Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December Day 24 - Christmas Word Wall Word Books

Word Wall Word Books with Meaning

This is a special book.  I'm sure most of you can't use this in your public school classrooms, but maybe there's a Sunday school class, a home-school or private school classroom that will be able to use this.

It's just a small tribute to the day that is tomorrow.
Say Merry Christmas with this mini-sight word reader that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas.
Say Merry Christmas with this mini-sight word reader that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!

If you'd like the Christmas Word Wall book, CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December Day 23 - Trace it, Write it, Make it Practice

Never Enough Word Wall Practice

This set is designed to practice the words in several ways.  Students will read it, trace it, write it, and make it.  There are letter tiles at the bottom of the page for their use.  If the tiles are too small, simply cut them off the bottom and make copies without the letters.  You can use markers, stamps, small alphabet stickers, or any other medium to make the words.
If you'd like the 5 pages, CLICK HERE.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December Day 22 - Christmas Ruler

How does it measure?

I know this is out of the ordinary, but I'm including a math thing.  I know, I know, the Earth just shook a bit.  I made a ruler review for our kindergarten, so I thought I'd offer it.  Most of you are out of school for the holiday (we have one more day).  The set is both in black and white and color.
The ruler is 6 inches in length and the pictures are all from 1 inch to 6 inches.
I hope it's a fun way to review.  If you'd like the FREEBIE measurement activity, CLICK HERE!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December Day 21 - 4 Square Part 2

Play it Again, Sam.

Here is another 4 square set.  This set contains 2 pre-made and 2 custom made 4 square designs.

The first set is a 4 square set about Keeping Warm.  The pre-made 4 square can be used with your earliest or struggling writers.  It contains 4 items students wear to keep warm.  The text can be predictable phrases from the word wall (Look at the, Come see the, Here is the, etc.).  The custom made 4 square gives students 6 options they can choose from to make their own 4 square.
The second premade 4 square is "Winter Friends."  Students can write about animals in the snow...with the added fun of the snowman block.
There are also 2 custom 4 squares.  These activities are made with the student choosing what they will write.  The first custom 4 square is titles, "H ow Do You Keep Warm?"
The second custom 4 square is titled, "How to Make A Snowman."  This can also be used as an introduction to How To Writing.
If you'd like the FREEBIE 4 Square Set, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December Day 20 - Ending Sound Match

Evergreens and Snowmen

Match the ending sounds on the evergreens and the snowmen.  This set includes a page of full color and a page of black and white.  It can be a quick review, a center activity, or assessment.
Match winter trees and snowmen that have the same ending sounds.
If you'd like the FREEBIE Ending Sound Set, CLICK HERE!

Friday, December 19, 2014

December Day 19 - Fluency Word Wall Set

Can Emergent Readers be Fluent?

I think they can, but it needs to be a strategic plan for fluency.  The very best way to make any reader fluent is - READING!  So what are the reading?  EVERYTHING!  They need to read their poetry folders, their leveled readers, their word wall words, everything.
Fluency can begin with our earliest readers.  Picture support and sight word practice can provide lots of fluency practice.

Another way emergent readers can practice reading fluently is using known words in sentences.  At first, fluent sentences are sentences are predictable text with picture support.  Students read the sentences each night.  You can add a timed piece, if you like.  Ask parents to time their students each night and see if their reading is more fluent.  After the beginning stage, students progress to predictable text that rotate between two words.

This set contains 2 in/on fluency sheets and 2 under/over fluency sheets.
Fluency can begin with our earliest readers.  Picture support and sight word practice can provide lots of fluency practice.

Fluency can begin with our earliest readers.  Picture support and sight word practice can provide lots of fluency practice.

If you'd like the Fluency Word Wall Word Set, CLICK HERE!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December Day 18 - Read It, Write It for Winter

A New Word Wall Word Center

SO it's time to change things up.  The word wall word center has been a center since the beginning. We've written it with lots of different instruments, we've rolled the dice to write the words, and we've practice them with partners.  Now, we're moving to Read it, Write it.  I'm a big fan of this worksheet. I found it on Pinterest and it was available from so many people, I don't know who to credit for it or I swear I would.
Sight word practice with Read it, Write it, Glue it, and Draw it. Students will enjoy the variety of activities.
I made 4 Read it, Write it sheets for the winter.  We are introducing or reviewing word wall words in the sentences, so they are practicing the words while they do several activities.

