Thursday, February 12, 2015

Growing Readers

This is the time of year when Kinders tend to really blossom in their reading skills.  It's so exciting to see them with their cute little noses in books!  I usually have several kids following me around with a book that they want to read to me.  :-)

In order to best support student learning I am always thinking about ways to improve and add to our literacy block.  I am fortunate to have two amazing teaching partners ~ we collaborate and share ideas every day.  We all do Daily 5, which has been a great factor in helping our kiddos to become readers. "Read to Self" is such a powerful way for students to practice reading.  Here are a few pictures of some of my little readers.  They are free to choose where to sit ~ as long as they are able to read without getting (or being) distracted.

The little guy in the corner in the upper left picture really likes that cozy reading spot ~he goes there almost every day.  I was a little hesitant to bring in that blue chair ~ I thought there would be squabbles over who could sit in it, but to my delight the Kinders have been great about taking turns!

 More readers.  (I guess the kids in the lower right are reading to someone, not self.)

Another component of our literacy block is writing.  The Kinders in these pictures have chosen "Work on Writing" as their Daily 5 choice.  In addition to writing in their journals I have lots of writing activities and materials available in our Writing Station.  

My latest find is the WONDERFUL new reading program from the fabulous DeeDee Wills & Deanna Jump.  OMG!!!  I am sooooo excited about it!  As I mentioned earlier, I am always trying to improve upon what we do.  For the kids, but also for myself.  Our adopted reading series is so boring, and I found myself supplementing so much that I felt that I was writing my own curriculum.  Well, no more!  Thanks to the work of such talented ladies I now have a comprehensive reading program with trade books that make sense for the month in which they are taught. ( I could never understand why our reading series had My Garden  for the unit we do in late December/early January.  Yes, I know it is warm in some places in those months, but it is still winter...  Why not have a book like The Snowy Day?  Sorry about my little rant.)

Anyway, Guiding Readers is now available for January & February and contain everything you need to teach all the skills with quality trade books.  The units are full of easy prep lessons and materials.

One component I really like is the response to text writing.  Here are some pictures of some of my little cuties' writing in response to The Snowy Day.  (Hey, that's a great book for January!)

I copied the writing pages I wanted to do with my kids & stapled them into booklets.  By keeping the pages together the kids are able to go back and work on a a previous day's writing if they want to.  In this lesson we talked about visualizing as we read the book together.  They shared what they visualized with their partners, and then got their booklets and wrote about it.  This page not only helped my little students, but it served as a "light bulb moment" for me ~ as I was walking around conferring with my students, I came to the little girl who wrote the piece on the left.  I was about to ask her why she drew/wrote herself into the story.  Luckily, I caught myself.  She not only visualized what was happening in the story, she visualized herself into the story!  Pretty cool, huh?

This page is the writing activity that turned "DS" into a writer!  Really.  Up until we did this page, his writing went kind of like this:  scribble, scribble, bother the person near him, walk around looking for words (not ever really sure which words he wanted, but on a word hunt never-the-less), make funny noises, and say "I'm done!"  But, something clicked with this response to literature.  His paper is the one on the right.  

I like that this set has pages for opinion writing.  These kids made me proud ~ they didn't say they liked sunny days because they "like it."  

My little Cutie Pies.  Of course, no post on reading would be complete without some pictures of my darling granddaughters.  Eighteen month old Amelia loves to "read!"  (And she should, her mommy is author Emily Goodwin!)  Sisters, Olivia 2, and Isabella almost 5, share a book.  This was taken one morning after a snowy sleepover at Mimi & Papa's house.  I texted the picture to their kindergarten teacher mommy Sarah of Kinder Cakes ~ of course she loved seeing her girlies reading in the morning!


  1. Thank you so much Linda for your sweet words. Your class looks wonderful! I love how you have fostered your students' love of reading! I can see how engaged they are during their Daily 5. Bravo! Bravo!

    1. Thank you for visiting & for your comment. It means so much to me that you took time to check out my post.

  2. Yay! Thank you so much for the kind words. We're so glad that you like our Reading units and I couldn't agree with you more... Basals are BORING!!! I love the pics of your little cuties. There is nothing better than being a grandparent. Enjoy every minute!

    1. Thank you for visiting & commenting on my post. I am thrilled that you took time to read my blog. And, yes ~ there is nothing better than grandchildren!


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