Thursday, January 14, 2016

Classroom DIY Guided Reading Edition

Hey friends! I wanted to share with you a few tricks I've used over the years. Sometimes everything cannot be colored ink and graphics. Sometimes you just need simple, but effective ideas.

One thing I always keep in my binder is these little response cards. It's so easy for the kids to write about the story or the word work we were doing for the day. To make them, just download them HERE. Just print and insert into a sheet protecter and you are DONE. Store them inside your reading binder for easy access. 

One day I was found an entire box, like a big box, of index cards. So I started thinking of ways I could use them effectively. At the time, my students were not taking the entire "Read To Self" time seriously. They would "pretend" read or not think about the story while reading it. This had to be fixed PRONTO, so I was excited when I found the cards. I needed a way to spice it up while keeping the time useful. I made these  labels and added them to my color coded index cards. I've found so many uses for these cards. I started with them in the "Read to Self" Center. Students had to pick two cards to act out once they finished a book & before starting a new one. I've also kept them inside my guided reading binder, and used them in the "I'm Finished" bin. 

Another easy DIY activity to implement is these Rhyme Time mats. 

I just printed them on colored yardstick and placed them into a sheet protector. I use these as a warm up activity for guided reading. It's easy to skip some of the basic skills when our students are on or above grade level, but rhyming should not be one of those things. No matter where my students are reading, I always teach them rhyming skills. It's important for students to look in the patterns of words and recognize these features. It teaches them to actually think about the words and the similarities in other words. 

All of these activities are FREE and can be accessed HERE and HERE. 

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Reading Intervention

Hey! I wanted to share with you some different strategies we used this past year for reading intervention. My Reading Specialist and  I worked together to create a series of Reading Intervention Binders  to help our teachers with reading intervention. There are SO many strategies and ways to do intervention, but it makes it so much easier having a program to follow. We use this binder during our intervention time and at the beginning of each guided reading lesson. We focus on word work, phonics, sight words and vocabulary first. Then, each binder moves into fluency and comprehension. They are designed so you can use them with a variety of reading levels.

One thing we tried to do was provide a variety of ways to reach your students. Each binder includes assessments so that you can see which part of the binder will most help your students. We use Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark System in order to track our students progress. I give the benchmark once a grading period, but do informal running records in between.

Here's how ofter we are required to give informal running records:

We use the following chart for our first grade students as they progress through their reading levels:

The intervention binder is designed to start at the basic level for each grade level.

Word families are a great way to introduce students to decoding skills while teaching vocabulary at the same time! Our Word Families Binder is designed for the Kindergarten- Second Grade classroom!

 Here are a few pictures from our First Grade Reading Intervention Binder

The first grade binder includes preprimer, primer and first grade sight word activities.  My students love using these pages. They are designed to be no prep but still effective. 

For this activity, we use it in several different ways. One way to is have the students place a marble or counter in the box next to the sentence you say. The other is to have one reader read a sentence out loud and have the other students move their counter to the correct sentence. To do this, I simply print two sets of the same page and spread them out. It should work out to where the student next to them has a different page. 

Sight word three in a row is a favorite! After I use these pages in small group instruction, I place them in a student binder at a reading station. The students know exactly how to play the game since we've practiced it in small groups. The other great thing about this is that words change and increase in difficulty so the students aren't just using the same two game boards over and over again.

Click here to download the reading development chart and running record forms.

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Turkey Trot Blog Hop: Gobble On

·      Hi, friends!  Thank you to Jennifer for sending you my way! Gobble, Gobble!  Some of my favorite bloggers and I have teamed up to offer you freebies to show how thankful we are for you!  Today, I am offering Math Intervention Binder Preview to you.  This is a sample from my Math Intervention Binder pack. This free binder has sample pages so you can see how the full product is laid out.  We designed this  binder for small group or one on one instruction. It's broken up into 8 sections: Number Sense, Addition, Subtraction, Time, Money, Place Value, Geometry (Shapes and Patterns) and Greater Than/Less Than! The strategies are designed to help students develop stronger mathematical foundations so they can learn more difficult math skills. I have Math and Reading Intervention Binders for grades K-4! We use our K-1  Math Binder every  single day. I wanted to make sure that i t was designed with lots of  visual aides to first reinforce the skill. My firsties really need that extra visual reinforcement!  Then, the students have the chance to practice the skill while the teacher or assistant documents the students progress. 

