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Guided Reading Strategy to Help Fluency

Guided reading strategy to help with fluency

Hi all, It's Emma from Clever Classroom

Okay, let's talk guided reading for emergent readers.
Reading comprehension and fluency are vital reading competencies for any reader, especially our beginning readers. These leveled reading pointers provide a FUN, hands-on system for your students to grow their fluency. These reading sticks will help children follow and understand the text that they are reading.
When I taught kindergarten I had an inspirational mentor who helped me understand loads of things like: phonemic awareness, phonics, guided reading and spelling strategies. I am so passionate about these aspects of teaching all these years later. She helped me understand 1:1 correspondence with text and how students move from that to sweeping their finger under the text as they read. Finally, students should move away from these two foundations to reading just with their eyes. This was a great framework for my students.

Guided reading strategy to help with fluency and reading competencies
Providing a Concrete System to help Children with Fluency
I found that some of the students needed concrete materials to motivate their reading progress. I came up with a fun way to help my students. Reading pointers aren't new, they have been around for years. I remember using them more that 15 years ago!
Another great idea is to use transparent counters to help students read the word they are pointing too.... anyway....
Providing students with a system will ultimately help them grow and motivate them to keep going. It's kind of like giving them goals to work towards. We all love that, right?
Guided reading sticks - 3 levels to help motivate children and develop reading skills
Different Countries, Different Guided Reading Levels or Systems
I know that different countries use different leveled systems, eg. letter and numbers and some colors. Which system does your state or country use to represent leveled readers?
No matter which system, I am referring to the first emergent and beginning reader levels. You might implement the graduation of pointing, sweeping and eye sweeping slightly different to myself, that's okay, you can decide when to change up the sticks.
What do I Need? 
The sticks are easy and very quick to make. your students might like to help!
I found three different sized popsticks, but you could use just one size if you wanted.
Reading sticks for guided reading. Use three levels to promote reading fluency with emergent and beginning readers.
What are the Three Levels?
One on one correspondence is first. I use this for the first 2-3 levels.
Guided reading idea fluency with 3 levels of reading sticks for emergent readers
I promote reading with a sweeping finger for the next two levels. The best way I thought my students would understand this was with a paintbrush. Woot-woot, it's kind of FUN!
3 levels of reading sticks to match emergent reading progression great idea for Kindergarten first grade and reading RTI
Then finally, I encourage students to be using no fingers, and just their eyes to follow the text as they read. I would invite students to use the eye sticks for one level as a transition to independent eye scanner reading. After this, there are no more sticks!
Guided reading idea to build reading skills

guided reading fluency sticks 3 levels for Kindergarten and first graders
These fun sticks are a great way to help children progress and develop their reading competencies. I hope your students love them too.
Guided reading sticks - 3 levels to help children's developing reading competencies including fluency and comprehension
Thanks so much for dropping by. I hope this idea helps to motivate your students as they develop their reading skills.
Similar Teaching Ideas
You might also like our Reading Reminder Slips which are a fantastic way to communicate with parents and also remind students which skills they are working on at home with their take-home readers.
guided reading skill and strategy reminders  Guided reading reminder slips to help develop reading skills and strategies
 If you're looking for emergent reading centers that are hands-on and that will last the entire year, and are also super-dopper FUN, your students will enjoy these centers and printables. They are matched with kindergarten or emergent reader skills set for both reading and writing. Click the image to see more.
I can read center activities to last the entire year   Kindergarten reading books and activities
Learn to read and write activities for kindergarten
Thanks so much for reading, I do hope it helps.
If you are a mad word work and reading nut like me, then you might like to join me over on my blog; Clever Classroom.

You can also follow Elementary Chalkboard to receive updates from more than 30 of our talented teacher-bloggers. 


Thanks for dropping by. 

Emma

Teaching Two Syllable Words

I love teaching two syllable words! It's always exciting when I get to that point in the year where they are ready to take that next step with reading and spelling. At the same time, it can also be a challenge for our struggling readers. I want to start this post by talking about some common errors I see when my students are starting to read and spell two-syllable words. Then if you are interested in reading (a lot) more, come on over to my blog to get more details and resources. 









Teaching Ideas for the WHOLE Class
Here are some ideas for how to teach this to your whole class. (The activities after this will show mainly how to teach and reinforce small group or one-on-one.)




