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Showing posts with label partner reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label partner reading. Show all posts

Five Reasons for Children to Read "Out Soft"

My students read "out soft" for many reasons in the classroom.
Five Reasons for Children to Read "Out Soft" This simple strategy can help children in a variety of situations in and out of the classroom.

First of all, I'll bet you've already figured out the meaning of "out soft." Although I made up the term, the students understand what it means right away. I'll introduce this idea at the very beginning of the school year, and make sure the students know that reading "out soft" means the children are able to hear their own voice as they reads, but wouldn't disturb the person sitting next to them. An adult might call this "barely audible." As you might have guessed, it's the opposite of "out loud," which requires volume and projection. You might call it whispering, but the term "out soft" is just more fun!
 
We practice. Some children, by nature, struggle with turning down the volume and turning off the projection, but they do get it.Once they get it, they are empowered!

 
This little trick has helped many little ones. Plus, it has helped me as well! Sometimes directions are hard to understand, but I've found that when reading those same directions loud enough to hear yourself, they can make a whole lot more sense! Seriously, how many times has a child come to you confused about written directions... then you ask the child to read the directions to you, and suddenly they'll say, "Oh, I get it!"  Works like a charm!
 
 
I always start reading groups with a warm up. The children are trained to arrive at the reading table, choose one of their books, and start reading "out soft." This not only prevents down time while waiting for the stragglers, but it gives me a chance to listen in and do some assessing. Sometimes I'll give them something specific to warm up with. 
 
Studies show reading words in phrases increases fluency, so I often have the children warm up with these phrases: Fry Sight Word Phrases One little hint: be sure the sight words are easy for the children so they can build the fluency when practicing them as phrases.
 
These sets are similar to the above, using different lists. Reading Warm Up Phrases
 
 
As you know, many children struggle to concentrate on independent reading. They are distracted by just about anything, including their own thoughts. I find having these children read "out soft" really helps them pay attention to their reading!

Reading with a peer is a wonderful strategy that should be used frequently in the classroom. Think about it, 50% of the children are all practicing their reading skills, while the other 50% are listening and guiding the readers. It's a win-win! Plus, the children love it! But when all the children are interacting at once, they'll need to be reading "out soft!"
 
When children hear themselves, it helps the memory. This works with word reading (see #2) as well as important science facts, and even math facts! When I use these practice cards with my students, I encourage lots of repetition, but I also encourage the children to say the entire fact "out soft." Fact Fluency Practice Cards
 
 
This same system is available on Boom Learning:  Boom Learning Fact Fluency System Bundle

How else can children learn by reading "out soft?"


Five Reasons for Children to Read "Out Soft" This simple strategy can help children in a variety of situations in and out of the classroom.

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!

Here in the northern hemisphere, we are enjoying the spring weather!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.


We still have to teach. but we might as well teach while enjoying the beautiful weather and getting those kiddos outside! Here are some of my ideas!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

This one is pretty obvious! They have to read every day.  Why not bring it outside? If you want to go all out, have them bring in towels to sit or lie on while reading. Other options: partner reading, or teacher read alouds!

I do find sometimes a little bribery motivation is necessary. "If you don't stay focused on your books, we will have to bring them back inside."

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

There are loads of engineering projects that can be done outside!  Children can use sand, grass, rocks or sticks to create all sorts of things! Here are a few ideas:

1. Create a sundial.
2. Make a tall rock tower.
3. Make a shadow creature.
4. Take tubs of water outside and maybe a few classroom materials to create "boats" that float!

This is only the beginning. If you search "Outdoor S.T.E.M." on Pinterest or google it, I'll bet you find a TON of ideas!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

You'll need some sidewalk chalk for this. 


Have equal teams, and a list of math facts or math problems they can solve. 


One team member at a time takes the chalk, runs to the other end of the defined area, write the problem with the correct answer, and run back. (It's a good idea to have another adult at the other end to check their math!) 

When they get back, the next person gets the chalk and a new problem.


