There have been so many posts about Math, because that's my life lately. Textbook writing and consulting with amazing teachers on best practices in math practices daily.
Although I am a math specialist, I taught in all 5 subject areas and loved it. Guided Reading and Writing were two of my favorite areas that were unexpected for me. Being a math person, I never liked reading until I began to learn how to engage in reading in a way that allowed me to love doing it. That's why I stress Guided Reading and do it with my own children each day. (If you haven't seen all my posts about Jan Richardson's Guided Reading, click here for a quick summary!)
Having an early reader means we are working hard to learn sight words and phonics rules. My guy catches on pretty quickly, and I'm realizing I have to come up with ways to mix it up each day. The problem is- I have to be organized. If I don't have a plan in place, it's not going to happen.
This is definitely helping me stay organized and true to what we need to be doing. Here are some highlights to what we do and some links to these amazing resources:
Phonics Instruction: Using Words Their Way, we identify a new spelling pattern. This pattern will be used all week for activities with word sorts and spelling. I try to match reading texts that will have some examples.
Jan's Word Work: I also use Jan's sound boxes and analogy chart to practice the same spelling pattern. This mixes it up and applies some understanding to our practice.
Assessing for Understanding: On Friday, I quiz my students to see the progress. I use words that are in the sort, but also try to come up with some that follow the pattern to see if students can apply the concept.
On top of phonics, we have to do sight words. I like to use Jan's way of teaching sight words. (You can find out more from this blog post.) I teach them, and then have goals for each student. I base them around the reading level, but also throw in some other ideas too. Here are a few of my favorites:
Sight Word Flash Cards: These are awesome! We have them on rings and students can remove the ones they master. There are so many levels, it's easy to differentiate.
Sight Word Coloring Sheets: I love these, because they allow some creativity in the classroom.
One of my favorite ways to work on sight words is to continue the work we do in Guided Reading using Jan's mix and fix. Students use magnetic letters to make the word, mix it up and make again. That happens with the teacher, but I wanted something the students could do on their own. So, I decided to create some Sight Word Magnet Cards.
These cards are so much fun! I took each level from Jan's book and made cards that match the magnetic letters. (These are the ones we have.) The cards are placed on rings organized by reading level, but can be mixed to meet the needs of a specific student. These have been such a huge hit!
If you are like me and need a schedule to help with word work, I want to share the love! I want to give you the magnet cards so that you can be up and running! Check out this FREE emergent reader resource by clicking below!