Early readers and Comprehension

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
SSupport your early readers by using your small group time effectively.

I've spent most of my career in first grade so I'm pretty passionate about all things literacy and reading instruction.  I know how difficult it is to not only get your students to grade level and beyond, instill a love of reading in them and teach them comprehension.  Not to mention fluency and phonetic instruction...whew!  Makes me tired just thinking about it!

I have since moved up to third grade and I have to say I do miss all the phonetic work I did with my firsties.  There's so much to learn and it's all so exciting!  I give #allthecredit to first grade teachers....in my mind they have the hardest job.  There are so  many expectations put on these little 6 year olds nowadays.  I do struggle with this as well...if you've followed me for very long you know I'm quite passionate about the  #letthembelittle philosophy.  However, I'm here to share some ideas on teaching reading and encourage you along the way.

One thing for your 'real' littles is this - remember what Jen Jones said best:

YES!  Reading pictures is foundational, I loved watching my own children make up words to picture books when they were 3 years old.  They looked at the pictures and read what they saw.  This is an important step and it's okay to encourage it.

One way I supported my struggling readers was through pictures and words.  This gave them confidence and scaffolding at the same time.  
Talking about text is sooo important, I can't stress that enough!  Talk about text with think alouds while you are reading aloud whole class, talk about text in small guided reading groups.  Your students are going to remember what they are reading by making connections to the text, so if you are talking about it they are more likely to find a connection.  Even better if they can make a sensory connection, if you can tap into their senses and make a connection that way it is likely to stick with them.  
Background knowledge or schema is super important too.  I think sometimes as teacher we make some assumptions as we teach and we need to stop doing that.  Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds.  Their experiences are different from ours and from each others.  So, be sure to discuss what you are reading and see if they are truly understanding the text again making connections as much as you can along the way for them.
Reading between the lines is an important skill that even your young readers can draw upon.  If they can draw inferences out of the text they are going to be successfulWhen you are reading aloud whole class model these strategies so when they are asked to do them they will have a road map of how to get there.  Show them how they can read between the lines and find out what the author is trying to tell us even if it's not spelled out.
You, as their guide will help them with any fix up strategies they need in small groups.  They rely on you to reinforce those tricky phonetic skills and help them with the strategies they need to be successful readers.
If you have young, reluctant readers that still need a bit of scaffolding you will find success with this product:  You can get it ( here )

early comprehension for kindergarten

As you can see the pictures and the short easy to read passages are perfect for your youngest learners.

kindergarten comprehension

This next pack is perfect for your youngest readers, helping them along with the basics.  You can grab it ( here )

kindergarten reading posters
 These basic posters are perfect for your young readers.

vowel word work
 Basic letter work and vowel practice is key!

kindergarten assessments
  Assessments for concepts of print, letter recognition etc is also included in this pack.

mini book for kindergarten on how to read a book
 A mini book that reminds them how to properly hold a book, read etc.

cvc, segmenting sounds and finger spelling to help with phonics instruction
 Cvc words and finger spelling perfect for small group instruction.

Making sure your students are tracking correctly in reading.
 Another important skill to keep your eye on is tracking, this pack has you covered.

Finding the differences between letters and words and consonants and vowels

Working on understanding the basics of : is it a letter or a word and understanding the differences between consonant and vowels will be very helpful as well.

 Lastly, my phonemes pack is very helpful for your readers that are still getting hung up on decoding.  It helps them break words down into chunks or use finger spelling as a strategy.  Grab it ( here )

phonemes, word work, phonics and finger spelling

I hope these ideas help transform your small group time to be more effective for even your most reluctant readers.  
Happy teaching! 

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