If you'd like the FREEBIE Read it, Write it Centers, CLICK HERE!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December Day 17 - Beginning Sound Match

Beginning to Sound A Lot Like...

I know, it was a cheesy attempt to put a little Christmas in my blog.  I made a beginning sound math game with winter themes, so you can use it throughout January and February.  The penguins need their hot cocoa to stay warm...and you students need practice to keep their skills hot.
Beginning sound match with penguins and hot cocoa!

The set contains two pictures for each letter, except X...not many good choices for X.

If you'd like the Beginning Sound FREEBIE, CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December Day 16 - Hibernating Animals

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's not really cold here...today was 55 and it was a great day.  The rain just started.  BUT, I'm sure somewhere someone is reading this and it's cold outside and maybe even snowing.  This activity can be used throughout January because we talk about hibernating animals all winter.
Hibernating Word List for writing and word play.  There is also a syllable sheet for sorting animals.
This small set contains a Hibernating Word List Chart and a syllable worksheet.

Have fun and stay warm!

If you would like the Hibernating Word List Chart set, CLICK HERE!

Monday, December 15, 2014

December Day 15 - Winter Vowel Match

Short Vowel Match

Here's a vowel match with a holiday theme so it can be used this week.  This sheet can be used as an independent center activity or a vowel match assessment.  Students can cut and glue items under the present.
Vowel match holiday sheet.
If you would like the FREEBIE Vowel Match, CLICK HERE!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December Day 14 - Sight Word Box Match

a.) sight words

b.) word wall words

c.) high frequency words

d.) ALL OF THE ABOVE


Need a million ways to practice these?  Here is a quick 10 word set.  The set includes decorated ornaments and configuration boxes to match.  Use the whole set in a concentration game.  Use the color set to read sight words.  Use the boxes to check the configuration of the words.  This is an easy way to emphasize proper writing strokes, as well...which letters are tall? Which are short? Which are hanging down?
Using the configuration of the letters, students can match sight words to the shape.

Enjoy!

If you'd like this set, CLICK HERE!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December Day 13 - Beginning Sound Match

Here's a quick worksheet review of beginning sounds with a holiday theme.  Each row contains 3 pictures with 2 pictures beginning with the sounds.

It is a blackline master for copying.
This is a great beginning sound practice for mid-year tests.

If you'd like to have the sheet, CLICK HERE!

Friday, December 12, 2014

December Day 12 - Alphabet Matching

4 Way Alphabet Match

1.  Using the letters only...match upper to lower case letters.

2.  Using capitals and pictures...match upper to initial sound pictures.

3.  Using lowercase and pictures...match lowercase to initial sound pictures.

4.  Using both capitals, lowercase letters, and pictures...match all three.
Alphabet Match - 4 way activity with uppercase, lowercase, and picture cards.

This small pack contains a full color and black and white reproducible sheets.

If you would like the Alphabet Match, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December Day 11 - 100 Boxes and a Secret Picture

Hundreds Chart Pictures

Don't you love those?  I've done them with my kindergartners...even though we don't have to teach numbers to 100.  They love coloring in the boxes and figuring out what the secret picture is.
Using beginning sounds instead of numbers, students will color the code and discover a hidden picture.
I decided to try it with letters.  After several attempts at different approaches to using letters, I decided to go with the first letter of the color.  It worked fine for my first one...a candle.  Y for the yellow flame.  R for the red candle.  B for the Black candle holder.  G for the green leaves.  It got a little harder when I made a reindeer.  Br is for the brown fur.  Bl is for the black eyes.  But I think it's a cute activity.  I also included a dreidel.  Color all other letters any background you decide or leave them white.

Enjoy.

If you'd like the candle, reindeer, tree, and dreidel, CLICK HERE!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Day 10 - Can you be Persuaded to Write

Persuasive Writing for Beginning Writers

December is a fun time to talk about persuasive writing.  This FREEBIE gives you 4 different persuasive ideas and paper for the final product.
Students are asked to write 3 reasons why either choice could be the best.  THEN, they need to write complete sentences about what is the absolute best and persuade the audience.

If you would like more, check out my blog post from February, Can You Be Persuaded?

If you'd the like holiday FREEBIE, CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 9 - Match the Cookies

Word Family Match-ups

It's always important to match onset and rime.  This gingerbread man themed pairings can be used in multiple ways.   You can match onset to rime, beginning sound to picture, rime to picture and the pictures can be used to sort by rime, as well.

