October Must Reads: Shared Reading Ideas!

This year I've been trying to include Shared Reading into my daily reading activities.  This summer I read about the importance of Shared Reading in primary classrooms as it offers a daily opportunity for students to see a model reader, participate in reading and have some fun with reading, so I made it a goal to try out this year and so far am loving it!

I always included read alouds into my daily reading activities, but Shared Reading is even better because not only are all the students seeing me as a model reader, but since students participate at certain points (during repeated phrases or chants), they are seeing their peers as model readers too.  I see it work like this- the more capable readers will catch on to the repeated phrases and join in right away while the struggling readers may take till the last repeated phrase to join in, but by then they have heard and seen model readers over and over again throughout the story which will in turn give them more models (all their peers) to follow- amazing idea! One of the most important things to remember with Shared Reading is that students need to be able to see the text so they are actually making those connections between what they are hearing/reading and the text.  This can easily be done if you have a SmartBoard for your whole class to see the stories.  I do this in small groups and have the book right in front of them, but being able to project it is even better!

So far this year, I've been using a lot of poetry, mainly from my book: Shout! Little Poems that Roar (by Brod Bagert) for my Shared Reading lessons. I LOVE this book and my little friends do too- the poems are about anything and everything and they love to join in on the silly repeated phrases. Check it out if you are looking for a good book of kid poems!

I'm linking up with the awesome ladies at Collaboration Cuties today for their October Must Read Mentor Texts.  I couldn't just pick one, so I'm including three books that I'll be using in October in my Shared Reading lessons- they all have repeated phrases/chants that my students can join in on to read along with me.

These books are about the season of Fall (and a little about Halloween) and my little friends definitely need some insight in regard to what Fall is all about, so these books will be just perfect! They also follow a sing along kind of format with repeated phrases which will make these great for our Shared Reading time. 

Each week, I follow the same format for each day, but just switch out a new poem each week.  I spend only about 5-7 minutes on my Shared Reading time since I only see my friends for 30 mins, but could easily spread this out to 10-15 mins. So far I've noticed that my little friends really love joining in and reading together with me- they seem very proud of themselves that they know the repeated phrases.  So, not only are they seeing model readers and participating in reading each day, but they are also building their confidence as readers because they "know" what they are reading.

The first reading is supposed to be just for fun so I do not get into step 4 until the 2nd day. Then each day I change the focus/purpose of the reading. The key is just that students are seeing the text each day for  a few days in a row and reading right along with you! Shared Reading is such a great way to expose your students to a greater variety of text, especially poetry, which I'm really enjoy this year! Thanks to Amanda and Stacia for a great weekly link up!

Have a great day!

It's a Fall Freebie Friday!

I cannot believe it's already nearing the very end of September- this month has flown right by me! Here's a little peek at my week:

1. Pick a Pebble! I almost always begin my reading groups with a little phonemic awareness warm up activity.  I am well aware that phonemic awareness is something that can be done in the dark vs phonics being something the kids actually see/manipulate; however, since I do a daily phonemic awareness warm up, I like to include a variety of activities.  One thing that I love to grab from my phonemic awareness basket is my little Pick a Pebble container.

Each student gets 3-4 pebbles and then puts a pebble on their sound boxes for each sound they hear in the word. The shiny, pretty pebbles really make identifying sounds in words much more exciting!

Sidenote: these pebbles are from many years ago from some museum I went to...haha...glad I'm putting them to use. :) You can easily recreate this in your phonemic awareness activities too- just grab some rocks or pebbles- trust me, they are fun to use! (Oh and really, this can be done in the dark...just wouldn't be quite as enjoyable because you wouldn't be able to see the pebbles!)

2. The weather has been absolutely amazing this week and my little friends have been busy all week long working on our Fall activities! They were cracking me up trying to determine what Fall really is-- they kept talking about winter thinking we'd be making snow angels soon...which could very well be true seeing we live in Chicago, but I'm hoping they'll get a better understanding of Fall as the season keeps going!

We practiced story sequence by writing what happens first, next and last on their Fall day.

My little friends practiced reading CVC words and sorting by word families. They also did a recording sheet showing what they know on the iPads!

I decided to introduce long vowels with silent e way earlier this year with my 1st graders than normal because I really want to expose them early since we've got to meet those Common Core Standards. I know it'll take a lot of practice, but they are doing well so far! They read words and then sorted by short or long vowel.

My little friends worked on writing with making predictions for Fall.  We will check back on these predictions in a few weeks to see if we were right.

I had to include some football fun for Fall in our activities, so we did some rhyming football practice!

We also reviewed what sentences need with our sentence/not a sentence sort. They loved the cut & glue follow up too.

Had to squeeze digraphs in too...

We did some comparing & contrasting of Summer and Fall- I did lots of modeling for this because compare & contrast will definitely be coming up frequently throughout the year.