First model several times, then start calling up kids to the board to help. To keep the rest of the class involved, use hand and body motions. As your helper is splitting the word, ask the class, "Do you think the first syllable should be open and closed?" Have them use these motions SILENTLY to answer. After it has been split, ask what vowel sounds the first syllable is. Have them silently use motions (short vowel is just a swoop of the finger showing the short vowel symbol which sort of looks like a U.)


This next activity is always a fun one. To get the rest of the  class involved, they could be writing the word and splitting it using their own white board or in a notebook.




I hope these tips help and get you started with teaching two-syllable words. :) 


Click here or on the picture to come visit me. :)



Ideas to help your students get their classwork done!


The idea for the green pen comes from Amy Green.
  1. Teacher roams around with some green pens. 
  2. Completed work gets a green star. (In my class we do hearts.)
  3. Author of completed and accurate work can go on to other things of interest or take another green pen and go help/ look over the work of other friends in class!!!
  4. Kids become captivated by the idea of getting their hands on a greeen pen, so they start to work harder and faster. PLUS the kids work with more accuracy.  They know their FRIENDS are roaming the room, so they want to get their work done right.   ((((Teacher heaven- Am I right???? ))))
(((purchase a box of green pens from Office Max {here}))))

Want more amazing ideas?

 Want to grab these freebies?




Head over to Teacher to the Core 

and grab up some goodies!



TAKE IT OUTSIDE - 8 Educational Ideas with Sidewalk Chalk

Hi Friends!  This is Autumn from The Primary Techie.  Today I am blogging to you from my backyard.  It is the first day of spring, and I am loving the beautiful weather in Arizona.  Where I live, the temps get into the mid 120's in the summer and winter is very cold and breezy.  My kiddos don't get lots of beautiful-outside-weather days, so when we have them, I take full advantage.  One of my favorite things about spring is taking our learning outdoors.  Here are eight of my favorite outdoor activities the just require a little sidewalk chalk.


 1.  From Worksheets to the Sidewalk - I have the kids work with a partner and give each pair a piece of chalk and a clipboard with a worksheet or workbook page.  One student is the "teacher" with the clipboard and worksheet.  The other is the "student" with the sidewalk chalk.  The teacher tells the student what to write and solve from the worksheet.  The teacher is responsible for checking the work.  They take turns being the student and the teacher.  This is a WONDERFUL activity for differentiation because each set of partners can have unique worksheets.  They are spread out across the playground so they are not really comparing work or answers.  This is a great way to review skills.

2.  Walking Club Obstacle Course - I started "Walking Club" several years ago when I was trying to get fit.  During recess, I just started walking laps.  I quickly gained a group of students who wanted to join me in my laps around the playground.  We took our walking club to the next level by adding fun challenges with sidewalk chalk.  Usually, I let the kids draw obstacles on the side walk with chalk and we do the challenges as we walk our laps. They might draw tight ropes that we have to stay on, creaky bridges that cause us to lose our balance, bombs to avoid, or stones paths that we must hop on as we do the laps.  This is so much fun and I highly recommend it.  I have had some kids come up with REALLY cool challenges.  To make this activity more academic, I have them write sight words that we can read as we walk, math facts that we must answer along our path, skip count challenges (count by 2's from one green line to the next, count by 5's from one purple line to the next, etc.)  This is such a fun way to be active and practice some of our classroom skills. You can read more about my Walking Club on The Primary Techie.  Click here.

3.  The Illustration Challenge - Students use sidewalk chalk or sidewalk paint and I assign them a block of concrete along the sidewalk.  They have to create an illustration from their favorite story.  When they are finished, we guess what story they illustrated.  This is also a fun follow-up to a class writing project.  They can write their own stories in the classroom and then illustrate them outside.  I read the stories to the class and they choose which story goes with each illustration.

4.  Meet My Friend - I LOVE celebrating the kids in my classroom.  Everybody loves to be recognized and get a little pat on the back.  I have my kids work with a partner on this one.  They trace their friend's body on the sidewalk then draw details on their outline.  If it is too hot to lay on the sidewalk, we just trace shadows.  Next, they title their work "Meet ______" and they write sentences about what makes their partner special.  More advanced writers can write a paragraph.  Beginning writers can make a list of words.

5.  Make a Map - Kids always love creating maps!  I have them make a floor plan of their homes, their dream home, or our school.  They can plan their own city or amusement park.  I love to see how excited and creative my kiddos get with these projects.  We also include map features like compasses and legends.

