March 2015 - Miss Kindergarten

Short Vowel Reading Intervention Practice

I've mentioned this before, and I am sure I will mention it a million times again, I absolutely LOVE teaching reading! I love giving my students the tools to "drive the vehicle" and letting them go at it. We've been working hard on reading short vowel CVC words and my students are ROCKSTARS! Honestly, the best readers I have had in my whole teaching career! Now I'm sure it's just the group of students I have this year, but I'm also going to take just a little bit of credit ;)
My students have been working hard on reading their sight word sentences and I knew I had to create a similar activity that reinforces that short vowel words we are learning. So I Can Read {short vowel fluency & intervention passages} was born!

Each page focuses on a specific word family. The kiddos first practice reading the words in isolation. We always talk a lot before we read ;) I ask my students what they notice about the words to help them see that they are all part of the same word family. Then we talk about how we only have to change the beginning sound in each word as we read them. I like to write the words up on the whiteboard too, saying the word aloud and having my students help me sound it out as I write. We first read from the board, then we touch and read each word on our page.
 After we read each word, I have my students find them in the story. They use yellow crayons {or highlighters if we're feeling extra frisky ;)} to highlight the words in the story. This helps us to see each word family word in the story which helps us to be successful readers. I also have my students "frame" or put a window around other words that might trick them before we read. In this passage, I would have them frame the sight word "here" as well as "and" since those prove to be tricky for my littler learners.
 Then we read the whole story together as a group. We make sure to touch each word as we read so we can keep track and stay focused. After we read the story a few times {depending on how much support is needed} I have my students read the story silently to themselves. This is probably my most favorite part about reading groups. I love watching the kiddos mouth the words...they look so grown up! After they read to themselves, they choose their favorite sentence from the story {usually the funniest one ;)} and rewrite it on the line. This is good writing practice, but mostly, I just have them do this so I can listen to my students read to me one-on-one as the others are working. This gives me the chance to really offer support to my students that are not quite grabbing on yet.
Finally, I have my students take their reading passages home and read them to someone at home. This is where they get the chance to color each star after reading the story.

For repeated practice, you could stick all the passages in sheet protectors and put them in a binder. Then have your students do all their pre-reading strategies with a dry-erase marker and erase their page when they're done. This way they can read the passages more than once, helping them become even more fluent readers!

At then end of each short vowel, I also created a mixed vowel reading passage and corresponding assessment sheet. This is to help me see if my students are able to decode the short vowel words and sight words, and figure out what they still need help with.
My students also LOVE the "dice game". They could honestly play this all day long if I let them!
We usually play this the last few minutes of reading groups. I had a question on my Facebook page about how I organize these, so I thought I would share. I print out and add a new word family after we learn a new short vowel. Then I add the new word family page to the back of the book. I show my students the new page, but I let them choose which page they want to read when it's their turn. They always like to choose the "hard" page...the new one I added, so it all works out ;)

I also created these adorable and effective Read & Reveal cards for my most struggling readers who just look at a word and guess a bunch of sounds ;) I found myself repeating "touch each letter, say each sound, now blend it together" over and over again, so I knew it was crucial to create a visual for them as well.
 We've been working really hard on our reading skills and it is totally paying off!

If you're interested in any of the ideas I shared above, click on any picture to be taken to my TpT store! These units are also bundled together into one huge MEGA bundle of guided reading activities! Over 1000 pages of goodness to help your budding readers! Save 30% by purchasing the bundle!


Sight Word Fluency and Reading Intervention

Mastering sight words is such an important part of learning how to read. These are words that you will see in almost all of the books you will read. I *love* when we learn a new sight word and my kids start making connections, seeing that word around our classroom. Their eyes light up and they are so excited that they can READ! I get so excited too!
A few of my students were doing great reading their sight words in isolation, but were having a tougher time making the connections when seeing these words in print. I created these fun reading pages to help guide them in reading their sight words in sentences. They have repeated patterns to help ensure success and provide the much needed encouragement that young learners need when learning how to read.
We start by touching and reading each sight word in isolation. Then we use a yellow crayon to highlight the word in each sentence. This helps the kiddos to see the word in each sentence.

After the students find the words, they reach the sentences. I have them read each sentence 3 times to practice accuracy and fluency. They get to color a kid every time they read the sentences and they LOVE that!

While I am listening to a student in my small group read his/her sentences, the rest of the kiddos are writing their favorite sentence and illustrating a picture to show comprehension. Not only is it important for my students to be able to read their sight words in sentences, they also have to show that they understand what they are reading!

Listen to what great readers they are becoming!

This pack currently includes 60 sight words and is growing! If you're interested in using it in your classroom, you can grab it in my TpT store here.


My New Blog Design!

Oh my gosh, you guys! I am in *love* with my new blog design! Gabby did an absolutely amazing job at turning my vision into a reality!
Gabby's Classrooms

 I accidentally stumbled upon her instagram account about a week ago and quickly enthralled by her love of bright colors. I noticed she was celebrating reaching 100 Facebook followers with this fun freebie and I couldn't resist!

Well as soon as I got to her blog, I fell in love with that too!! I went on a search to see who designed her blog for her, only to find that she did it herself!!! #iknow #supertalent

I checked out her previous blog designs and wow! Not only is she amazingly talented, but also super reasonable! {actually, I don't think she's charging enough for her talent!} Anyway, I filled out her blog design form and pretty much told her I wanted a similar look to my current blog design but with bright colors, like hers. I also may have mentioned my current obsession with all things glitter ;)

She responded a day and a half later with the most ADORABLE header designs! I mean she #nailedit

We emailed back and forth a few times, she tweaked the design along the way until it was perfect for me! She was seriously so good at picking up what I was putting down!
Isn't it just perfect!?

I can't say enough good things about Gabby! If you are in the market for a new blog design, you have to go check her out!!
Gabby's Classrooms


Our Pen Pals!

A few weeks ago, we arrived at school to see a huge package waiting for us! When we opened it, we found letters from our very own pen pals in Missouri! We had been studying maps and globes, so we were experts at finding Missouri on our globe!
Then we read our very own letters from our pen pals and my students *loved* the fact that their name was in the letter. Talk about pride of ownership! We talked about what kind of things you can do in Missouri and then we learned all about letter writing using Tara West's friendly letter freebie!

Once we had several ideas, we got to writing!

We really wanted to make sure our writing was legible, so we remembered to use uppercase letters, spaces and punctuation. 

 We even drew pictures on the back for our pen pals!

It is safe to say that this was the most engaged we were during a writing lesson all year long!

So proud of my little learners :)