Thursday, August 29, 2013

Week One Wrap-Up

Well, I survived week one of dog training school! I'm finally on the up-swing of this cold bug that hit its low-point on the first day of school. Seriously folks, it was miserable. Each day has gotten better, and I'm really starting to fall in love with my batch of firsties!

Today, I wanted to run guided reading groups, since I haven't gotten a chance to hear them read on their own yet. As a warm up, we used these super awesome whiteboards (that clearly aren't white, I just don't know what else to call them) to play "mystery word." Silly little game that's not a game at all but they love it. We use Reading Street, so our first phonics skill is the short a sound. I told the kids that I was thinking of a short a word, but I could only give them clues as to what letters to use. I told them the letter sounds, and they wrote the letters. I have this bunch of kiddos wrapped around my little finger. I told them it was super awesome, so it WAS super awesome. The "color-boards," I'll call them, are from the Target Dollar spot. They weren't actually a dollar, I think they were actually closer to $3, which is a boldface lie, target DOLLAR spot, but I digress. I bought enough for each kid in my reading group to use one. They're fun colors and they make me happy. Well worth $3. I plan on using them to teach close reading strategies later on this year. 

We also used the decodable readers that come with the reading series. The "stories," if you can actually call them stories, are filled with that week's phonics skill so we LOVE digging out our highlighters and being "word detectives" to find all the words that match the skill. As you can see, at the start of the year, that's 99.9% of all the words in the whole book. They loved it because, again, I told them it was "super awesome." Plus, highlighters are like candy. So are band aids, but I digress. 

Daily 5 has been WONDERFUL thus far. I'm sticking to the schedule in the back of the book, so today we did day 4, and talked about how to choose a spot to read. Since those little firsties are eating out of my hand, I told them we were going to try reading to ourselves for SEVEN minutes today, which resulted in many cheers and smiles. I told them they did SO well that Monday we might even try NINE minutes!! (Insert more cheers and smiles.) I'm loving it. So so much. It makes so much sense for the way I instruct my kids anyways, I can't believe I haven't been doing it all along. Do you Daily 5? Any tips?

If you started back this week, too, I hope it went well!!
post signature


Stevie C said...

Your enthusiasm is amazing. I want you to teach my kids someday!

Wendy Arentz said...

The color boards are awesome! I bought the *black* dry erase boards and neon markers this year from Really Good Stuff for my reading groups. The kids are going to LOVE them!

Hope you post about the close reading strategies you use with your firsties. I use SideWalks which is the intervention for Reading Street. :)

Read With Me ABC