I suggest making the running area on grass or "soft top," and the writing area on the hard top.

They'll be so busy having fun and burning off steam, they won't even know they're practicing important facts!


Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

Sketching is an important science skill!


Scientists need to notice details, and look for differences!


Direct students to pick a specific spot to sketch. (One with some sort of vegetation is best!)  A week later, they can go back to the same spot. As they re-sketch, hopefully they will notice differences.

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.
3 Seasons of our class tree!
Notice the winter tree was photographed from inside the screened window!

I've had my groups choose a "class tree" in the fall, and we will often go out to sketch the tree. As the year progresses, they re-sketch, and definitely notice differences!
One little secret, I've been very good at convincing the children to choose the tree right outside our class window. That way, they can sketch from inside in the winter! (No one wants to sit in snow and sketch!)


Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

Just like reading, story writing can be brought outdoors easily! They can continue stories they were working on, make up a story about what they see, or write nature poetry. Again, reminding the children this is a privilege helps them stay focused!


If you're interested in a little outdoor Science or Social Studies with reading and writing skills thrown in, check out this: Science and Social Studies for Summer

Most of these activities are designed for the outdoors, and you definitely don't have to wait for summer!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

Seven Ideas for Reading Accurately

I've finished my DIBELS, and my kids are all over the ball park as far as their needs go. I have noticed that several students had high "Words Correct Per Minute", but their accuracy was low. These kids read loads of words, but were adding, changing, and omitting lots of words. These same kids also had trouble with punctuation, and retelling the story. They need work on accuracy!

Seven Ideas for Reading Accurately - Reading fluently is great, but accuracy is important, too! Here are seven ideas to help your readers become more accurate.


Here are some ideas for working on accuracy.



1.  Tell them that's what they need to work on. Yes, seriously, give them the feedback they need. That's the number one trick to improvement, knowing what you need to work at! If necessary, go back to the "finger pointing" stage to help them focus on the words that are really there.



2.  Partner reading - One partner reads, the other partner checks to make sure they're reading accurately. This works best if the children are evenly matched at their own reading level.



3. Read with an adult - Grab a spare adult somewhere to read with students! It might be a teacher assistant, a parent volunteer, or maybe even the librarian, phys. ed. teacher or music teacher! Anyone that has a few minutes can sit down with a child and listen to them read. (Make sure they are ready to give feedback!)



4. Have them read "out soft" - often!  The more they read so someone can hear, the more accurate they will become. That "sense of an audience" really makes a difference. When my students come to reading group, I have them bring a book they are working on, and they are expected to sit down and start reading it "out soft". That means: loud enough so that I can hear them across the reading table, but not loud enough to be heard from across the room. They find it a little awkward at first, but it doesn't take long for them to feel comfortable reading their book just loud enough to be heard. This trick also gives me a chance to listen to individuals, give a little extra time to some kids, and has the children warmed up and ready for reading group. I notice huge improvements in accuracy and fluency when I start doing this!



5. Readers Theater - As mentioned above, that "sense of an audience" is a big motivator! Plus, Readers Theater can be fun, which is another plus! There are plenty of sources of scripts out there. Just google it! Just beware of the danger of readers theater: after reading it a few times, they memorize the script. Then it isn't real reading anymore!



6.  Reading song lyrics - Music is very closely related to the memory. If they already know the song, they'll be able to read the lyrics. Give out song sheets and have them "finger read". As above, just make sure they are truly reading, not reciting something that they have memorized. (Nothing wrong with memorization, but that's not the skill we're trying to improve!)



7.  Practice sight words and phrases - In order to read accurately, they've got to know the words! Experts recommend that children learn sight words in context. See the freebie below for several phrases using the Dolch pre-primer list. There are plenty more of these for other levels, too!
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dolch-Warm-Up-Phrases-Pre-primer-level-264900?utm_source=blog%20post%20reading%20accurately&utm_campaign=dolch%20preprimer



What are your ideas for building accuracy?