6.  Geometry City - Divide the kids into groups and have them create two cities - one where each building has a line of symmetry and the other where no buildings have a line of symmetry.  You could also have one group make a city using specific shapes or attributes of shapes that you are learning about.

7. Measure It - Have the kids draw lines or shapes on the sidewalk and then have their friends measure the lines with their feet.  They can record their measurements on the sidewalk.  This is a great way to introduce non-standard measurement and discuss why we might have different answers.

8.  Life Size Board Games - Take your favorite games and make a giant version.  You can make a board game and let your students be the pieces.  This is fun to play with big foam dice.  Roll the dice to see how many spots you get to move, answer the question correctly to move forward.  You can use this to review ANY subject.  Work with other teachers to take turns drawing the giant board game that each of your classes can use.

I hope that you find some of these ideas fun and useful with your own group of students.  I encourage you to look at your classwork this spring and try to think of ways to take it outside.  Your students will love the change of environment and the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.  Please share your ideas and comments below.

Until next time,

Creating a Bibliography

Hello everybody!  Terry here from Terry's Teaching Tidbits.  My 5th graders and I have been hard at work on a Power Point project where they are researching important people from the 1920s.  They are creating phenomenal Power Points and I am currently in the process of showing them how to cite their sources and include them in a bibliography.
Back in my day, a bibliography was a headache.  I had to continuously try to either memorize the MLA format for a citation or consult my book that showed which aspects of the sources went where.  It was dreadful.  Now, citing a source is a breeze!  I am showing my students with Easybib.

Check out this video I made to see exactly how to use it.  I have also shared this with the parents from my class so that they are able to assist their children when working at home.


I hope this video is helpful and will be useful in teaching your students how to cite their sources as well!

STEAM & STEM Activities For Kids: STEAM BREAK

Hey, it's Matt from D:D&C, and I'm sharing some simple STEM and STEAM activities for your kids to complete.  Get 'em up, get 'em thinking, and get them creating.


STEAM and STEM--so much buzz (doge voice). Science, math, and the arts--joining forces like the Avengers. I love it. All this playing, creating, building, and imagining are crucial components for kids in their skill development and love of learning. It's what I want my kids to do.  It's what I want my students to become immersed in.

But how do I push kids into it without becoming the overbearing and obsessive teacher/father? Because we know that could easily happen.  How else do you think I get them to love Jurassic Park.



My two girls love to build and create, but I've found that they get stuck when it comes to expanding on their ideas. It also turns into a race, and races end. And then they get bored. And boredoms best friend is a tv or video game. (Side note: my kids are 7 and 9, which is prime time for crazy-thinking age.)

It got me running this question through my head, "How could I give them the nudge without making myself seem crazy?" 


The answer came in the form of a BINGO board.  I created a couple of boards based on the STEM and STEAM principles: Art, science, engineering, yada, yada, yada. I call them STEAM Breaks. Each board has nine activities for them to complete when they need that little push to explore. They're indoor and outdoor activities that don't have time restraints and are virtually opened-ended.

Each board (or piece of paper) has 9 activities to choose from. Right now, the sections include: In The Yard, Get Artistic, and Build-It. That's right--27 simple activities for kids to devour.


Simple STE(A)M Activities ideas include: 

-Build a River
-Create a log cabin from sticks
-Build a working crane
-Build a bridge
-Draw a picture using only geometric shapes
-Find a famous painting, recreate it in miniature form
-Design a Catapult
Download the STEAM BREAK: IN THE YARD page here.

These STEAM activities should be simple.  Use materials you have surrounding you. No spending money. Recycle bin, check. Craft closet, check. Mud and dirt, check.  Problem solve and create.  

Last week they went in the backyard and built a river. It was tough (at first) but they realized the possibilities. Soon dams appeared along with rivers dividing, then figuring out how to build a waterfall (or at least try).  A simple challenge turned into a two hour adventure.




I'm passing out copies to my students for Spring Break. It's not a challenge or a competition, just a chance for kids to get creative and not say "I'm bored."  


Grab yourself the full copy of STEAM Break (completely free).

CLICK HERE or on the image.



I'm off to build a catapult.


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Test Prep Without Sacrificing Teaching Time!

It's coming for many of our upper elementary teachers and students.  They have thought about it.  Worried about it. 

The. Test.

