How do I get kids to Read at Home?
I am a BLOG STALKER!
I admit it.
This year I am trying to get my kids to
Read at HOME.
I am ALWAYS trying to find the BEST,
FASTEST, & EASIEST ways
to make my classroom run smoother
& more effective while being
Aren’t we ALL?
So each year I try to “change”
a few things for the better.
NO THROWING THE BABY OUT
WITH THE BATH WATER!
So here is something “NEW”
( or New to ME )
that I am doing this year!
Who chooses the students Read at Home Books?
I am NOT ( Ugh…), NOT
choosing the Student’s
TAKE HOME BOOKS
( Let it go! Let it go!)
I LET THEM!
The power is in the CHOICE.
I thought if I chose reading books that were
ON their reading level
THEY would MAGICALLY
fall in LOVE with READING!
How Do Their Books get HOME?
I have RAH ( Read AT Home ) envelopes…
REALLY GREAT STUFF
BUT ANY envelope will do!
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
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 do I know if they REALLY read their
Read at Home Books?
Some nights I add a
page to their homework.
USE ONE OF YOUR RAH BOOKS!
( Your choice!)
You can get my READING RESPONSE Packet HERE
I do have a paper…lined…for parents to sign each night.
DO ALL OF THEM SIGN IT?
If YOU take a horse to water…
Can you FORCE it to drink it?
Let it go! Let it go!
What happens if a parent doesn’t read at home
with a student?
If you have a parent
who doesn’t support reading at home…
READ, READ, READ at school.
YOU may be
the ONLY adult
who reads with
We ALL have “that child”.
Don’t fight it!
Don’t PUNISH the child.
IF he/she could read it BY THEMSELVES…
Let it go! Let it go!
How do You REWARD students who do Read At Home?
I do REWARD
those who make the continued effort
to read at home
When they bring their envelopes back,
I check the paper.
IF the parent HAS NOT SIGNED…
I highlight in RED that date.
At the end of the MONTH..
I give a reward
(and a SPECIAL BRAG TAG )
to those who have read
I know…NOT fair for “that child”.
Fair is NOT Always EQUAL!
I want my kiddos who
DO THE WORK
And so my friends…
I keep stalking.
LOTS of great ideas out there in
And PINTEREST LAND.
AND INSTAGRAM LAND.
If you need some ideas…
Check out MY PINTEREST BOARDS.
Happy Reading my Friends
GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY IN THE GARDEN!
It’s time to plant the garden!
Plant your garden!
What do we do with it?
IT’S TIME TO PLANT!
If you are looking for a fun gardening unit for your CLASSROOM…
Click HERE to see the new packet.
I love SPRING!
DID I MENTION…
I LOVE SPRING!
This Spring I taught my students how to recycle water bottles into seed germinators!
I know. I said it.
WAIT! DON’T LEAVE!
Classroom Management isn’t a BAD thing!
It’s how to create a CALM…so you can teach!
And isn’t THAT our GOAL?
There are a GAZILLION places to learn how to do
When I was beginning my career,
was the JEDI of Classroom Management!
It’s a good read for ALL of us!
After a trillion different management attempts,
I think I have found classroom management
And it HAS to WORK ..
What the teacher next door is using
maybe the best thing,
“since sliced bread”.
If it doesn’t work FOR YOU,
So WHAT do I use?
Three step program.
(NO… not a 12 step program…ONLY 3)
As every primary teacher knows,
Consistency is the key to success.
Young kids like to know what is coming next.
They like to know ” IF THIS…THEN THAT!”
And they keep ME on my toes!
And pulling my hair out!
I start my school year with group points.
It lasts about a month.
After they figure out which “friend” is going to be a problem in THIER group…
points don’t count.
I used to use “CLIP CHARTS”.
Great kids move up.
Those who need more “attention” moved down.
I had a great visual
of the “cans” and the “cannots”.
Not for me.
And so began ..
MY 3 STEPS to MY SANITY!
1. CLASS DOJO
2. GOLDEN TICKETS
3. BRAG TAGS
These 3 management strategies work for me.
If they help YOU…JUMP ON IN!
* I am NOT receiving ANYTHING from DOJO…
I JUST LOVE IT!
Class DOJO has allowed me
to connect with
quickly and effectively!
Isn’t that the point of classroom management?
“manage” a situation
and correct it,
or support it,
Dojo is an online program where each student has an avatar. They gain or lose points as they follow the positive or negative
attributes that YOU set up.
I had a BIG problem with tardies.
8-10 kids tardy…daily.
One of my positive attributes is
ATTENDANCE ON TIME.
Every student gets a point for being in their seat,
ready to work when the bell rings!
I am down to 2 tardies..average..daily.
FOR me? Success!!!
Dojo also sends an automatic email to parents on FRIDAY, detailing their child’s points for the week!
INSTANT PARENT NOTIFICATIONS
..and I didn’t have to do ANYTHING! 🙂
After parents have signed up for texts
THAT IS THE HARD PART…GETTING THEM TO SIGN UP
(I AM RELENTLESS…I BUG THEM OVER & OVER)
I can text them at a moments notice.
AND I DO!
I also do class messages and send pictures.
I am just learning DOJO, too.
#2 Golden Tickets
THIS IS MY “GO TO” PROGRAM!
IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM!
Run a copy of Tickets on YELLOW OR GOLD PAPER.
CUT UP into tickets.
Keep in a box.
Kids earn them for ANY positive interaction, action, or reaction.
Help a friend? TICKET!
Pick up the floor? Ticket!
Say kind words? Ticket!
A friend helped YOU? Give them a TICKET!
And so MY STUDENTS start looking
for ways to give positive feedback
to each other.
They have to tell their classmate what
they SAW or HEARD
that earned their ticket!
After they get their ticket,
they write their name on the back.
Twice a week we COUNT tickets.
If they have 10
they can choose
I am NOT spending ANY $$$$$$
NO need to!
Here are there rewards…
Tech Time …15 minutes on the ipads!
They can choose whatever app they want!
Friendly Lunch..ALL TIME FAVORITE:
I purchased 8 plastic placemats – 4 sets of 2
They choose 1 friend to give a placemat to, and they sit next to each other at lunch in the cafeteria, and eat lunch with their placemat and their friend. AFTER lunch, they sanitize the placemat, and put it in the office so I can pick them up after lunch.
ROYALTY for A DAY..
Students can choose to WEAR A CROWN, and be KING____ or QUEEN _____ for a day. The crowns? BULLETIN BOARD borders I have
used, scrounged, saved, begged for from others,
on hand. Measure, staple, VOILA..instant CROWN!
Wear it, take it home. I DO staple a golden ticket to the front. EVERYONE will ask WHY DID YOU GET THE CROWN?
They can explain about GOLDEN TICKETS.
They get one of my BIG SQUISHY chairs at their desk for a day. They will spin, moved, be tall, and LOVE their BIG chair.
Change desks with a partner FOR A DAY!
Use their books & stuff and THEY use YOURS!
Must clean each others desk
( put things back better than they were
when YOU got there..)
at the end of the day.
FREE Homework PASS!
NO homework for 1 night!
I write a note and put it in the HW folder so parent’s know.
They can bring a stuffed animal to school for 1 day.
Sits on their desk, works in teh classroom, cannot go outside.
If kids don’t have one..they can choose 1 of mine.
First graders LOVE to “cut in line”. The LINE JUMPER can cut in line ANYWHERE they want, for 1day. They MUST tell the person behind them…”Excuse me, I am a LINE JUMPER!”
(You can NEVER step in front of someone
without using the words EXCUSE ME
..and tell them WHY!)
Here we are in action.
LONG POST… sorry
We LOVE BRAG TAGS!
Many THANKS to
We started using the LINK necklaces for Brag tags.
TOO HARD to OPEN for our little fingers.
BRAG TAG storage 🙂
Now we use RINGS instead of link chains.
At the end of the MONTH,
we take ALL of our Brag TAGS and BEADS
OFF of our RINGS
and string them on a STRING.
Make a BRAG TAG necklace to WEAR HOME!
Most kids say they save them
at home for the whole year!
Great HOME connection!
WHEW! Long post…SORRY.
I just want to give you all of the details so
YOU can choose
what works for YOU!
Here are some other posts I have on
Get YOUR Golden Tickets HERE:
For your time…
Here is a FREEBIE
from ME..to YOU!
So let me know…
What do YOU use for YOUR classroom MANAGEMENT?
Share your story in the comments.
I will choose 1 person this week
for a FREEBIE.
I will choose from my comments!
Leave me your email! 🙂
My kiddos come with a SMALL amount of ENGLISH print.
MOST..not all..but MOST have enough English to communicate
everyday NEEDS to me.
BATHROOM, Recess, and When is LUNCH?
How to help EL’s write, when you don’t speak the same language?
We are OK.
WOWZA! Another WORLD!
We begin…BEGIN…with Phonemic Awareness.
Letter Sounds, Vocabulary Words, Rhymes, Alliterations,,
and LOTS OF THEM!
Alphabet, HFW, Word Families, emergent readers, etc.
For those who make READING a priority…
For those who don’t have a LOT of support at home..
It can take LONGER…
We write well and we write A LOT!
The problem occurs when they don’t have an ENGLISH word to attach to the “word” in their head!
We use Step Up to Writing…
Click HERE to see it…
We use my
papers because they have
My kids are doing GREAT!
(Most could only write their names at first!)
Daily PROGRESS! 🙂
And HERE is a FREEBIE to Help you on your way!
High-Frequency Words…or Sight Words
(depending on your generation..) 🙂
Back in the “OLDEN DAYS” when I became a teacher…
( um…Let’s just say in the late 80’s..)
I was taught to work on HFW (High Frequency Words) DAILY!
These are the words my student’s would see in their daily reading.
Some can be “sounded out” and some JUST HAVE TO BE MEMORIZED!
In order to memorize a word…
a student MUST work with it at least 30 times!
Each word??? YEP!
So we do…DAILY!
Now the list of grade level high-frequency words is ever changing.
You can see FRY WORD LISTS, DOLCH word lists, CURRICULUM word lists…
BUT the main focus is NOT on the LIST,
BUT WHAT YOU DO WITH IT!
Again…to embed a word into a first grader’s BRAIN..
they must work with it at least 30 times!
(Some kids more..some kids less)
Say it with me, “READ..WRITE..SPEAK”
These samples came from Pinterest..
MANY,MANY,MANY boards to help YOU
create a class list &
MANY, MANY, MANY
different activities to help your kids
WORK WITH HFW!
They need to practice DAILY!
I myself, am a KINESTHETIC learner…HANDS ON!
NOT a SUPER fan of worksheets.
( Yes..we do some..I AM ONLY HUMAN!)
Thank You PINTEREST!
And so you see…Practice..practice..practice..
This year my class is a One-to-one classroom with ipads!
(THANK YOU TO WHOMEVER DREAMED OF THIS!)
My newest LOVE is an app called
It’s an individual interactive whiteboard!
We play word games, I SPY, word ladders, etc. each on their own tablet…
and then SWISH!
CLEAR ALL…and we start again!
We do daily practice for about 10 minutes.
That’s about ALL they need in a “chunk” of time 10-15 minutes.
Later in the day…they each have individual word rings.
I have sets available in my store or you can search TPT for others.
Here’s a sampling…
It’s OFF to HFW
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: Word Work
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:
- Read Alouds
- Shared Reading
- Guided Reading
- Independent Reading
- Modeled / Interactive Writing
- Shared Writing
- Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
- 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: WORD WORK!
You can’t THINK of Word Work without thinking …
Sight Words, High-Frequency Words, Word Families, Spelling, Phonics, etc…
Before we start..
WHAT IS WORD WORK?
During Word Work, students experiment with spelling patterns, memorize high-frequency words, and develop a genuine curiosity for and interest in new and unique words. By playing with words, word patterns, word families, prefixes, suffixes, and so on, students hone their knowledge of words and increase their speaking and writing skills.
Word work is a hands-on time to explore the spellings and/or meanings of words (vocabulary). Making time for word work is vital because it helps patterns and words move into long-term memory. Word work can help our learners become better readers, spellers, and writers. Depending on our learners’ developmental stages, they might use this time to focus on letters and their sounds, read and spell words, or work on word meanings. At the same time, learners have time to explore sight words.
When or HOW do I teach WORD WORK?
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Before a Small Group Reading Lesson – Before small group reading lessons, I review a previous word study, based on my learners’ word work needs. Beginning sounds, short vowels, ending sounds, etc. The key to these is that they should be quick and easy.
2. Spelling word practice. During our guided reading lesson, I might focus on our spelling words for the week or the word families we have reviewed in previous lessons. I always start with what the kids know…and then add new information.
3. A Small Group Lesson – Frequently I have strategy lessons just to focus on a particular phonics or spelling strategy, especially if we notice several learners struggling with the same thing.
4. Whole Group Instruction – I recommend a simple phonics lesson for all learners in the classroom each day. This isn’t a long lesson (10-15 at most) and covers phonics material that is on grade level. I have a district required curriculum. I use the curriculum phonics as my MORNING MEETING lesson. I can expand on it during my small group time.
I incorporate word work mini-lessons into my writing lessons, when appropriate. If we are working on multi-syllabic words, we will edit our writing for those words, also.
Always be on the lookout for opportunities to support your students! When we are doing interactive writing, we incorporate MANY literacy practices!
Balanced Literacy does NOT isolate skills and strategies.
Best practices are integrated throughout the entire school day.
Word Work can be integrated from ANY curriculum and ANY resource.
Use science, social studies, reading, writing, and ANY vocabulary experience to support your WORD WORK studies.
These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.
These Word Work resource books for TEACHERS may be helpful for YOUR reading.
So…Leave me a comment… What does Word Work look like in YOUR classroom?
2019 is the year of BALANCED LITERACY!
Pronoun Word Work FREEBIE![/caption]
How do I know if my child is ready for FIRST GRADE?
BEFORE starting FIRST GRADE.
How to be ready for first grade.
How to be ready for first grade.
How to be ready for first grade.
How to be ready for first grade.
How to be ready for first grade.
GET THEM READY FOR FIRST GRADE! 🙂
What does YOUR garden look like?
My hubby is a gardener.
We have raised garden beds.
A few of them.
And we have PRODUCE!
One week’s harvest!
Check out these posts for more about MY
FARMER – Without – A- Farm!
Me? Not “love” to garden.
I “like” to garden.
I love to HARVEST.
I love to eat.
I don’t like to WEED.
I don’t like to sweat.
Fingers dirty? It’s OK.
As long as I can WASH THEM…SOON!
Love my new GLOVES!
So we plan our garden.
We grow seeds on our kitchen table.
We start them indoors,
so we can move them
He reads OLD FARMERS ALMANAC.
As a teacher,
I want MY students
to learn to grow their own food.
I want my students to LOVE to garden!
We planted a GARDEN!
& lettuce in our raised garden.
The garden flowers will go on either side of the planter.
Now to help you in the classroom…
Check out my