Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Giving enough think time.... using signals

In my small group, we read a decodable together after we review the phonics concept and blend the words. It is hard to give students enough think time during a read through together. I use a dog training clicker to time the think time. I tell the students to think... and when they hear the click they all read together. This way your strong reader in the group doesn't dominate and everyone gets a chance to blend it in their head before reading.
I feel weird using the dog clicker but it is the best thing I have found and it is really cheap at Petco.

Do you use something as a signal? I would love to hear other ideas.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

funny stuff kids say....

Me: Do you have any plans for the weekend?
Student: No, but this summer I am going to Hollywood to become famous!
Me: Wow!
Student: Yeah, when I grow up I want to be a teacher, a movie star and work at Subway so I can get all the free sandwiches I want.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Song for Phonemic Awareness

My kindergartners have such a hard time with phonemic awareness. I am trying everything!!! Today it was a new song, they liked it.

Listen, listen, listen to my word
and then tell me all the sounds you've heard... CAT
/c/ is the first sound
/a/ makes two
/t/ is the last sound
it's true, it's true.

(I sang it in the tune of skip to my lou)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rereading for Fluency

One of the most important things we have to teach struggling readers is fluency. The only way we can teach this is through rereading. Here are some fun fluency ideas.

Explicitly explain that:
Fluency is reading quickly, but not too quick.
Reading with expression.
Stopping at periods and pausing at commas.

Fluency ideas: (rereading the same story)
Whisper read to self.
Use a whisper phone.
Read to a partner.
Use a minute timer, see how far they can get... then try to beat that time.
Roll a dice with expressions such as: happy, sad, mad, glad and have them read the story/page with that expression.
Readers theater.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Word walls

Word walls are most effective if they are alphabetized on the wall and when the words are added as they are learned.

Too often we see teachers who put up all their site words at the beginning of the year and expect them to know them.

The purpose is to introduce... memorize and put them in an accessible area for students.

Ideas for word wall...
I spy (I spy a word that starts with w and end in y and let students guess)
Write sentences using site words.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stretching words into sounds

To teach phonemic awareness to my kindergartners and first graders, I tell them we are going to stretch bubble gum. I let them pretend chew it up... then they get it in their hands and I tell them a word, cat, then we stretch it out into sounds /c/ /a/ /t/. Then we slap it back together and say cat. This is a fun activity and it gets the kids thinking about sounds in words.

Remember, we should work on PA everyday until 2nd grade but only spend a few minutes on it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Only from the mouth of a child

I said to my student...
Me: Where were you yesterday, sick?
Him: No, my ears hurt.
Me: Oh no, you had an ear infection?
Him: No, they hurt from you yelling at me...