If you teach kindergarten through 2nd grade, you know that guided reading is an essential component of literacy instruction. The way I’ve conducted guided reading has changed over the years and some people aren’t fond of the term guided reading, but small-group reading instruction is essential in order to differentiate and meet your students’ needs in reading. Planning for guided… Read More
It can be daunting for emergent writers to stretch out words, especially long words. Many of my kindergarten students are very artistic and can add details to their pictures, but when I ask them to add words, they sometimes hesitate or tell me they don’t know how to, even if they do have some letter-sound knowledge. Writing Warm-Ups To get… Read More
Stretching the sounds and blending them, aka sounding it out, is a go-to strategy for helping students decode. It’s the oldest reading strategy in the book, but perhaps still the most important. If you’re familiar with my reading strategy resources, you’ll know I use fun characters and interactive PowerPoints to teach decoding strategies and follow up with meaningful activities for practice. … Read More
Using read-alouds to practice phonological awareness activities is a great way to motivate your little learners while exposing them to lots of important skills. Here are some great picture books for teaching phonological awareness and phonics. I also added ideas for activities to do with most books! *You can click on any title to purchase the books via Amazon. These… Read More
Did you know that phonemic awareness is one of the best predictors of reading success? And even though it can be “done in the dark,” that doesn’t mean it has to. It’s so important to make sure our students get enough practice with phonemic awareness along with phonics instruction. Here are some important things to know about phonemic and phonological awareness!
You don’t have to wait for the end of the year to make a memory book! Make a yearlong scrapbook that doubles as a writing portfolio for kindergarten and first grade! It’s so great to see how your students’ writing progresses throughout the year and doing this little by little avoids trying to cram it all in at the end (which results in rushed and poor quality writing!). Read this post for some tips to make it easy and save you time.
A great way to scaffold for your emergent writers in kindergarten and first grade is using wordless picture books. These include pictures and students add the text. The word bank helps with spelling and vocabulary. They also include editing pages and students can add details to revise. Read this post to find out how to use these to help your beginning writers become more confident.
One of my favorite things about teaching kindergarten and first grade is reading students’ writing. Sometimes it takes pretty good detective work to decipher it, but you can get so much insight from their invented spelling. Plus, it’s super cute! Obviously, when children are first learning to write, they won’t spell every word correctly. So, they need encouragement to try… Read More
“C-a-t. . . . MAP!” Ever have students who do that? Even when students know letter sounds, they may still have trouble reading because they don’t blend the sounds correctly. The likely cause is a lack of phonological or phonemic awareness. Phonological, Phonemic: What’s the Difference? First things first, phonological awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds… Read More
Last week, I sent a survey out about my Guided Reading Warm-ups and am so thankful for all of your responses! There was a LOT of positive feedback (thank you!), as well as suggestions, and a whole lot of questions. I wanted to answer as many questions as I can, as well as let you know the exciting updates I… Read More
Looking forward to the last day of school? Do I hear a “heck yeah!” Teachers and students alike can’t wait for summer break! Before you run out, though, here are some important things to do before leaving the classroom for the summer. The last thing we want at the end of the year is more work. I know, you’re exhausted…. Read More
Between organizing, packing, cleaning, summer vacation excitement, and class management, the end of the year can be a little overwhelming. But despite everything you have to do, you still want to enjoy your students and make it memorable! I’m sharing some fun ways to end the school year and make great memories with your students! Balloon Pop On the last… Read More