It’s Five for Friday & I’ve got…
There’s absolutely nothing new going on here! I just searched my phone and came up with nada. Mostly screen shots of awesome things I’ve seen (my own version of pinterest) and a couple of terrible selfies that I really need to delete 🙁
So, instead of posting about what’s going on here, I’m going to switch it over to my top five favorite reading intervention tools (I know, random). These are the 5 things I reach for over and over again when working with my 1st graders who struggle.
Sooo, for my Five for Friday, here’s my Top Five Favorites!
5. Read It/Check It!
These are cards I’ve made that are focused on specific phonics sound/spelling, i.e.: Long U:
|This card is from my Kung Fu Long U Activity Pack
I place a sticky note over the picture and together we read the word (“what do you notice?” Hopefully they say “Silent E!”). After we successfully read the word, we lift the sticky and see how smart we are 🙂 I have about 15-20 cards per pack (slowly, but surely updating all the packs!) and I also laminate the cards so I can highlight a spelling with a dry erase marker (i.e.: the huge arrow from silent e to the vowel). We use them together the first day and then my students partner up for warm-up practice on successive days.
4. Blending Boards
Sadly, I haven’t finished typing these up yet! It’s my goal for the weekend. We have a super-fab 1st grade teacher who plans the phonics lesson for the team. Almost every single day included Open Court-style blending. I would either print out a copy of the flipchart and/or handwrite the words using color-coding. My small group would decode every line as a group and then we’d take individual turns. Doesn’t sound like too much fun, but individual turns includes the following: special song (very goofy, but they ♥ it), picking which color line they want to read all by themselves, and using a pointer! It was a very exciting time, every single day 🙂 I kept all my handwritten notes and am slowly compiling them into one humongous file to use this year! Stay tuned!
3. Dictation Pictures
This is another HUGE hit with the firsties! As mentioned, the incredible phonics-planner (who I also happen to co-teach with – I’m lucky!), also made sure that our students were transferring all those skills to encoding. Every week we did dictation two times: 1 for practice on Tuesday and 1 for the exit ticket on Friday. The dictation includes five words that feature the phonics skill we’re working on and one sentence with similar words and high frequency words.
My little guys struggle with writing in general: letter formation, applying learned skills, focusing, etc. Needless to say, they were bombing dictation with the whole group. Tapping into their loves, I made picture cards that focus on the phonics skills for my students to practice naming and writing on dry erase boards. Here’s what the dictation cards look like (& another summer project waiting to be completed):
The cards are also in my phonics packets, & I’m hoping to create one large file of just the dictation pictures so I can have them all in one place!
My students’ dictation improved DRASTICALLY because 1) they received about 5x more practice with these cards and 2) they are obsessed with dry erase boards and knew I would take them away if they weren’t working hard (I’m REALLY tough!). They also could earn one whole minute of “free time” with the boards if they were showing exceptional effort 🙂
2. Blast! Games
The reason I have so many “Blast!” games in my store is because my students beg me for them! Most of the themes I’ve chosen were special requests from them. Whenever we began a new phonics sound/spelling (which is once a week!), my students would start guessing what the cards would be…”what will the bad card be? what will the good card look like?” It’s so much fun!
Blast is simply a card game where the student receives a card, reads the word, and the turn is over. I remember my first year explaining the game to my principal and she replied “The game is that they read a word?” Haha, yup, that’s about it! The Extra Turn and Skip a Turn cards keep it exciting, but I actually think it’s the graphics my students love so much. And I love that they’re so vested in reading.
1. Decoding Strategy Animals
This past year I finally jumped on board with the decoding strategy animals (beanie babies). I realize I’m a few years late. OMG, I could kick myself for not doing it sooner! These little animals were a GAME-CHANGER for my struggling readers. They learned the strategies and actually read independently (willingly!) because they knew they may earn a chance to read with a friend (one of the animals). Poor Stretchy Snake, he received tons of love! The other favorite was Chunky Monkey because I said it was MY favorite strategy and you know how students copy… 🙂
So I ended up with three of each animal and kept them in a “zoo” for my reading intervention group. I made tons of resources to support the strategies and will eventually get them into a nice product file to be uploaded soon!
So those are my Top 5 for the past year. This year, I’m putting a heavy emphasis on magnet centers for phonemic awareness and phonics/word work. I’ve had magnets and NEVER used them, mostly because they were in a huge box and too cumbersome to search for each letter. This year, I have them all organized and ready to go, plus I found really cool magnet pans at Ikea.
Pics coming very soon!
I’d love to hear about your go-tos for supporting your emerging readers. Please leave a comment and or link to a favorite resource!
Have a fantastic Friday!
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