December 7, 2014

Managing Guided Reading, Running Records, and Writing in a Kindergarten Classroom

Guided reading is a HUGE part of my classroom each day. Using DRA scores to level my groups, I spend about 20 minutes with each reading group. We have recently been asked to include running records in each child's portfolio and many teachers expressed their frustration with completing these running records. I decided to explain how I manage reading, taking running records, and writing all in my 20 minute group.

Determine your focus

Find a reading strategy and comprehension strategy.  I use decoding animals to teach decoding skills. Next I find my comprehension skill (details, main idea, characters, text features, etc.)

Pick an appropriate text 

I use decodable texts, predictable texts or books with our sight words. I'm lucky to work in a school with a book room of leveed texts but I also like to order Bob's Books from scholastic.

Guided Reading

I begin with a mini lesson based upon the skill we are working on. I give students highlighting tape to highlight words they struggle to decode and scaffold using the decoding posters.  We sometimes also use the tape to highlight sight words. Once we read the text together, I give students whisper phones to read independently then they partner read quietly. At this time, I begin my running record. I pick a student and provide the student with a text at their instructional level. While students are whisper reading, I have time to work with a student. It's important to note that you do not need running records for each student every week. I typically do them about 3 times a marking period for each child.

Respond to reading


Once I'm done with my running record We respond to our reading in writing. I do this in a variety of ways. I use pre-made response sheets or students use writing paper to draw a picture and respond by writing a sentence.  Again, this depends on the skill I am teaching. You can download my FREE writing paper HERE and download my guided reading response activities HERE.

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November 15, 2014

What Stuck With You Today? Easy, Fast, & Fun Assessment

Yes, I did just say 'fun' and 'assessment' in the same sentence. I saw this idea on Pinterest years ago and decided to give it a shot. Turns out that it works like a charm! I'll tell you how to make one yourself!

What you'll need:
2 pieces of poster board
colorful squares
Dry erase crayon

1. Lay out squares on poster board. Make sure you have a few extra for new students.
2. Glue on posters and glue posters together.
3. Laminate
4. Write each students' name using dry erase crayon.

After each lesson, ask students to answer a question on a post-it. As students leave ask them to stick their post-it on their square.

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November 13, 2014

Kindergarten RTI Sneak Peak: A Kindergarten Teacher's Survival Guide to RTI

I've been working with my struggling readers quite a bit to build foundational reading skills to begin deciding books on their own. To make life easier I made a no pep RTI notebook which makes pulling students individually a breeze!

 I printed each section on colored paper and placed them in plastic sleeves. Then I hot glued pom poms to the end of a dry erase marker (skinny markets are easier for the kids). I attached the pens to Velcro and stuck them in the inside of the binder. Pesto!

Here is a quick peek inside of my new product!

November 11, 2014

EGG-citing Math! Interactive and FUN Math Center for all Levels!

A teacher can never have enough math centers up her sleeve! Here are the steps for a never ending math center!

You can use empty egg cartons or the clear cupcake containers. If your class is like mine, you'll have a bunch tucked away from the many birthdays! I prefer the clear 12-cupcake containers. 

What you'll need:
egg carton or cupcake container
colored circles
pomp poms (I like the glittery ones best!)

This center can be used to reinforce multiplication, addition, subtraction and number identification skills. 

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November 9, 2014

Letters Galore! Fun & Interactive Ways to Teach Letters!

Let's ditch those worksheets people! I started using this activity during my literacy centers last week and the students LOVE it!

What you'll need:

Baking sheets (I found mine at the dollar store!) 
Spray paint
Magnet letters (get them here)
Magnet Letter Mats (click here to download)

I painted each baking sheet with spray paint. Then I taped the work mats on the baking sheets. I place letters on each pan for students to sort.

October 5, 2014

Boo Crew! Halloween Centers for Little Learners!


Growing up, Halloween was always my favorite holiday. Honestly, it might still be (Christmas is a close second). As a teacher I love making our learning experiences fun for my students so incorporating holidays is always a no-brainer. I've been working on my Halloween packet and I'm SO excited that I've finished. I have to admit that I might have gone a little crazy with this packet. There are A LOT of activities in here including 14 hands-on activities. Just a little warning. 
Here's a little preview of my new packet. Hope you all enjoy! 

Click to Download

This is just a small preview. Visit my TpT store to download. I'll be posting my Fall/Halloween craftivities soon!

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