All these activities and more are aligned to the Common Core and are in my Fall Literacy Centers Bundle Pack-- you can check it out here

3. We also worked on this little Fall freebie! My little friends got busy reading and creating CVC words with these leaf letter cards. They choose a tree card with a CVC word first, read it and then use the leaves to recreate the word. Each friend read the word one more time after creating the word too. You can grab it here!

4. Label Fun! I love a good label party--- it's just really so fun for students to be able to label anything and everything. First, I introduce labeling with my little Hawaiian shirt (I like choosing a random object to make it more memorable!). I have the students help me come up with labels for each part of the shirt.

Then each student gets a few labels and they write labels for things around our classroom. They love sticking them on the items! Of course Mr. Frog needs a label too. :)

Another label activity that my little friends love is choosing a stuffed animal from my basket, taking a picture of it and then adding labels. (We did this in Skitch.)

We also labeled these cute little people cards which I got over the summer in the Dollar Spot at Target!

5. Running Club began this week- it's twice a week for an extra hour after school and it really is fun- especially with the weather being so nice. Only problem is that I no longer feel like running since I get home at least an hour later than normal...but hopefully I'll be better next week with running afterward!

Hm...definitely can tell I didn't blog at all this week because I sure had a lot to share! Love my Friday link ups with the great Doodlebugs and TBA!

 Freebie Fridays

Have a great weekend!


Poem Notebooks to Practice Fluency in First Grade!

Happy Friday!  Today I am linking up with two of my favorite Friday linkies: Teaching Blog Addict's  Freebie Friday and Doodle Bugs {First Grade Rocks} 5 for Friday!

This week,  I wanted to explain one way we practice fluency each and every day in first grade.  We use our "Poem Notebooks!" Students are given a special notebook (just a spiral but it is special to them!) at the beginning of the year and receive a new poem each Monday.  The poems are collections from children's poems from many different resources.

Throughout the week we interact with the text many times in many different ways.  I am someone who loves routine and my kiddos are no different..they too thrive on routine.  Below is our typical weekly routine for our poem notebooks!

Common Core Alignment:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.1a Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3g Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

Number 1: Mondays
Students get their new poem and glue it into their notebooks.  I read the poem and students follow along.  Next, I read the poem and students "echo" read the poem. Students get so excited to get a new poem on Mondays and as soon as it is passed out the begin looking for words they know so they are ready for the week!

Number 2: Tuesdays
We echo read the poem. Then go on a "punctuation hunt."  We look for periods, commas, questions, exclamation marks ect.  One student finds these words on the SMARTBoard while the rest of the class find them in their poem notebook. We search for commas and circle them in yellow and we circle ending punctuation in red.

Number 3: Wednesdays
We always begin by echo reading the poem.  By this time in the week, depending on the difficulty of the poem, sometimes students are able to lead the reading other times I am still reading it first.  Then, we go on a word wall hunt.  This is an easy way to interact with the text and my kids love it!
We look for all of the word wall words in our poem notebooks and circle them in blue.  Some poems definitely have more than others but as I explain to my kids-word wall words are everywhere so it's important we know and recognize them!  Again one student is always the leader on the SMARTBoard and this time another student uses a pointer to point to the word wall words on our actual word wall as we find them.

Number 4: Thursdays
We begin by echo reading the poem.  Next, we find rhyming words throughout our poems.   We discuss if words are patterned or not.  We also talk about words that look alike and sound alike and try to think of other words to go with these word patterns.  I always find myself saying..."if you know how to read and write the word _____ then you know how to read and write SO many other words!"  As my kids are circling their words (this time in orange) directly in their poem notebooks, a student leader is doing it on the SMARTBoard for kids other kids to see.

Number 5: Fridays
We illustrate and continue practicing our fluency. This is one of my favorite days (I also really like our "word wall" hunt day!)  All week we discuss "visualizing" the poem as we read it.  Throughout the week we talk about some of the pictures students are creating in their minds.  This is the time when students get to put their pictures in their mind down on paper.  It is so fun to see the different takes on the poem.  They do such a great job with their illustrations.  Below are just a few of the samples from different poems:

Once they finish their illustrations students are able to go and read their poems with a friend on the carpet.  After kids become more familiar with the laptops then I add an additional piece which is recording themselves in GarageBand.  Students record themselves reading the poem and have a friend listen to it.  The kids really like doing this and hearing their own voices on the computers!   To read more about how we use GarageBand in first grade please click here.

To grab this  free copy of my daily poem notebook schedule click here or on the picture below: 
************************************UPDATE*************************************  With all of the requests for the poems I decided to add them to the post so you can download them directly through Google Docs.  Again, these poems are NOT my own and are labeled with authors names whenever possible.  If you know the author of the of the poems, that I have written "author unknown" please let me know and I will add it to the document.  

Please click here to access the poems! 

Thank you again to TBA and Doodlebugs for hosting such fabulous Friday Linkies! I am off to go read more ideas (and some freebies!) from these linkies!   

Happy Friday!


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