Tag Archives: Reading

Close Reading 101

CLOSE READING

What exactly is CLOSE READING??

You mean I need to “scoot forward” and put my glasses ON?

Veteran teacher with glasses on.

You mean I should put my glasses ON?

NO, silly!  It’s a reading strategy for gaining information from a reading source.

Here are some helpful resources:

Some blogger friends have great information, also.

We Are Teachers has a great blog post

 “What Exactly Do We Mean By CLOSE READING Anyway?

My friend, Susan Jones, explains how to do

Close Reading on First Grade

And, 1stgradefireworks can help with

Reading is the 1 Predictor of Academic Success

When doing research…

when I  need more reading information,

just ask  PINTEREST!

From HANNAH @ The Classroom Key

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/430164201886627298/

https://www.theclassroomkey.com/2014/12/taking-the-rocket-science-out-of-close-reading.html

From Jen @ Teacher Karma

http://www.teacherkarma.com/2015/01/close-reading-free-resources.html

and from

Kristine @  Young Teacher Love

She has a GREAT blog post about

CLOSE READING!

Gotta know YOUR standards!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/275212227205716679/

Susan Jones SAYS…

Close Reading strategy

What is Close Reading? by Susan Jones

It’s a chance for students to ask/answer questions by returning to the text for answers.

We want them to INTERACT with the text.

Reread, highlight, use sticky notes, etc.

and then use the text for answers.

Close Reading is not about the PHYSICAL PROXIMITY to the text!

It’s about diving INTO the text for answers to prominent questions ABOUT the text!

WOW!  Finding out their own answers to questions AND being able to “PROVE IT?”

NOVEL IDEA!

Just imagine the writing that can be created from a CLOSE READING lesson?

Writer’s Workshop in…FIRST GRADE???? Breathe…YES, YOU CAN!

What a prominent strategy to use in a BALANCED LITERACY CLASSROOM!

Balanced Literacy

What is a BALANCED LITERACY Classroom? This resource will show YOU!

BALANCED  LITERACY

Balanced Literacy in First Grade! Let’s start with READ ALOUDS!

Here is a little FREEBIE

from ME  to  YOU!

Enjoy!

 

 Have YOU tried CLOSE READING? Leave me a comment and let me know how it went! 🙂
Wendy   1stgradefireworks

DO you Garden? A little or a LOT?

What does YOUR garden look like?

 Do YOU garden?

My hubby is a gardener.

I mean HE LOVES TO GARDEN!

raised vegetable garden bed

We have raised garden beds.

raised vegetable garden bed

A few of them.

bowls of tomatoes

And we have PRODUCE!

One week’s harvest!


Check out these posts for more about MY 

FARMER – Without – A- Farm!


Get Your Hands Dirty

It’s Garden Time

Secret of Life

Meet the “Little Ones”

I need to APOLOGIZE…

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!

white leather garden gloves

Amazon.


So we plan our garden.

We grow seeds on our kitchen table.

We start them indoors, 

so we can move them

OUTDOORS!


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!

first grade raised garden

We will plant tomatoes, pumpkins, Swiss chard, 

& lettuce in our raised garden.


The garden flowers will go on either side of the planter.


Now to help you in the classroom…

1stgradefireworks sunflower seeds unit

Sunflower Seeds

gardening and plant unit

Robby Rabbit’s Garden

Check out my

Learn  All about Plants  

Pinterest  Board.

1stgradefireworks Robby Rabbit's Garden Orange

Robby Rabbit’s Garden. Complete CCSS Grade One unit for Reading, Writing, and Math.

More Fun ideas for

Planting and Learning About a Garden.

How do YOU garden?

How to get kids to Read At Home?

1. 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 

academically successful.

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!

apple

2. Who chooses the students Read at Home Books?

I am NOT ( Ugh…),  NOT  

choosing the Student’s 

TAKE HOME BOOKS

 each week.

( 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!

NOT!

3. How Do Their Books get HOME?

I have RAH ( Read AT Home ) envelopes…

Purchased at

REALLY GREAT STUFF

multicolor hook and loop plastic envelopes

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

 “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!

4.   How do I know if they REALLY read their Read at Home Books?

Some nights I add a 

READING RESPONSE 

page to their homework.

USE ONE OF YOUR RAH BOOKS!

( Your choice!)

You can get my READING RESPONSE Packet HERE

Read and Write Reading response pages

Reading Response forms for ANY Book. Read and Write.

Accountability?

I do have a paper…lined…for parents to sign each night.

DO ALL OF THEM SIGN IT?

 NO!

If YOU take a horse to water…

Can you FORCE it to drink it?

NO!

Let it go! Let it go!

Let It go!

5.  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

 “THAT CHILD”…

We ALL have “that child”.

Don’t fight it!

Don’t PUNISH the child.

IF he/she could read it BY THEMSELVES…

THEY WOULD!

They can’t.

So

Let it go! Let it go!

Let It go!

6. How do You REWARD students who do Read At Home?

I do REWARD

 those who make the continued effort

 to read at home

EVERY NIGHT!

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

EVERY NIGHT!

I know…NOT fair for “that child”.