This is something that I have thought about a great deal.  I hear so many stories about teachers, schools and districts who set aside real teaching and learning to prepare for tests that are simply supposed to be a "dipstick" to  measure the state of affairs in our classrooms.  I am a believer (to a degree) in some forms of standardized testing.  Districts need to get some feedback on how their students and programs are performing.  That being said, the evolution of testing into high stakes, pressure-riddled experiences for teachers and students about sends me over the edge.  Because I think this is so important, I have revisited a post I wrote last year about this time to make sure that we continue to think about what is important about testing--and the number one thing we need to remember is our students.

Teachers around the country are worried about if they are preparing their students well enough.  If they have given them enough practice opportunities. If they have spent their instructional minutes providing them with EXACTLY the right amount of exposure to what they will see on the test.

I don't.

I don't make pages of practice questions. I don't do a "real" test preparation unit.  I don't provide ongoing practice on key skills I know will be on the test.  It's not worth my time.  I'm not preparing a group of students to be test takers.  I am teaching them how to think and how to learn and how to tackle ANY problem they encounter--with energy, with perseverance, and with an "I can do this!" attitude.

In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that students who can read, who can think, who are willing to try will do as well or BETTER than students who are given hours of fill in the blank practice.  I want students to learn how to do well on these tests without me telling them what to do and spending hours of their precious time drilling.  I want them to DISCOVER how to be successful by putting them in situations where they can learn this genre in a meaningful way.  Now--before you accuse me of doing my students a disservice, let me tell you what I DO do!  Hopefully you might find a little morsel of information or inspiration below!

1.  I do teach my students about multiple choice questions.  In fact, I try to get them in the minds of a test writer by teaching them about distractors and even having them try writing questions with a right answer, a distractor, and two other relevant answers. We even talk about the art of "coloring the bubble".

2.  I do teach my students about healthy testing behaviors like getting sleep, eating well, and relaxing for best performance.
3.  I do teach my students about reading critically, about going back into texts to find answers, about thinking about what authors are trying to tell us.

4.  I do teach my students about staying focused and checking over their work.

5.  I do teach my students about answering questions fully and providing evidence found in the texts.

6.  I do teach my students about what to do when they encounter a challenging problem.  We learn all sorts of strategies that gives us POWER...how to reread directions. How to find key words.  How to "give it a try" on scratch paper.  Even how to SKIP it if it is interfering--and then we come back later.

7.  I teach my students about problem solving and looking for patterns.

8.  I teach my students to read all sorts of materials...stories...poems...articles...graphs...infographics.

9.  I teach my students how to work with stamina so they can sit and complete a task that might take them an hour or so--without losing focus.

10.  I teach my students how to be ok with doing their best and having an "I can do it!" attitude.  I want them to treat everything they do with that spirit...and to walk away knowing that they did their best--and that's all they can do.  I want my students to walk out after the test feeling great--that they did their job...even when the questions were tough.

Do I do this with packets?  Nope.  Do I do this for 3 weeks straight?  Nope.  I do this all year long, when it's relevant...and BECAUSE it's relevant.  

Now--don't get me wrong--we DO a practice test or two.  In fact, we take it, study it, and break it apart.  I have my students hunt for terms they think are tricky like "passage" or "synonym".  We make anchor charts and lists of "things to know" about taking tests.  We practice this in a quiet room to mimic testing situations.  We talk about filling in the bubbles neatly and checking over our work so we don't miss questions.  If I taught third grade, I would have to do even more of this because the test is so new.  That being said, if we can teach our students to have a great attitude about trying, if they can stay focused and apply what they know, and if they can be successful at whatever task they are handed!

How are my test scores, you might ask?  My principal called me in several years ago to ask what I do...because my scores were SO much higher than the average.  It was hard for me to explain.  I told her, "I teach students how to learn, how to work, and how to try."  

One resource that has been super helpful to me is the book "Test Talk" by Amy Greene and Glennon Melton.  It gives some GREAT suggestions for how to incorporate test taking strategies into your reading workshop.  Check out the link below for more details.  

One final thing I do is ask my students to talk and write about all the ideas mentioned above.  It needs to be more than me TELLING them these things...they need to be able to process them and construct their own meaning.  I have put a lot of this together in an unusual test prep resource--in case you are interested!  Thanks for stopping by--and good luck on the tests.  Make sure you keep it positive and give your students the power to do well AND feel good about it!

Want to see more about what I do in my fourth grade class?  Visit my blog!

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