Color and Black & White

This 10-page pack can be used as group work and independent practice.
Onset and rime and a gingerbread cookie! Use these 3-way cards to do multiple activities. Match onset to rime, onset to picture, or rime to picture.
If you'd like the FREEBIE Word Family Match-ups, CLICK HERE!

Monday, December 8, 2014

December Day 8 - Poem and Book

Shared Reading

I'm a little crazy about shared reading.  It can be the most integral part of the day.  I'll have to do a full post about Shared Reading in the new year.  These poems, typically 4 lines of text for kindergarten, is rich with word wall words, rhyming, cvc words, and valuable vocabulary lessons.  Not only should it be read daily for a week, the following week it should appear in your poetry center and your art center.  The next week, it can be in the pocket chart center.  Students can use the poems for independent reading and word study feature hunts.
Poems are a great way to meet many standards weekly. This poem and early reader are a great way to start.

And a Book, too.

I've also included a student book.  You won't believe how excited the students will be when they see they know the story and they can read the book.
Poems are a great way to meet many standards weekly. This poem and early reader are a great way to start.
Both the poem and book are in both full color and black and white.

For now, trust me...use them weekly!  You and your students reap the benefits.

If you'd like to download the poems, CLICK HERE!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December Day 7 - Word Wall Word Books

Books to Make and Read

It's so exciting to see a child pick up a book and start to read.  When a non-reader is TRANSFORMED into a reader...you know all it right with the world.  Those emergent readers are using predictable text with easy picture support.
Use sight words and a holiday theme to make these little readers. Even your earliest students will be successful.
Here are 5 quick holiday themed word wall word books.  They use simple word wall words:  come, see, the, here, is, I, have, some, big, and little.

Simply cut the 3 squares and attached them with a staple to the large rectangle and let the reading begin.
Use sight words and a holiday theme to make these little readers. Even your earliest students will be successful.
To get 5 FREE Holiday themed Word Wall Word books, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

December Day 6 - Rhyme Time

Rhyming Practice

Using the tree and ornaments, students can practice rhyming.  These cards contain short vowel pictures.  Students can use the cards to match rhymes then write the words, draw the pictures or both! This is a quick reminder before January PALS (testing in Virginia).
Rhyming with holiday cards. Match the ornament with tree. This is also a great practice for mid-year testing.
If you'd like the FREEBIE Rhyme Cards, CLICK HERE!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

December Day 5 - As Easy as A-B-C

From Angels to Zzzzzzzz

Enjoy this FREEBIE Christmas ABC Chart.  It's another great way to give students topics for writing, introduce vocabulary, and discuss the season.
ABCs of Christmas.  Use this card as a springboard for writing, reading, and vocabulary lessons.

How can you use it?

1. Sort by SYLLABLE.

2. Sort by PART OF SPEECH.

3. Write words by distinguishing between CONSONANTS AND VOWELS.

4. Sort by COMMON NOUN AND PROPER NOUN.

5. Choose 10 NOUNS and add an ADJECTIVE.

6. Write SENTENCES using Christmas words.

7. Write WORD PROBLEMS for math using Christmas words.

8. Use Christmas words to show POSITION WORDS.

9. Think of other VOCABULARY words you can add to the chart.

Do you have any ideas to share?  If you do, add them to the comment below.

To get a FREE Christmas ABC Chart, CLICK HERE.

December Day 4 - Domino Fun!

Letter Sound Match...with Dominoes

Here's an easy way to practice letter sound match.  The domino set can be used as a independent review, a game for classmates, or an assessment disguised as a game.

A Review or a Game

Copy the dominoes on cardstock and laminate before cutting apart.  Show students how to make a zig zag train with their dominoes and play the game independently or against a classmate.
Dominoes with holiday pictures and beginning sounds. Keep them engaged by playing meaningful games!

An Assessment Disguise

If you want a beginning sound assessment without letting the students know...show them how to play and them give them paper copies to cut and glue.

For your FREEBIE Beginning Sound Domino Game, CLICK HERE!



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December Day 3 - The Right way to Write about December

Writing about December

Today's FREEBIE is for writing.  I made new 4 squares for your December writing centers.  The programmed 4 square is called "The Life of an Elf."  My favorite thing about a 4 square is it can be used for the earliest writers and as an outline for more advanced writers.
Let's write about Christmas the 4 Square way. Either students are using a pre-made 4 Square or make their own.

