOP!

Use SMALL Groups for STRATEGY & Skill Groups!

Let kiddos have a chance to PRACTICE

what YOU have taught them!

Let it SINK IN!

And Then…

LET  THEM  READ!

and 

READ!

and

READ!

and then

WRITE…and write, some more!

2 kids reading books

readl to self

independent reading

small group reading

Skills, Strategies, Reading, Writing

They will become “BETTER”…

and isn’t that what we ALL want to be?

BETTER!

Need some HELP?

My friend, Alison, at 

Learning at The Primary Pond

 

Button from Learning at The Primary Pond

learningattheprimarypond.com

has a great post about

What Does Reading Workshop Look Like In The Primary Grades?

what does reading workshop loolk like in the primary grades?

Here are some “HELPERS” for YOU!

go to: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/1stgradefireworks

Click HERE for more reading & writing products!

   

  

Is reading MORE..really ENOUGH??

Consider this my DISCLAIMER…

I read. I read a LOT!

I am NOT A College Professor.

I do NOT have a MASTERS ( or above )

in ANYTHING!

Just a READING CERTIFICATE!

I teach reading!

I am just a teacher.

A first-grade teacher.

A Veteran (27yrs ), first-grade teacher, in a TITLE 1 SCHOOL!

I read!They read!

I have seen a LOT!

Done a LOT!

Hear me ROAR!!!!!

Ok. So again.

I am a teacher.

(Aren’t they cute????)

I have been through:

Whole Language

Environmental Print

Interactive Writing

Phonemic Awareness

Leveled Readers ( DRA, GSP, AR, Lexile)

Phonics

Words Their Way

HFW

Sight Words

High-Interest Reading Books

SIPPS

Read Naturally

Daily 5

And 

A MULTITUDE OF PUBLISHER’S CURRICULUM!

New sets every 7 years!

Having said this…1 thing most curriculum’s have in common :

READ!

READ A LOT!

And then…READ SOME MORE!

So …

My little sisters…

YES…both of my LITTLE SISTER’S are

PRIMARY TEACHERS!

We were discussing school.

( I know..we are NOT supposed to discuss SCHOOL during SUMMER VACATION!)

But…um…we were discussing school…

and we are trying to WRAP our minds around the

“READ..READ..READ more”

and they will

“GET IT!”

(way of thinking.)

Well, maybe

I  LOVE reading with kiddos!

See my post here about the GUIDED READING TABLE!

My concern is…

When I “release” them to read,

When I want them to become INDEPENDENT readers,

Where do they “learn” the skills to use when they “get stuck”?

Will they use strategies, when they don’t know what’s happening?

When a story isn’t making sense…do they keep reading?

If they keep reading…

Will it ALL come TOGETHER?

At a recent PD, my little sis said she understood the

READ, READ, READ philosophy.

Integrate science, social studies, math, technology

INTO  READING!

YES!

Writing and Reading COMPLIMENT and Coexist WITH  each other!

You can’t have one without the other!

THEY NEED EACH OTHER!

BUT…

-Me  SPEAKING-

There needs to be a BALANCE of:

Skills & Strategies

in conjunction with independent reading & writing!

THERE!

I said IT!

Reading & Writing SKILLS:

Letter Sounds

Blends

Vowels

Word Families

Chunks

Grammar

Punctuation

High-Frequency Words

Capitalization

Handwriting

and MORE!

Comprehension

Questioning

Summarizing

etc, etc, etc…

(I sound like my Education College Professors!)

I was listening!

ALL of these “lessons” MUST be taught

IN CONJUNCTION with

Reading & Writing!

Yes…To be a better reader…

YOU  MUST  READ!

BUT…to be a better reader who UNDERSTANDS…

You must have skills and strategies

to use

WHEN

you read and write!

NOW…CAUTION!!!

Unless you are teaching ADULTS in a COLLEGE CLASS…

A 40-minute LECTURE on diagramming sentences

IS NOT…I REPEAT..

NOT

the way to do it!

If you WANT to spend 40 minutes discussing grammar…

CHUNK IT!

Do 2-3 MINILESSONS over a few days…

Let it SINK IN!

Show  kiddos:

  What it looks like.

Where to find it.

How to use it.

Why we use it.

When to ask for help.

Kinder-Grade 1-Grade 2 teachers…

UNITE!

Mini-Lessons with a WORKSHOP!

Use SMALL Groups for STRATEGY & Skill Groups!

Let kiddos have a chance to PRACTICE what YOU have taught them!

