Friday, June 21, 2013

The Importance of End Marks (4 Ideas for Emergent Readers)

Talking about end marks from the beginning of reading instruction can be a powerful tool to enhance fluency and comprehension.  There are 4 activities for using end marks with emergent readers.
No one can argue that punctuation is important. It's important for clarity, understanding, and fluency.  It effects voice and comprehension.  It changes a situation with intonation and inflection.  I was reminded of this when I was eating my favorite donuts.  Donuts?
Talking about end marks from the beginning of reading instruction can be a powerful tool to enhance fluency and comprehension. There are 4 activities for using end marks with emergent readers.

The best donuts in the world are Duck Donuts...in my opinion.  I love them...and donuts make me smile.  As I was eating Duck Donuts for the millionth time, I was reminded of punctuation.  As you can see in the picture above...I saw the t-shirt on the wall and starting laughing.  I turned to my husband and said, "DUCK! Donuts."  Then I laughed again.  This made me realize 3 things:  1.  Only a teacher would laugh at a punctuation joke. 2. Duck Donuts obviously has a great sense of humor. and  3. My husband is a saint for putting up with me and my punctuation jokes.
Talking about end marks from the beginning of reading instruction can be a powerful tool to enhance fluency and comprehension. There are 4 activities for using end marks with emergent readers.

1.  Which End mark?

When students are first learning about ending sounds, we have to practice reading with intonation and inflection.  Starting this practice from the beginning can be powerful for emergent readers.  Using cards with the same sentences and 3 different endings, students can play "Which End mark?"  They choose a card and read it with the ending in mind.  Their classmates need to guess the end mark.
Talking about end marks from the beginning of reading instruction can be a powerful tool to enhance fluency and comprehension. There are 4 activities for using end marks with emergent readers.

2.  Sing It!

Everyone knows it's easy to teach early emergent and emergent readers a skill when it's set to a tune.  These punctuation songs are set to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot."  Whether they are singing about the little period, the exclamation mark that yells or the curvy question mark they are sure to make a connection with the punctuation through song.
Talking about end marks from the beginning of reading instruction can be a powerful tool to enhance fluency and comprehension. There are 4 activities for using end marks with emergent readers.

3.  Do it.

Another sure fire way to get students to learn punctuation is to involve their whole body.  The same cards from the "Which Endmark?" can be used for this.  Students will listen to the sentence and decide what punctuation is at the end.  If it's a period, they squat like the cutie in the picture above.  If it's an exclamation mark, they stretch their hands high above their head and clasp them together to make a tall exclamation mark.  Finally, if it's a question mark, they will 'hula' their hips to show the curvy question mark.
Talking about end marks from the beginning of reading instruction can be a powerful tool to enhance fluency and comprehension. There are 4 activities for using end marks with emergent readers.

4.  Raise it up!

Finally, this can be a quiet game.  Everyone gets 3 signs glued on to tongue depressors.  As the teacher reads the sentence, the sign is raised.  It's a great quick assessment without paper and pencil.  You can quickly see who knows the answer, who hesitates and who watches others.

Duck! Donuts.
If we want our students to understand endmarks from the beginning, we need to teach it from the beginning.  Likewise, in the land of flying donuts, we should do this to protect our students.


If you would like, CLICK HERE for the Freebie about End Marks or the cover below.
Pin for Later:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Catch a Cue...M S V Made Easy!

Running Records

As I move forward with planning the teacher training for the Fountas and Pinnell Leveling kits, a friend reminded me to review the basics of running records BEFORE I add the comprehension, vocabulary and fluency components of the F & P Kits.  When I was taught to do running records, it was not an option to evaluate the errors and self-corrections.  The miscues should drive your planning and teaching.

I tape the MSV Triple Venn to my desk as a quick resource for assessing the running record.
I hope this is a quick review of assessing student errors.  Using their errors can drive their instruction.

Click Here for Desktop Cueing Circles

Pin for Later:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ch-ch-changes.

Ch-ch-changes.

I am super excited to report I am heading to a new school and a new job. I will miss my colleagues and friends at my old school (and even the administrators...they were great), but I am ready for the challenge and change. I am also excited that I already know some teachers at my new school including the awesome librarian. I will be the Reading Specialist at a primary school starting in the Fall.

As the reading specialist, I will get to help set the tone in the building for literacy, as the principal is new to the school, as well...and she wants to build a literacy team first.

We will be using the Fountas and Pinnell leveling kit and I found a wonderful training power point on Teachers Pay Teachers that can help me, help them. Thanks, Jennifer Lockner. (I hope I am giving credit the correct way to Jennifer...if not, please let me know. I want to give credit where credit is due.)

I love the non-fiction support in the F&P leveling kit. What are your favorite parts of the F&P leveling kit? What should I make sure to tell them about these kits? I want to get the "buy in" right away with the teachers.

Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System Training Powerpoint