This week, we continued to focus on common chunks that we see in words. We focused on words with ED endings. ED typically makes three different sounds when it is at the end of a word. We worked on sorting words as we listened to the sounds the ED made.
The kids are noticing our H Brothers, R Sisters, and ED endings in their books and all over the classroom!
This year, we will gradually introduce our students to many different chunks that they can use when decoding a word (vowel teams, r-controlled vowels, etc.). This week, we focused on H BROTHERS (th, sh, ch, & wh) & R SISTERS (ar, er, ir, ur, & or).
We learned how good readers stop and check when their reading doesn’t look right, sound right, or make sense. This awareness is crucial for beginning readers who sometimes make the mistake of skipping or changing words. Your first grader can read more carefully by using a reading finger and reading at a moderate pace.
If your child does make a mistake, encourage him/her to fix it, by saying, “Something didn’t sound right (or look right) in the sentence/on that page. Can you find it?” After fixing the mistake, make sure your first grader rereads the corrected sentence to ensure comprehension. We introduced the students to the idea of a guard dog as a way for the students to be on the lookout to see if they are letting in (or out) any unwanted words.
This week, we focused on using what we know about word families to help us figure out new, tricky words. The kids noticed word family words that they knew in a snap. When we took a closer look at those words, we noticed that words from the same family all end the same.
We then used that same word ending to help us figure out other, tricky words with the same word family ending.
We also talked about how good readers stop and check when their reading doesn’t look right, sound right, or make sense. This awareness is crucial for beginning readers who sometimes make the mistake of skipping or changing words. If your child does make a mistake, encourage him/her to fix it, by saying, “Something didn’t sound right (or look right) in the sentence/on that page. Can you find it?” After fixing the mistake, make sure your first grader rereads the corrected sentence to ensure comprehension.
This past week, we continued to focus on how to decode tricky words while we’re reading. We reviewed the strategies from last week and if we still need help, then when we come to a tricky word, we skip it (Skippy the Frog) and read the rest of the sentence. Once we have read to the end of the sentence, we try it again (Tryin’ Lion) from the beginning of the sentence and make a good guess for the tricky word (using the context clues from the sentence).
The kids have now met: Lips the Fish, Eagle Eye, Chunky Monkey, Stretchy the Snake, Flippy the Dolphin, Skippy the Frog, and Tryin’ Lion. That is quite a list of strategies. But, most importantly, when they have tried a strategy and have a good guess of what they think their tricky word is…they NEED to be careful. Careful Caterpillar checks to make sure that their guess makes sense, looks right, and sounds right. When the kids guess a tricky word, they need to ask themselves those three questions to self check and make sure that their word makes sense, looks right, and sounds right. If it does, great! If it doesn’t, then good readers keep trying to figure it out!
Now that the kids have some solid reading time each workshop, we began introducing our accuracy strategies. These strategies help our students decode tricky words while they are reading. The first strategy that we talked about was Lips the Fish. Get your lips ready and say the first few sounds of the word out loud. The next strategy is Eagle Eye. Now that you have gotten your lips ready for the first sound, look at the pictures for something that starts with that sound.
Then, Chunky Monkey. If the picture didn’t help you, look for a chunk of the word that you know (ing, at, it, sh, ch, and). And then, Stretchy the Snake. Zoom in on the tricky word, s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the sounds in the words slowly. Then, crash the sounds together to figure out the word.
We introduced the kids to the idea that vowels generally make three sounds (short, long, & schwa). We made a chart about what these sounds are and practiced making each sound. Flippy the Dolphin reminds us that when we are stretching out a word, to try the short vowel sound first and if that doesn’t work, FLIP IT and try the long vowel sound, and then the schwa sound.
When we read with our first graders, there are three areas that we look for growth throughout the year: comprehension, accuracy, and fluency. This week, we introduced a tool to aid the students in strengthening their reading comprehension.
This tool helps guide the students in retelling the events of a story in order. When we use this tool, we start by reading a story. When we finish reading, before moving on to another story, we see if we can remember the events of the story. The kids practiced retelling the events across their fingers and then when they finished while they take a picture walk through the book to see if they remembered the events.
We also talked about how good readers think about their books as they read. We focused on how when they finish reading one book, before moving on to their next book, they can stop and think.
This week, we introduced reading partnerships. So far, the kids have two segments of read to self time each day. This week, we added time for our students to meet with another kid in class and share some of their thinking from their read to self time.
We then introduced Read to Someone!! We talked about why we practice reading to others: to practice reading fluency, practice using our decoding strategies when we or our friend gets stuck on a tricky word, and to have FUN.
We also talked about what our jobs will be during this time: sit elbow-to-elbow and knee-to-knee with your partner (EEKK), use a quiet reading voice, have all your just right books and reading tools out and ready to go, etc. There are many ways to partner read, but for now our students are each taking turns reading a just right book to their partners
We focused on how sometimes while we are reading, we come to a tricky word. We talked about how our partners are great resources to help us figure out those tricky words, while we are reading together. Here are the steps we follow:
We will continue to practice reading with partners this week and building our read to someone reading stamina. The kids LOVE this time of our workshop and are excited to share with their friends!
During readers workshop, we continued to discuss how important it is to warm up as we read. We know to look at the pictures and think about what might happen in the story, but this week we focused on making a movie in our heads of the story and then checking that movie as we read to see if the story was matching our movie. Sometimes the story matched our mental movie and sometimes our movie needed to change a little to match the words that we had read. Good readers make a movie in their head as we warm up and then change their movie to match the story as they read the words.