Fair is NOT Always EQUAL!

I want my kiddos who 

DO THE WORK

to know

I NOTICE!

And so my friends…

I keep stalking.

LOTS of great ideas out there in 

BLOGGY LAND.

And PINTEREST  LAND.

AND  INSTAGRAM LAND.

If you need some ideas…

Check out MY PINTEREST BOARDS.

1stgradefireworks logo

Happy  Reading my Friends

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!

   

  

Young children love to read during Reading Workshop

How to Prepare for a Successful Reading Workshop in First Grade

Reading Workshop

“Creating a Community of Readers”

via…LUCY  CAULKINS!

This is my newest FAVORITE thing!

I LOVE Lucy Caulkin’s

READING, WRITING,

&

COMPREHENSION LESSONS

If you get a chance to hear her, see her, and/or youtube her…

DO IT!

When I teach reading, I don’t want my students to stop and ask for help.

I want them to have skills to be independent readers.

I want them to be problem-solvers.

So, I am…

Making a Community of Readers

How to create a community of readers

 How?

Before reading, take a sneak peek!

What do you do BEFORE reading?

 Take a picture walk.Cover the words.

Make them use the visual cues in the story.

Frontload any vocabulary that may change thinking,

distort comprehension, or unfamiliar to them.

Have them make predictions PRIOR to reading.

After reading, check their predictions.

After reading, think about it!

When you finish reading, do something!

 I LOVE this!

After reading..then what? DO SOMETHING!

Reread it for NEW information. Retell it to yourself or a friend. We use our 3 fingers retell. I love this part…DIGEST IT! Just as a good meal…when you are finished, appreciate it. Think about it.

 ENJOY IT!

When you finish readin,g read it AGAIN!

Read MORE!

 You are NEVER done!

When you finish…read more! My kiddos love to stack ALL of their books on the left..as

they finish reading a book…place it in a pile on their right. Keep reading! Their goal is to

read more every day! STAMINA! Reading MATS are used to make goals.

Our goals are to read MORE!

Read with your eyes. No need for fingers.

Use your eyes to read…not your fingers.

 We want kids to quit using their fingers to read.
Good readers use their EYES!

“SCOOP” up words (phrases) with your eyes. When reading, put 3-4 words together

and read the phrases! GREAT time to teach prepositions & prepositional phrases!

When reading, always reread the text for comprehension.

Always reread text

 Always, always…reread!
You will see more, read more, and understand more when you reread a story. Read it to a partner, a
parent, a friend. The same book can sound new when you are reading it the second or third time!
Lucy Caulkins Units of Study

Lucy Caulkins Thank You

A HUGE THANK YOU to Lucy Caulkins!

So there you are..

GET  READING!

Remember….

When in doubt…

ALWAYS make it

BALANCED  LITERACY

What part of a Balanced Literacy Classroom is reading?

For more early literacy reading and writing resources

Check out

 1stgradefireworks

I Needed a KICK IN THE PANTS!

I can tell it’s SPRING…

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….complacent…

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!

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 its way!

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.

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 awhile &

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 ).

Sounds like me!

I DID IT!

I GOT ‘ER DONE!

And here she is.

ALL gussied up and purdy!

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

1stgradefireworks

You will  LOVE this!

Reading Workshop

Reading Workshop

“Creating a Community of Readers”

via…LUCY  CAULKINS!

This is my newest FAVORITE thing!

I LOVE Lucy Caulkin’s 

READING, WRITING, 

COMPREHENSION LESSONS

If you get a chance to hear her, see her, and/or youtube her…

DO IT!

When I teach reading, I don’t want my students to stop and ask for help.

I want them to have skills to be independent readers.

I want them to be problem-solvers.

So, I am…

Making a Community of Readers

How to create a community of readers

 How?

 

Before reading, take a sneak peek!

What do you do BEFORE reading?

 Take a picture walk. Cover the words. Make them use the visual cues in the story. Frontload any vocabulary that may change thinking, distort comprehension, or unfamiliar to them.

Have them make predictions PRIOR to reading.

After reading, check their predictions.

After reading, think about it!

When you finish reading, do something!

 I LOVE this!

After reading..then what? DO SOMETHING!

Reread it for NEW information. Retell it to yourself or a friend. We use our 3 fingers retell. I love this part…DIGEST IT! Just as a good meal…when you are finished, appreciate it. Think about it.

 ENJOY IT!

When you finish readin,g read it AGAIN!

Read MORE!

 You are NEVER done! 

When you finish…read more! My kiddos love to stack ALL of their books on the left..as they finish reading a book…place it in a pile on their right. Keep reading! Their goal is to read more every day! STAMINA! Reading MATS are used to make goals. 

Our goals are to read MORE!

Read with your eyes. No need for fingers.

Use your eyes to read…not your fingers.

 We want kids to quit using their fingers to read.

Good readers use their EYES!

“SCOOP” up words (phrases) with your eyes. When reading, put 3-4 words together and read the phrases! GREAT time to teach prepositions & prepositional phrases!

When reading, always reread the text for comprehension.

