Monday, February 29, 2016

Whatever Works..

I am always trying to find connections to help my students remember things.  Like for example, last week, I related a Table of Contents to a table of food.  I'm not sure if it was the fact I'm dieting, and was  hungry--or if I really thought it was a good idea at the time.  But hey, it worked.  I asked my students to visualize their big holiday meal (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.).  I asked them to think about the foods...mashed potatoes, gravy, macaroni and cheese, bread, etc--remember I'm dieting so all that stuff sounded good!

I told them that all of the foods on the table are the contents of what they will be putting in their bellies.  They can see what they will be eating on that table.  Then related it back to a Table of Contents.  It shows you the chapters you will be reading--it's like a preview of the book.  Just like we can see all the foods on the holiday table, we can see all the chapters in the table of our book.    Maybe it was a bit of a stretch, but we had worked on trying to define a table of contents for a few days, and this was a connection that STUCK!  A week later, and they can tell me what one is--so that's big news for me! :)

Sometimes I really STRETCH to make connections.  I look for anything and everything I can to help my students remember certain pieces of information.  Here's another example.  I try to get my kiddos to remember when to use certain punctuation.  My firsties like to put a period (or an exclamation point) for EVERYTHING.  So, I have them feel their ear.  I said feel that shape?  It's like a question mark.  It's made that way on purpose.  We have to listen carefully when people ask questions, and we have to listen to see if we need to give an answer.  Here's a quick little graphic. 


Whatever works!  This usually sticks too! :)


You know what else is working? Those very simple, easy to prepare Fluency Reads.
Pre-Primer Fluency Reads

Primer Fluency Reads




1st  Grade Dolch Fluency Reads



2nd Grade Dolch Fluency Reads


and I had several people ask for these in Fry words, so...
Fry FLuency Reads



(I will wait and see how this set goes over before I make the next set of Fry words)

I know these are working because my students are retaining their sight words.
I ALSO used to work with a student who receives special services.
Today, for the first time in a few months, I got to listen to him read. 
Friends, he STRUGGLED retaining a and the for the first month of school.
Today, he read ALL of the pre-primer reads to me.  
Then I thought, he just has them memorized....so I wrote down 3 new sentences using various words.
Guess what????  He could read them to me!!  
WOW!  So impressed!!

By the way--the Fry set DOES NOT have the same reads as the Dolch sets.  
 Being a Dolch user, I didn't want to make something that I couldn't use..so I am going to use these interchangeably and have several fluency reads my kiddos can use for their success! :)

Some of my 2nd graders were struggling with comprehension, and for some reason do not, and almost refuse to go back into the selection to find their evidence.  That's where the Nonfiction Fluency Reads come into play. 
Rainforest Reads
  The students have LOVED doing these, and I have seen reading levels improve over the past few months.  One of my kiddos went from a level 18 in December to a level 22 last month.  I'm pretty impressed with their growth. It's a good jump for the students that I'm servicing.  
I like doing these so  much with my students that I made a freebie for you to try.
Antarctic Adventures--Nonfiction Fluency Reads


I hope you enjoy this freebie.  If so, I love FEEDBACK! :)

Come back tomorrow as I plan on sharing  Making Words lessons 
that are helping my students in their phonics instruction! :)


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