Early Writers

Using a 4 square for early writers is a great way to teach the mechanics of writing.  Using this 4 square a student might write "The elves are making toys.  The elves are checking the list.  The elves are decorating the tree.  The elves are packing the sleigh."  The programmed text can create a comfort to early writers so the focus can be on the mechanics (capitals to start, spaces in between, and a period to stop).  For a complete blog discussion about 4 square, Click here!

Practiced Writers

Students who have the mechanics in place, can use the 4 square to give more details.  A student might write three or four sentences about the elves making the toys, before moving on to checking the list.

Do It Yourself

Let's write about Christmas the 4 Square way. Either students are using a pre-made 4 Square or make their own.
Another option for 4 square writing is the "do it yourself" 4 square.  This 4 square, titled "Snow Fun," gives the students 6 picture choices for making their own 4 square before writing.

MAKE SURE...

students must understand a 4 square is just a planning tool for writing, it is NOT the writing!

For the Day 3 Pack, CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December Day 2 - How Many Words?

How many words can you make?

How many words can you make out of Gingerbread Man? Let students manipulate letters and create words!
I used to love these games.  Never failed the day before any holiday, the teacher would write a holiday word or phrase on the chalkboard and everyone would want to make the most words.  This sheet gives students the letter cards, so they can arrange, rearrange, and rearrange again.

There are two options in this free pack...a full color sheet to laminate and reuse year after year and a black and white sheet to be copied for each student.

Making Words

Using this activity as a whole group can be an easy way to show how to make and break words. Students can find short vowel word family words, such as -in, -an, and -en, long vowel word family words, such as -ain, -are, and -ade. How many can you make?

CLICK HERE for the FREEBIE Gingerbread Man Activity.



Monday, December 1, 2014

December Day 1 - December Word Card

A Month of FREEBIES

Here's the plan.  I'm going to post a FREEBIE every day in December.  Just as a thank you for a great year.  The first FREEBIE is a December Word Card.
Using word cards allows students to focus on content instead of worrying about spelling. This Winter Word Card can be used 10 different ways!

How can you use it in your classroom?


1.  Make a few copies and post them on your writing board or put them in a WRITING CENTER as TOPICS.

2. Ask students to use as many words in a story as they can.

3. Allow students to use the Word List to fill a blank 4-SQUARE to plan for a story.

4. Use it as an ALPHABETICAL ORDER list.

5. Use it to sort by SYLLABLES.

6. Use it to sort for COMPOUND WORDS.

7. Use it to sort for LONG AND SHORT VOWELS.

8. Choose 2 words and write a MATH WORD PROBLEM.

9. Choose 2 words and make a CAUSE AND EFFECT statement.

10. Use the list to DICTIONARY SKILLS and find the guide words for words on the list.

CLICK HERE for your FREE December Word List.



Friday, November 14, 2014

SO Excited...I'm a Guest Blogger

I am so excited to I'm a guest blogger.


What are my Non-Negotiables for the Emergent Reader?


Click the link at the end of the post and check out what I think are Non-Negotiables.


CLICK HERE!



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thankful for Teachers ~ Some FREEBIES to make you smile

Need a few FREEBIES to add to your already busy week.  Maybe these will spark something exciting with your emergent readers.

A typical learning standard in November is learning about Past and Present and learning about The First Thanksgiving.  All teachers know the facts of our first Thanksgiving can be debated among historians, but we have specific standards to teach about the holiday.  In Virginia, kindergarteners need to know the terms long ago, past, and present.  They also need to know Thanksgiving is to remember of the sharing of the harvest with the American Indians.  Teaching the concept of long ago can be especially interesting when your kindergarten students think you are old if you are 15!  But, there is a way.

Past and Present Sort


Students can usually sort between what is past and what is present…using themselves as the model for present.  Using their clothing and things in their house, they can be successful at sorting past and present.  If you want to up the expectations, ask emergent readers to not only decide what is past and present, but also what is BOTH past AND present.  This is obviously upping the rigor. 
Instead of asking students to recognize or classify at the remember and understand Bloom’s level, adding the BOTH category asks students to explain and justify which is at the application and evaluation Bloom’s level.  AND the best part is they don’t know it’s hard.  They just know you think they can do it.