Seven Ideas for Reading Accurately - Reading fluently is great, but accuracy is important, too! Here are seven ideas to help your readers become more accurate.


Seven Ideas for Reading Accurately - Reading fluently is great, but accuracy is important, too! Here are seven ideas to help your readers become more accurate.

Ten Things for Students to do While You're Teaching Reading Groups

One of the toughest thing about being a classroom teacher is keeping those other kids occupied engaged and learning, so I can teach reading groups.  Here are some of the things I have my students work on while I'm teaching groups:

Ten Things for Students to do While You're Teaching Reading Groups: It can be tricky to find activities that will keep them engaged and learning, but not distracting to others. Here are some ideas!

Ten Things for Students to do While You're Teaching Reading Groups: It can be tricky to find activities that will keep them engaged and learning, but not distracting to others. Here are some ideas!1.  Independent Reading  This is the most important one! They do need to read daily, and it should be books at their level. My students browse for books from our classroom library, and keep books in book bags for independent reading time. I also let them relax with pillows. I try to make Independent Reading the best part of the day... it should be! See this post for more about my Independent Reading: Relax and Read!

2.  Reading Response There are so many ways for children to respond to reading. They can draw a picture of characters, write about connections, or perhaps do a variety of reading response activities that are out there!  Check out Teachers Pay Teachers or Pinterest... you'll find a ton of ideas, much of it is free!

3. Read With a Partner This is very motivational for the children, and I sometimes use it instead of Independent Reading. They do love anything social!
4.  Independent Writing  We do have Writer's Workshop nearly every day, but some of the children really love some time to get some writing done during reading group time. Since writing is usually at the very end of the day, they tend to be more productive when they get a slot of time for writing in the morning. It's a win - win! Here's a freebie that mine have always found super motivating: ABC Book.

5.  Word Work This is an opportunity to work those phonics skills!  I tend to keep my word work connected to skills and patterns that we are working on in the reading program, but many of my students also need lots of review on short and long vowels, rhyming words, word families, and, of course, sight words.  There are plenty of resources out there, or make your own! My students love to use their whiteboards, letter tiles, and manipulatives for their word work. Click the images below for links to Amazon. (Affiliate links.)

Ten Things for Students to do While You're Teaching Reading Groups: It can be tricky to find activities that will keep them engaged and learning, but not distracting to others. Here are some ideas!
Ten Things for Students to do While You're Teaching Reading Groups: It can be tricky to find activities that will keep them engaged and learning, but not distracting to others. Here are some ideas!
Ten Things for Students to do While You're Teaching Reading Groups: It can be tricky to find activities that will keep them engaged and learning, but not distracting to others. Here are some ideas!

6.  Literacy Games  Literacy games can include word work, comprehension skills, grammar practice, developing vocabulary or any combination of these. Again, adding that social component motivates the children. Games are such a great opportunity to practice skills, and they keep the children engaged and happy! Here are a few my students have enjoyed: Word Work Games.

7.  Task Cards  Task cards can practice work work, comprehension skills, grammar skills, thinking skills, or even social studies or science! You can make your own or use task card you've found. Here are some ideas: Combined Review Task Cards.


8. Read with a Teacher Assistant or Parent Volunteer I do have few little ones with very short attention spans or just need a little more guidance. These children really benefit from reading with an adult. The adults are encouraged to stop and chat about the story and encourage understanding as well as enjoyment.

9. Practice Handwriting Skills Sometimes they just have to focus on making the letters touch the lines in the right places! We are lucky enough to have Handwriting workbooks, but any paper will do! They can even practice handwriting skills on whiteboards or chalkboards.

10. Practice Spelling Words The children love practicing their words with a partner on their white boards. They look out for each other and the whiteboards are very forgiving. For other spelling ideas, see this resource: Spelling Task Cards.

What do your students do while you're teaching reading groups?

Ten Things for Students to do While You're Teaching Reading Groups: It can be tricky to find activities that will keep them engaged and learning, but not distracting to others. Here are some ideas!

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