Let it SINK IN!

And  Then..

LET  THEM  READ!

and

READ!

and

READ!

and then

WRITE…and write  some  more!

Skills, Strategies, Reading, Writing

They will become “BETTER”

..

and isn’t that what we ALL want to be?

BETTER!

Need some HELP?

Here are some “HELPERS” for YOU!

Check out ALL my reading & writing products!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/1stgradefireworks

Flexible Seating: Stools, rockers, rugs, and seats…For READING??

Why flexible seating?
When I was in elementary school
( Way back in the DINOSAUR days )  
1970’s
 
flexible seating in the classroom
 
We sat in rows.
Many rows.
All of us looking straight ahead.
At the teacher, at all times!
No flexible seating, here.

 
flexible seating in the classroom
We kept our hands & feet to ourselves.
We kept our books in our desks.
And we read QUIETLY to ourselves.
Shhh…whisper!
 
We read.
Some people enjoyed it.
Some people just pretended.
Most did what we were told.
We didn’t ask…WHY?
or
 
Is there ANOTHER WAY?
How to bring flexible seating options into my classroom?
 
Because at home…
 
I would lay on my bed and read for HOURS!
flexible seating
(picture by Dreamstime.com)
 
And that is how I  LOVE TO READ!
 
I want my students to LOVE to read!
 
So I have “changed it up!”
I have added flexible seating options in my classroom for kids to 
read in a comfortable, relaxed, enjoyable experience.
 
Every day after lunch my first graders do
 
READ  TO  SELF.
 
If you have not read the book
The Daily 5
 
from “The 2  SISTERS”      YOU  NEED  TO!
My first graders read to themselves.
 
Not to me,
Not to a partner,
JUST TO THEMSELVES!
 
Therefore…READ  TO  SELF!
 
I set the BIG TIMER!
 
online reading timer
 
 
I use THIS one.
 
We start the year at 6 minutes.  Read.
We work on increasing our reading STAMINA.
 Read longer.
Today, we are at 18 minutes!
 
18 minutes of uninterrupted reading 
of books THEY choose!
 
BUT there is MORE!
 
They don’t sit in rows.
They don’t sit at their desk.
 
We have flexible seating choices for reading.
 
flexible seating reading rockers
READING  ROCKERS

 

flexible seating stools
TALL STOOLS

 

flexible seating short stools
SHORT  STOOLS

 

flexible seating chairs
SHORT  STOOLS  at  SHORT  TABLES
flexible seating
 
CHAIRS  by themselves

 

flexible seating rugs
READING  RUGS

 

flexible seating
 
CORNER  NOOKS

 

flexible seating floor
FLAT  OUT  ON  THE  FLOOR
 
And when we are done?
Stools under the tables.
Rockers stacked in baskets.
Rugs in the tub.
And chairs stacked.
 

 

flexible seating stools

 

flexible seating stools

 

flexible seating guided reading stools

 

flexible seating reading rockers

 

flexible seating chairs
They MOAN when the timer goes off. 
 
They ask during other times of the day
to Read in the Rockers.
 
THEY  WANT  TO  READ!
 
I have taught them to LOVE to READ..  
 
ANY HOW…ANY WHERE!
Flexible seating choices have made a HUGE difference
in the reading choices my students make.
 
They want harder books.
They want to read MORE!
 
It’s hard to walk into a first grade classroom
 
and hear…SILENCE.
 
But the “whispers” of reading are heard, daily!
UPDATE
More flexible seating CHOICES!
 
I won ..yes…won  these
4 AMAZING Stools at our recent
NorCAL Teachers Meet UP
in Pleasanton,CA!
 
Check out the fun at:
Instagram
 
flexible seating storage ottomans
I was the BIG..WINNER  WINNER! 🙂
Yes…I won ALL  4
WHOOP!  WHOOP!

 

flexible seating wooden rocking chairs
And these Bad boys…
They are wooden rocking chairs,, and they SQUEAK!
I love to hear the squeak, squeak as they rock & READ!
Thank You Donor’s Choose!
 
My “flexible seating” is complete!
Now to “arrange” it into 
WORKSTATIONS!

 

 

 

I absolutely LOVE IT!

 

( SO DO THE KIDDOS!)

 

Some of my “bloggy friends”
have also posted about
their experiences
with flexible seating.
Check them out.
How to fund and implement flexible seating
 
10 things to know about flexible seating
 
flexible seating
 

 

If you want to learn MORE about reading
check out these blog posts: