seed germinators

Spring gardening 101 and a FREE CHICKEN DANCE!

I love SPRING!

DID I MENTION…

I LOVE SPRING!

And I Love to GARDEN!

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

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!
 

Black Chicken

Sunshine – white chicken

 
 
More on that later.
 
 

This year we installed

PALLET  GARDENS!

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!
It’s SPRING!
Time for new growth!
 
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!

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.

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!

Recycled water bottles with seeds.

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!

 
In honor of my 
CHICKENS…
 
Chicken Dance is FREE!
 

Chicken Dance Word Game from 1stgradefireworks

Happy Spring to all!
Wendy

Do You teach NONSENSE words?

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.

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. 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!

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

HI Ho, HI HO…It’s OFF to Sight Word Work we go!

High-Frequency Words…or  Sight Words

Sight Word Work

(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 students 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!

WHAT???!!!!

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)

HOW??

READ…WRITE…SPEAK
Say it with me, “READ, WRITE, SPEAK”

OK. Now the work begins. PINTEREST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 WHOEVER DREAMED OF THIS!)

My newest LOVE is an app called

“SHOW ME!”

 

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…

Roll. read. cover – Sight Words from 1stgradefireworks

Roll, Read, Color

Happy HFW..Snowman Style

 

Fry First 129 Words

Available at:

1stgradefireworks TpT Store

And so…

HI  HO 

HI  HO

It’s OFF to Sight Words

WE GO!

Enjoy! 🙂

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” IRISH LASS.
 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! 
 

 

We get a “Literacy” DO-OVER: Word Work

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

Let’s talk Word Work. You know. Word Families, spelling, rhyming words, etc. 

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

2022 is the Year of LITERACY!

Because 2021 was so BAD….we get  DO-OVER!

We get a “LITERACY ” do-Over”!

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR’s PLAN!

*DISCLAIMER…  I know the Science of Reading is the NEW “go-to” for teaching Reading.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I am learning. I have been teaching reading to FIRST GRADERS for 30+ Years. AND I AM ALWAYS  LEARNING. SO… I hope YOU are open to new ideas & “reusing” OLD ideas to help our “littles” learn. If this helps YOU – Yeah! ( Jan. 2022). 

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 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:   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. As a result of 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.

Daily 5

This Reading Mama

What is WORD WORK?

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?

New for 2022…    Science of Reading

I am not an expert! Check out these “experts”:

Really Great Reading

Tara West on TPT

Christina Winter – Mrs. Winter’s Bliss (TPT)

 

 

To begin, 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.

First Grade Roars

Free Word Work

Bethany Ray

 

1stgradefireworks-Blending Lines

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.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

Read Alouds

Reading at Home

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

 

Brain Games

Let’s Go Fishing for Sight Words

 

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]

PRONOUN WORD WORK FREEBIE!

 

We get a “Literacy” DO-OVER : Shared Writing

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

2022 is the Year of LITERACY!

Because 2021 was so BAD….we get  DO-OVER!

We get a “LITERACY ” do-Over”!

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR’s PLAN!

*DISCLAIMER…  I know the Science of Reading is the NEW “go-to” for teaching Reading.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I am learning. I have been teaching reading to FIRST GRADERS for 30+ Years. AND I AM ALWAYS  LEARNING. SO… I hope YOU are open to new ideas & “reusing” OLD ideas to help our “littles” learn. If this helps YOU – Yeah! ( Jan. 2022). 

Why? What? and How?

The elementary classroom Balanced literacy model 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)

As a result,  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  Writing.

Week 1:  We discussed Read Alouds.

Week 2: We discussed   Shared Reading.

Week 3:  We discussed Guided Reading.

Week 4: We discussed Independent Reading.

Week 5: We discussed Interactive Writing.

This week we jump into  SHARED  WRITING.

Let’s talk about Shared Writing.

Before we write, we read, discuss, preview new vocabulary, and make connections about our thoughts and ideas.

Shared writing is an instructional approach to teach writing to students by writing with them. The idea is to teach writing through writing. The process of writing is demonstrated by the teacher through a ‘write aloud’ process. The teacher acts as a scribe while the students contribute ideas.

Effective literacy teachers present the demonstration, explanation, and models needed by naïve writers in order for them to understand how and why to incorporate genre and text structures (and such transcription skills as punctuation and spelling) into their own writing behavior.  ReadWriteThink.org

First, we will discuss 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.
  • Plan lessons for types of writing that present particular challenges to your students.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Stop for a moment and VISUALIZE what you have read.

  • 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.

ReadWriteThink.org

Some tips to keep in mind for shared writing:

  • I use large paper that looks just like the paper the children use during writing workshop. I write on chart paper or perhaps a SmartBoard so the whole group can easily read it.
  • The children are engaged and involved in telling the story (or essay, song, poem, or other kinds of text).
  • I restate/scaffold children’s language by modeling rich language and coach them when they are the storyteller.
  • Over time, children see each step of the writing process modeled:
    • Coming up with ideas
    • Planning across the pages, rehearsing how the text will go
    • Drafting words and sentences
    • Revising
    • Editing
    • Publishing
  • Over time, children see qualities of good writing modeled:
    • Meaning
    • Organization/Structure
    • Genre
    • Detail
    • Voice
    • Conventions
  • TwoWritingTeachers

How to Take Care of a Goldfish. The Daily Cupcake

The Daily Cupcake

Shared Writing – MAth Anchor Chart – Kindergals

Kindergals

Tools that may be helpful for shared writing:

 

Mr. Sketch smelly markers

Teacher Books that may help with Shared Writing:

 

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  Shared Writing look like in YOUR classroom?

FREEBIE – Check My Writing Checklist 

 

 

We get a “Literacy” DO-OVER : Modeled / Interactive Writing

2022 is the Year of LITERACY!

Because 2021 was so BAD….we get  DO-OVER!

We get a “LITERACY ” do-Over”!

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR’s PLAN!

*DISCLAIMER…  I know the Science of Reading is the NEW “go-to” for teaching Reading.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I am learning. I have been teaching reading to FIRST GRADERS for 30+ Years. AND I AM ALWAYS  LEARNING. SO… I hope YOU are open to new ideas & “reusing” OLD ideas to help our “littles” learn. If this helps YOU – Yeah! ( Jan. 2022). 

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 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 to 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 the 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
teachers 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
the 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!

FREEBIE HERE!

 

Valentine’s Day is Coming Soon

Valentine’s Day is coming SOON!

Here are some Valentine resources to help your day run smooth and be exciting!

ARE YOU READY?

Here are a few of the “KINDNESS” Products you can find at 1stgradefireworks.

6 Packet BUNDLE!

6 packets of Valentine Themed LOVE!

Packets include…

Be Mine – Place Value Game

Easy Peasy

Friendly Word Families

Lotsa Love 10 more / 10 Less

Some Bunny Loves You

Sweet Treats Making Ten Strategy

Valentine Love BUNDLE

Valentine LOVE Bundle

Can YOU Make 10? Making 10 Math Strategy Booklets

Can You Make 10? Making 10 Math Strategy Booklets

Be Mine – Place Value Game

 

Be Mine – Place Value Game

Valentine Themed.
Place Value Cards ( 54 Cards in ALL) for sorting.
Includes:
Sorting Header cards
Place value cards
( Expanded notation, base ten, ten frames, number words, numeral, ten & ones)

Sweet Treats Math facts for Grade 1

Sweet Treats Math for Grade 1

 

Math Practice for Grade 1
Includes:
Place Value
Printables
Sorting Cards
Missing Addends
Cards
Centers

More February “TREATS” from 1stgradefireworks

Follow ME in IG, FB, & Pinterest

PURCHASE NOW!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

For MORE fun ideas:

Getting Ready for January

Calendars

 

Informational Writing

This week we did some EXCELLENT WRITING!

 I have to be honest…I have not taught ALL of my SCIENCE standards. And yes, animal classification is a standard.

 Somewhere, I have a new Science series, but my new ELA series takes up most ALL of our day…& Math… so, as any good teacher ( who LOVES science & writing) would do INTEGRATE!

We wrote informational writing about animal classifications!

And then we PAINTED them! 

Living things…yaadaa. yaadaa. yaadaa…NO!

WE WROTE ABOUT REAL ANIMALS!

My EL’s had a hard time with the new vocabulary, (Thank You Project GLAD), we did new academic language, made charts, filled out graphic organizers, did shared writing, sloppy copies, and a final draft!

We had to edit for spelling, handwriting, complete sentences, punctuation, AND IT HAD TO MAKE SENSE!

All of that in 5 days!

AND THEN….. They got to make a “tear art” bear head.

 ( They HATE  tear art… “Can I PLEASE use my scissors?” “NO!”)

Simple…tear construction  paper, glue to small paper plate, add ears (with torn paper..they need FUR too), add eyes, nose, & mouth.

Tear BEAR! 

As a culminating activity, we painted out animals & added our reports for sharing. ( see above)

SO….here are the units we used to RUN the MARATHON!

Animal  Classifications 
Animal Classification GAME!

Enjoy! Check it out on my TPT store!

Word Work

Guided Reading

Balanced  Literacy

We Get a “Literacy” DO-OVER : Independent Reading

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

2022 is the Year of LITERACY!

Because 2021 was so BAD….we get  DO-OVER!

We get a “LITERACY ” do-Over”!

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR’s PLAN!

*DISCLAIMER…  I know the Science of Reading is the NEW “go-to” for teaching Reading.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I am learning. I have been teaching reading to FIRST GRADERS for 30+ Years. AND I AM ALWAYS  LEARNING. SO… I hope YOU are open to new ideas & “reusing” OLD ideas to help our “littles” learn. If this helps YOU – Yeah! ( Jan. 2022). 

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 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!

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 the 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

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

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?

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2019 the year of Balanced Literacy!