Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Favorite Reading Strategies and Tips

I'm linking up with Primary Chalkboard again for their "Read Across America" celebration.

One of the best things I have been introduced to since becoming a teacher is the Daily 5.
Last year was my first year with the Sisters' reading block structure, and I loved it!
I HIGHLY suggest anyone that might be curious to read their book, and give it a go.

One of their biggest ideas that I really took to heart was to trust in the process, and really take time every day to build that reading stamina.
Start small, and increase that time ONLY WHEN THEY'RE READY!
I just can't stress that enough:)
I learned very quickly this year how important it is to be flexible and understand that each group of students is different…and you may need to adjust your management accordingly, with this system!
Choice has really not played as big a part this year as I would like...

I have said it before, and I'll say it again, that one of my very favorite sources (and inspiration for jumping in with this structure) is Amanda, from the First Grade Garden.
I gained so much from reading this post, and it helped my first year of D5 start off successfully.

Before I implemented this structure into my classroom, I read and re-read (a few times) the Sisters' book--- it's a very short & quick read!
Then, I set up my own implementation plan.

It's not perfect, and I adjusted a few things this year, but it will give you a good jumping off point if you're just getting started with the structure.

Be advised, this download in no way substitutes for reading their book.
I simply outlined their structure in a pacing guide for myself---but you will not learn anything about each of the components from my outline!
In other words, READ THE BOOK first:)

There are many titles of Children's literature mentioned in my outline.
Most (if not all) of them come from Amanda's post.

Right now, most first graders are working on developing reading fluency and increasing their WPM in repeated readings.
One of my reading groups gets a kick out of using these "funny voices" cards to lighten up repeated reading practice (it can become so tedious at times!).

Click the pic to download.

Finally, I have a few firsties who are still struggling with letter reversals.
One of my students even reverses m & w constantly…which isn't completely uncommon, but not quite as commonplace as b/d, p/q reversals.
I couldn't find any m/w reversal visual cues ANYWHERE, so I made one up.
graphics courtesy of
If you think it might come in handy for you or your students, click the pic to download!
I know my students have gained a lot from the b/d reversal song found here.
And this poster for p/q has helped a few kiddos.

I love this t/f reversal reminder!

I haven't had any kids with that issue this year, but I will definitely keep it in mind!

I hope this has been a somewhat helpful post!
Having only taught 3 years, I'm still learning myself:)
Let me know below if anything was especially inspiring, or comment with some of your OWN favorite strategies & tips!

Til next time, friends:)

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