Four Grade Math Binder

 Thank you for stopping by!  Trot on over to my sweet friend  Jessica's blog, by clicking their blog button below.

Happy Turkey Day! 

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Reading Intervention Tips

Hey friends! I've teamed up with my amazing friend (and co-creator of our intervention bindersKaren Mallard to bring you a post about running records and reading intervention.

Reading Intervention Tips

The question we hear so much is, where do I start with my intervention program? The answer is simple: assessments. Teachers must know what areas students are struggling  with so they can meet their needs effectively. 

Once you assess students, use the data to identify those students who are at risk. Then, be sure  to monitor their progress often. Struggling readers should be assessed at least bi weekly, if not weekly.

After you’ve assessed the student, it’s important to analyze the running record.


A topic that we have been discussing at school recently has been self-correction rates.  Some teachers asked for guidance so I gave them some guidelines.  I also think that if a student has a 1:1 ratio but has more than 5 errors that were self-corrected the child is working way too hard.  Analyze the errors and look at the information the student is neglecting.  Is it a weakness in decoding left to right, or a lack of high-frequency word vocabulary?  Address the weakness so the child becomes a more accurate and confident reader.

Self-Correction Rates
1:1 Excellent
1:2 Good
1:3 Fair

1:4 and higher show that the student isn’t monitoring consistently.

Is the student noticing that it doesn’t sound right, make sense, or look right?

Is the student self-correcting with only one source of information and ignoring the others?

The goal is to be flexible and to use all of the cues/information together. (Meaning-pictures, Structure-language, Visual-letters.)

Errors In Reading

Errors in reading are a common issue. It’s important to look for patterns with errors. Are students only having errors with proper nouns? Do they struggle with reading all the way through the word? Think about why you think the student is making the error. This is crucial to figure out how to drive the instruction.
In the primary grades, students sometimes learn a strategy I call “Guess and GO”. These students are looking at the beginning of the word, and guessing on the rest. They do not read through the middle of the word.

Sometimes students will have errors similar to guessing, like this:

Whenever students have these errors, I show them both words. I ask the students if they can see how the words are different and how they are the same. We discuss the meaning of each word  and then use strategies from our intervention binders to help fix it.

In our binders, we've included running record analysis to help you decide which sections you will need. This has been so helpful to so many of our colleagues!

We have intervention binders for Kindergarten through Fourth Grade!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Learning Resources for the Classroom and Home

Hey friends! I'm excited to share with you a few products from Carson Dellosa!! I'm really so happy to be working with them through their brand ambassador program! 

First, I have the learning targets! These cards can be used in "I Can Statements" or "Essential Questions". We use the Essential Questions format in my classroom. We review the questions every afternoon. It gives us a way to recap our day and allows the students the chance to reflect on each skill we discussed. Eventually, the students will respond to these "essential questions"  in their response journal, but we aren't quite ready for that!

I store my learning targets in a pocket chart in the front of my classroom. 

 I love these questions because they cover a wide range of topics and skills.  I love this little video regarding the learning targets!!! 

I also received Common Core 4 Today workbooks for my son. I really like the workbooks because he was able to do them as a supplement to his curriculum. My little one isn't exactly thrilled about the idea of school, but he enjoyed these workbooks! They are skill based and include assessments. I like how the book contains several different components.  We especially liked the writing component. 

Lastly, I reviewed the Spectrum Writing workbook.  The neat thing about Carson Dellosa is that they are turning to create more digital based products. I like that because I for one am getting rid of my filing cabinet next year! This product was so easy to use. I have two high students who are using it, as well as my little one. It's perfect because the format is very kid friendly. The examples are clear and concise.  As a teacher, writing is one of my least favorite subjects to teach because I feel like I NEVER have enough  to teach it. So this was a great resource to have to use with my higher students. 

Review Disclaimer: I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.

Link to the Carson-Dellosa Facebook page:

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