Writing with Thanksgiving 4 Squares


Using new 4 squares, students are asked to tell you what they know about Pilgrim Life and Wampanoag Life.  The earlier learners can write basic sentences using word wall words.  “I see the Pilgrims.  I see the Mayflower.  I see the new land.  I see the new friends.”  The more advanced students can change each sentence starter:  “I see the Pilgrims.  They are on the Mayflower.  They see a new land.  They made new friends.”  Students can also be taught to use voice:  “I am a Pilgrim.  I go on the Mayflower.  We made it to a new land.  We made new friends.”  Finally, requiring more details can add different levels of understanding:  “I see the Pilgrims.  They are leaving their home.  They are on the Mayflower for many days.  The new land was different from their home.  It was hard.  They made new friends and shared a harvest with them.” 
Take the 4 square to the next level…deliberately and strategically and at a differentiated pace.

Making Words by Stretching Sounds


Students can use the provided turkey and hats to make new words.  The 3 letter CVC word mats contain one word for each vowel.  The students that need support can be instructed to make sure a turkey is in the middle.  Students that are independent can create the words, write the words separately on the paper and write a sentence, a rhyming word, or a word with the same beginning sound.


I hope these FREEBIES make your day a little brighter.  I am thankful for all of you…and the job you do.

If you'd like the Thanksgiving FREEBIE, CLICK HERE.



Monday, November 3, 2014

VERY Thankful for our Veterans

Thank you!



We certainly don't say thank you enough to those who are protecting our homes, families, and lives in the United States and around the world.



I've told you before my husband, Bill, was in the Navy when we met.  He was in Desert Storm, but I didn't meet him until after he returned from the Gulf.  When we married a year later, he was on shore duty.  Just before the birth of our first son, he (we) made the decision to leave the military...so I have never claimed to be a Navy wife.  I had it lucky!



I do have dear friends who are true military wives and are stronger than any other women in the world.

As a small way of saying thank you...here is a FREEBIE on my Teachers Pay Teachers page to celebrate our veterans.

HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY...Celebrate and Honor!



Enjoy!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pre-A Reading Level...starts BEFORE the Beginning!

Pre-A Guided Reading Staff Development

I have just recently finished a Pre-A Staff Development for our school system.  My first experience with Pre-A and Jan Richardson was at the VSRA Conference in 2009.  Jan was presenting a session on the Pre-A guided reading level and I was completely in awe of this level.  She hit such a chord with me that day…and I was instantly a convert.  After the 2009 conference I emailed her to ask for an open date on her presentation schedule and when we realized she was booked too far in advance, she sent a DVD.  It was the pre-amble to today's DVD set that is available through Scholastic, but it was amazing.  I have also seen her several times since then...Virginia Beach in 2013, Roanoke in 2014, New Orleans in 2014.
I have shared her Pre-A with a variety of schools and colleagues, but this spring, the need for Pre-A seemed more and more necessary.  Let me explain.  As I have stated before, Virginia is not a Common Core state but only because we have been developing our own common curriculum since the early 2000s, our Standards of Learning.  As the rigor has increased the value in early reading skills and competencies has increased.  Students need a strong foundation in reading to be able to move forward confidently and successfully.

This summer I shared the Pre-A with 20 kindergarten and special education teachers in our school system.  Recently, I shared the workshop again with more teachers.  Here is an abbreviated version of my staff development.

What do you need for a Pre-A Lesson?

A standard guided reading lesson requires not much more than a book and a plan.  The Pre-A requires more than that.
The materials on the list aren't in any particular order.  I suggest a timer...it's a 20 minute lesson with 4 parts.  If you don't puse the time, you can easily get long-winded and take too much time.  Students will need magnetic letters (both upper and lower case letters) to sort, organize, and spell their names.  Having a pencil container with all the materials needed during the lesson, helps you keep the lesson to 20 minutes, as well. I love the dry erase markers from Dollar Tree and I talk about it later.  There needs to be a popsicle stick for pointing or the student can use their finger.  Letter/Sound cards are a necessity.  I love this set from Pioneer Valley Books.  It has sound cards, ehyming cards, and syllable cards ~ perfect for the Pre-A lesson.  You'll need Level A books.  You need a letter/sound linking chart.  The one I made has a writing space at the bottom of the chart.  When it's placed in a plastic sleeve, they can practice writing letters during the lesson.  You'll need standard sentence strips and scissors for the Working on Writing section.  The plastic sleeves mentioned earlier can be found at many different outlets, but I love the ones at EAI Educational.  Finally, you'll need a handwritten name plate for students.

What is a Pre-A Student?

We started our class with a sort:  Pre-A v. Emergent Readers.  It is crucial to determine who will benefit from a Pre-A lesson plan.  Students who are Pre-A are those that:

  • know less than 40 upper and lower case letters combined.