Always reread text

 Always, always…reread!
You will see more, read more, and understand more when you reread a story. Read it to a partner, a parent, a friend. The same book can sound new when you are reading it the second or third time!
Lucy Caulkins Units of Study

Lucy Caulkins Thank You

A HUGE THANK YOU to Lucy Caulkins!

So there you are..

GET  READING!

Remember….

When in doubt…

ALWAYS make it

BALANCED  LITERACY

What part of a Balanced Literacy Classroom is reading?

Where is reading in a Balanced Literacy classroom?

Close Reading for Little Ones

CLOSE READING

If YOU need CLOSE READING info…

just ask

PINTEREST!

From HANNAH @ The Classroom Key

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/430164201886627298/

From Jen @ Teacher Karma

and from

Kristine @  Young Teacher Love

She has a GREAT blog post about

CLOSE READING!

If you are learning…check it OUT!

Gotta know YOUR standards!

And so..

to help US all

DIVE  INTO THE  TEXT…

Here is a little FREEBIE

from ME  to  YOU!

Enjoy!

First Grade Writing..NONFICTION

First Grade Writing

So…we have taken the step  jump  LEAP into writing

NON-FICTION.

As a Title 1 teacher with half of my class CELDT Levels 1&2 ( low English)

I am ALWAYS trying to give my kids more vocabulary, visual clues, and

FRONTLOAD information

…before we WRITE!

So this week…was

REINDEER  WEEK!

I was  going for REAL REINDEER.

We read books, watched VIDEOS, did real research ( yes, ONLINE!)

We even attempted to watch the

REINDEER.CAM

Can’t show kiddos in my district…

TOO MUCH SANTA!

I know…don’t go there!

So …I kept it real!

ONLY REAL REINDEER!

I was going for NON-FICTION!

They did great!

As an adult, I felt they had mastered

 a LOT

of information!

What do reindeer LOOK like?

Where do they LIVE?

What do they EAT?

( One of our movies mentioned MUSHROOMS…

BOY did they pick up on that!)

And then….

what makes them different

 (special )

from

other ANIMALS?

Here are some of our writings…

(Don’t judge….we have NOT edited for CONVENTIONS..

Just  CONTENT!!  🙂

Sorry pics are turned…

Can’t get them to TURN! UGH!

No where…no how…

did I   MENTION

SANTA  or   RUDOLPH!

99%  of my student’s wrote that the important thing about REINDEER is…

THEY PULL SANTA’S  SLEIGH

AND

THE LEADER IS…RUDOLPH!

And THAT is NON FICTION!

HAHAHAHA

But that is their

 PRIOR  KNOWLEDGE!

SO CUTE!

They brought it into their writing!

Let their VOICES be heard!

And so…

ADULTS  BE  AWARE!

The little ones WILL be HEARD!

I LOVE TEACHING FIRST GRADE!

They make me GIGGLE!

If you need some writing help…

WRITE  ON!

ENJOY!

Data Collecting 101

Data Collecting!

The words that send

SHIVERS

down 

EVERY TEACHER’S

BACK!

WHY? HOW? WHEN?

 Relax…take a breath…

go to your “HAPPY PLACE!”

Data is very important in education.

We as educator’s not only need to deliver the instruction, but we do have the need to ensure our student’s master and apply the knowledge we are delivering.

For me, it was a

CHANGE of  MINDSET.

When I change my lifestyle, I need a WHY?

Why am I doing this? Why is it needed? 

WHY?  WHY?  WHY?

BECAUSE.

Collecting data is NOT about the numbers.

It’s NOT about “judging” my teaching. It’s NOT about seeing

HOW many of my students DID or DID NOT master a concept.

It’s about looking for those SMALL skills, those giant holes, those little tweeks that are missing FOR THE CHILD!

What areas are missing…so I can fill them!

IT’S NOT ABOUT ME???

NOPE!

It’s about the KIDS!

Data is to help our kids.

OK.   So  HOW?

There are a MULTITUDE of  assessments that you can use. 

In this day and age, I bet your district has a LONG list of assessments they  want you to use.

USE them!

Don’t just give the test & move to the next lesson.

LOOK  AT  THE  DATA!

You might be surprised at what you see!

I recently gave a math assessment to my firsties.

We had spent 4-5 weeks (YES WEEKS) on place value!

Tens and ones.  Tens and ones.  

OVER  AND  OVER!

After my “district” math assessment,

I noticed a trend…

On 5-6 of the tests  ( 25%  of my class..)

they missed 3-4 questions about 

adding ten to a number.

WHAT? ADDING TEN IS EASY!

We had gone over tens & ones, tens & ones…

BUT…

I “assumed”

…remember what they say about 

ASSUME…

that it would be easy for them 

because they understood place value!

So…a week later of

SMALL  GROUP

math ..adding tens to numbers

SHAZAM!

100%  on the place value review test!

So what if I gave the review test again.

They didn’t get it the first time!

It is NOT important that 

OUR numbers

 look good to others!

What is important is

DO THE KIDS KNOW IT?

Knowledge vs. numbers.

WOW!

A New MINDSET!

If you are looking for some reading/writing assessments 

to HELP your kiddos…

THIS WILL HELP!

See how I use it 

 HERE