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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Guided Reading with Chunky Monkey

I should have shared this activity with you about a month ago...when I did it for my classroom observation.
Where has time gone?  What on earth have I been doing?
I tell ya, the struggle is REAL people. 
I can't believe the school year is half over! CRAZY!

Back on topic...Guided Reading

First, I should note that it is important to understand the dynamics of my student groups.
I am a Title I teacher teaching students with disabilities.
Students who are qualifying for IEPs...
so the work that we do during our guided group time is at their level (just like you would do)
and the skills/words that I have chosen to use in our activities are things I've noted in which they need help.

**WITH that said, my students are showing growth and retaining the use of these strategies, so I hope that these mini-lessons will help another group of struggling readers.  

Okay--now back on topic--Chunky Monkey
When I first did this lesson with my 2nd graders, I was being observed for my teacher evaluation for OTES.
I haven't been observed formally for a couple years, so I was a little apprehensive, we have a new principal and I didn't know his expectations--therefore I decided I best NOT take pictures during my lesson. :)

*Side note, he enjoyed the lesson and liked the differentiation as he stayed for TWO of my groups! EEK!

Today, I did a modified version of Chunky Monkey with a group of firsties. 
I tried it with two of my groups, but truth be told, only one group was truly ready for this strategy.

We have been working on word families during our group time.
I was hoping this would also help them learn small "chunks" to aid in reading.
They've loved playing the CVC Roll and Read Games.
 I have placed each page from the unit below into a sheet protector.  
They are two to a page-back to back.
The activities are easily marked by word family choice in the top corner of each page.
You can read more about this activity HERE or by clicking the image below.


 We have even been learning to identify word family chunks by reading them 
from our sentence strips.  You can see them written on the blue in the image below.
I used one vowel per strip.
Today, we read a big book and I was teaching them how to chunk words 
using the word families they have been exposed.   You can see this on the green 
sentence strip above.  Our school uses Wilson's Fundations so I choose to use several words from am, an, and all to get them used to looking for those chunks. They did very well.

I also wanted them to realize that if they are able to chunk the word, it is much quicker than using Stretchy.

We did an activity that I had previously made before class using the word small.
I wrote the word on a sentence strip. I also had just the letters of the word, and then two pieces that read sm and all.  The activity consisted of them building the word small with all of the letters, and also building the word small with the two pieces: sm and all.  They determined it was quicker to put together the chunks than looking at all the letters, and made the connection.  Mission accomplished!

Then it was time for them to try to look for chunks on their own.
Maybe it was a word they recognized.  Perhaps it was a word family.
*Note, I simply placed our activity in a sheet protector and then I have it to refer back to when/if I need to encourage the use of this strategy again.  I also stored it in a big gallon baggy labeled Chunky Monkey so that I have it for other groups (or next year).  

My 2nd graders are doing well with this activity as well as the previous ones we've worked on.
My first graders can tell you what each decoding strategy is that we've worked on and how it helps us.
I'd like to say these activities are helping my students with their reading, and I do believe they are working.
They are enjoying them too, so that's always a win! 

If you'd like a copy of this activity for your students, here is what I've designed.

I also like them to have a strategy page to take home.
They like to use the last few minutes coloring him too.
This gives me time to ask each student 1-1 how the strategy helps us decode.

If you would like this activity for your own class, click on the image below to download it FREE.



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Reading Stuff---sight words, blending, segmenting---STRETCHY

First, I'm going to ask this...have you ever planned your guided reading groups and then only had 1 kid at the table?  That happens A LOT with one of my groups.  The bad thing is, I never know if I will have a group or not.  Therefore, I am "winging" last minute lesson plans so that I can work 1-1 with the student that I do have.  Luckily, I have the Fry Fluency Reads to help me out.  As the student is reading, I quickly have time to grab some materials for one-on-one.  Plus, it's a great warm up, it helps me hear if the child is fluent, needs sight word help, if they are decoding unknown words, if they are using picture clues, etc.
 On this day in particular, I focused on sight words.  
I quickly jotted down a few sight words she was having trouble with 
and made a little practice sheet.
This added great practice for reading fluency as well.
Just simple, but meaningful.

Then, my next group only had 2 kids in it.
Where were my kiddos people?
Truancy is a huge issue for the students I service, 
and yet, somehow, we as teachers are responsible for the student's academic growth?!
Anyway, it was a good time for me to try our our sight word game.
The kiddos LOVED it.
It's a close type Bingo game.
Students read the sentence, determine the missing sight word, and
 all students playing cover the word on their board if they have it.  
They asked the next day if they could lay it again.

You can download a sample copy of this Fry game HERE, and 
because my students enjoyed it, I am in the process of completing the Fry first 100 set.

So, when I finally had a full group to introduce a new strategy too,
we brought in Stretchy.
My kiddos have been using Stretchy A LOT already.
In fact, my second grade groups rely on him too much..
so this little Stretchy lesson was used as an intro lesson to Chunky Monkey for them.
*Stay tuned for that in another post soon.

Anyway--Stretchy was a big help for me as a teacher.
Just like any other reading strategy, I introduced him with a story.
Modeled how I sound out unknown words, and then put back together.

Then we discussed stretching out with a rubber band that I hesitantly gave my groups.
We practiced a few words while stretching the word.
*Note, these are differentiated to meet my groups abilities.
These are the words we tapped out.

Each group had 3 different cards that we practiced together.
I simply folded the picture along the line and held it together with a paperclip.
We stretched out the sounds while using the rubber band, and then I unfolded it to check our answer.
 Then we practiced  stretch reading the words words without the dots.
Again, based on their level:
I wanted them to practice the sounds in words while writing also.
We practiced writing our words with our stretchy snakes.
 Again, for differentiation purposes of my students, we have different letter boxes on our snake.
I held the card up, or laid it on the table, and students named the picture.

 (HUGE Thank you to Creative Clips, Whimsy Clips, Educlips, Pink Cat Studio,  Scrappin Doodles,
 Ashley Hughes and KG Fonts for the graphics too!)

 So far the lesson was really opening my eye to some student deficits.
Blends--ending blends--is still a hard concept.
Those little letter boxes sure did help my students stretch those sounds out to get a letter in each box!

The next day, I wanted to warm up with a Stretchy activity.
I wanted to give the students a word by stretching out the sounds myself, and see if they could put it together.
---I had them draw the picture of the word I stretched out.

 After they drew the word, I wanted them to stretch it out themselves to see if they could write the word.
Guess what?? They did!  
Breakthrough...It  is happening--even with that pesky suffix s that some of my students have trouble with!

Some other great things that are helping us with blending is this little pack.
Phoneme Blending
Click the pic to see it in more detail.
Here it is in action!

 For some fluency fun with CvC words, as a warm up and a Hey, my group is half gone activity--
these are PERFECT!!!!!!  

We practice the word family words, and then we practice them in context and for fluency/expression.
These are BIG fun.
You can see them in more detail by clicking the image below.

And finally---everyone likes to color the decoding helper that is our focus strategy!

If you like the Stretchy activity I did as my mini lesson, you can grab your copy by clicking the image below!
Have a great week!! :)
Stretchy Snake

and more Stretchy HERE!



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