  • know some but few letter sounds.

  • need a model to write their name.

  • have limited concepts of print.

  • need practice with left-to-right directionality.

  • use choral reading

  • work mostly with letters and sounds, not words.
If you would like the sort, Click here.

Letter Identification and the Alphabet Tracing Book

Letter identification is the first step in the Pre-A.  Based on letter ID students can be divided into 3 categories:  Less than 10, 10-40 Known Letters, and More than 40.  The first two groups of children will be in a Pre-A lesson, the latter will be in a Level A with support.  Once the 2 Pre-A groups are determined, the students need the Alphabet Tracing Book and a Pre-A Lesson Plan.
The Alphabet Tracing Book is one of the best tools in the Pre-A plan.  The Alphabet Tracing Book is such a simple concept, but it can give such great results.  The book has 26 pages…one for each letter of the alphabet.  The page contains a capital and lower case letter and a linking picture.  The students are asked to trace the letters with their finger in proper formation.  Students in the Less than 10 Pre-A group will be tracing known letters and letters in their name.  Students in the 10-40 Known Letters will trace the entire book.  As they trace the letters they say the letter name and then point to the picture and say the picture.  If they don’t know the letter or form the letter incorrectly, the “teacher” uses a hand-over-hand method.  It is not recommended the students add a letter/sound association.  In our school, our teaching assistants and parent volunteers were taught to review the Alphabet Tracing Book DAILY!  Yes, DAILY!

If you would like a Sound Chart and Alphabet Tracing Chart Set, Click here.

The Lesson Plan

The Pre-A Lesson Plan is divided into 4 parts:  Working with Letters/Working with Names, Working with Sounds, Working with Books, and Working with Writing.  AND the entire Pre-A lesson takes 20 minutes.  That’s right…20 minutes.  Think of it as the Curves® of reading instruction.  You’ll hit on all four parts of the Pre-A lesson in 20 minutes.
If you would like the Pre-A Lesson Plan template, Click here.

Working with Names


The working with names is only for the students who cannot write their name without a model.  The activities are name puzzles, creating names with magnetic letters, and writing rainbow name writing.  There are three reasons I love the dry erase markers from Dollar Tree.  First, the marker is bullet point…so you don’t have to worry about a chiseled edge.  Second, the top can be snapped on without damaging the bullet point.  Finally, the eraser can be used with the rainbow writing.  The student is given a plastic sleeve and their printed name and a dry erase marker.  The student traces the name with proper formation, then uses the eraser end to erase the name in proper formation.  Set the timer for 1 minute and the student must write, erase, and rewrite the name until the timer goes off.  Once the timer goes off, ask the students to point and tell the names of each letter in their name.

Working with Letters

There are 8 activities for working with letters.  The 8 activities are listed in order of difficulty.  Students who know less than 10 letters are given their known letters and the letters in their name.  As soon as the student knows more than 10 letters, they are given a bag with all 52 letters.

Working with Sounds

Students are led through 3 activities:  clapping syllables, working with rhymes, and picture sorts.  Clapping syllables is self-explanatory.  The teacher says a word and the students clap the syllables.  Once this activity is done without help, the activity is discontinued.  Working with rhymes is a thumbs up, thump down activity.  The teacher says 2 words and the students react with a thumbs up or thumbs down as to if they rhyme.  Students do not produce rhymes, they simply identify them.  The final activity is picture sorts.  The teacher picks 2 letters (typically one known and one unknown) and picture cards for sorting.  The students are given one picture for each of the letters.  After the introduction, the students take turns placing one of the cards on the sorting mat.  They will say the picture and the sound.

Working with Books

Students will be given a Level A book and the predictable text.  They will read chorally the text…while doing a left-to-right sweep of the sentence.  After a Concept of Print lesson on words, students should be asked to read with one-to-one matching.

Working with Writing

          Students will finally be led in a writing lesson.  The sentence should mimic the language of the book.  If it is possible, the sentence should also contain at least one of the beginning sounds from the working with sounds lesson.

The DVD Set

I highly recommend the DVD set as the companion to the text.  Jan is amazing…and her book is a great read for all levels of guided reading.  The DVD set is just what you want.  It has videos so you can watch Jan in action with teachers and students.  She also has a CD with forms and necessities.

If you would like to get your own copy of Jan's DVD set, Click here.

Believe me, the Pre-A reading level is the best chance of getting students up to Level A and beyond in no time.