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

Special Education Teachers as Speech/Language Support--Who Knew

If your like me, you have students who need more language support than your speech/language pathologist has time for. In Colorado, I have two speech/language learning disabilities that cross over from speech to academics but knowing what to do if half the battle.  My plan/hope over the summer is to find ways to build language into my lessons. 


Oral expression pertains to the use of words and includes the ability to formulate and produce words and sentences with appropriate vocabulary, grammar and application of conversational rules.
A student’s oral expression skills are essential to their learning and academic success.  Oral expression problems in students may result in literacy problems.  Students with poor oral expression, may not perform at grade level because of their struggle with reading, difficulty understanding and expressing language, and the fact that they may misunderstand social cues. Oral expression is about the student’s ability to express ideas, explain thinking (critical in math), retell stories, and contrast and compare concepts or ideas.  

Characteristics of Oral Expression

The following may be exhibited by those children who demonstrate oral expression difficulties:
  • Difficulty with the grammatical processes of inflection, marking categories like person, tense, and case (e.g., the –s in jumps marks the third‐person singular in the present tense), and derivation, the formation of new words from existing words (e.g. acceptable from accept)
  • Learning vocabulary
  • Difficulty formulating complete, semantically and grammatically correct sentences either spoken or written
  • Difficulty explaining word associations, antonyms/synonyms
  • Difficulty with retelling, making inferences, and predictions

Definition and Implications of Listening Comprehension

Listening comprehension refers to the understanding of the implications and explicit meanings of words and sentences of spoken language.  Listening comprehension often seen with difficulties in written language and in the auditory processing of oral information. Students with problems processing and interpreting spoken sentences frequently can experience difficulties in mastering syntactic structures both receptively as well as expressively. Although students appear to perceive and interpret the words used in spoken sentences, building oral language is important to ensure they build sentence level comprehension.
Characteristics of Listening Comprehension
  • Children experiencing listening comprehension difficulties may exhibit the following:
  • Difficulty with following directions for seatwork and projects
  • Difficulty remembering homework assignments
  • Difficulty with understanding oral narratives and text
  • Difficulty answering questions about the content of the information given
  • Difficulty with critical thinking to arrive at logical answers
  • Difficulty with word associations, antonyms/synonyms, categorizing, and classifying
  • Difficulty with note‐taking or dictation  
Intervention and Progress Monitoring
The speech‐language pathologist can provide both direct and consultative services in collaboration with the classroom teachers, resource teachers and interventionists in developing intervention strategies that will include explicit skills‐training in the areas of oral expression and/or listening comprehension as key to some students’ access to the curriculum.

Providing structured opportunities for students to participate in social interactions, such as giving them “helping” roles or having them “talk through” an activity involving a successfully learned skill, reinforces oral expression skills.  Working on beginning, middle and end to organize narratives as well as in the retelling of stories fosters oral expression development.

The direct teaching of listening strategies is important to improving listening comprehension. Particularly effective is cuing the student to keep their eyes on the speaker, make a picture in their head, ask for clarification, and internalize directions by repeating them to themselves.  Modeling and demonstration is essential with students of all ages.

An example of progress monitoring of an oral expression and/or listening comprehension intervention would be correct identification of picture cards of specific targeted vocabulary being taught.  The desired result should be that the student’s correct labeling/identification of the target vocabulary increase with each collection of data to be analyzed (progress monitoring).  
The targeted intervention needs to be systematic and explicit in its delivery and progress monitoring.

I'm planning to reach out to my SLP this summer, to beginning co-planning how to target our more intensive students.  We are hoping with deliberate programming, we can make big strides with this kiddos. Stay turned for some fun short ideas that you can use in your groups!

May Show and Tell

  This week I'm linking up with Forever in 5th Grade to peek inside my room and what I have my students doing before Summer Break. 

Many of the projects they are working on are ideas for next fall. More district is wanting students to have more control over their learning while still making gains to meet IEP goals. (yes, I do know this idea is nuts-but...) The thing about personalized learning is working smarter not harder.
This was a fluency idea where students read a the photo app on an iPad. When they are done they send it to me by AirDrop, I upload it, and then they get to create the QR code on to add to their fluency data sheet. Each time they assess their learning. I have some that added a SMART goal to their reading fluency on top of their IEP goals--others do this to meet the goal of reading accuracy.

Back to that idea of personalized learning and a very difficult rubric to work with a  special education teacher,students are integrating technology, goal setting, and assessing their own learning.

My teacher rubric highly suggests learning should take place within the 4 Cs-Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication. In talking with my evaluator, he would like to see students pick their own IEP goals to focus on as well as make their own goals to meet the IEP goal. Wow! This is a month full and a lot to take on. This is been what several students have been playing with. This is the third version of this idea. The technology was added because of a specific line item on the rubric. This idea was created to kill as many line items from my rubric as possible and not overwhelm me at the same time. 

I had one student who decided she wanted to add reading fluency to her work. Which is the overall goal the district wants all students to do. She gave me the idea to take the fluency video (from above) and connect it to QR codes to track progress and create an artifact that could be shared with parents and administration. This idea as lends itself to having students be more active in IEP meeting even in the grades of kindergarten. It would note be overly difficult to help them create a slide show or some kind of presentation to share. Not sure about this idea but its coming.

I write all of my iPad menus with the app picture from the device. I helps me spend less time being the technology teacher and more time being a special education teacher.

Robert Marzano is someone that I get classroom help from when I'm looking for a way to move my students. The Checking for Understanding posters can be found at my Teacher pays Teacher store (Ocean Theme and K-2 Theme).  I use these to get students to tune into their own learning and help them to internalize the understanding of the learning target.

My summer reading list or should I say pile. Perhaps it's closer to wishful thinking I'll get through all of them.

-How to Plan Rigorous Instruction
-Visible Learning for Literacy
-Intentional Targeted Teaching: A Framework for Teacher Growth and Leadership
-Learning to Choose; Choosing to Learn
-The Art and Science of Teaching
-Conferring with Readers: Supporting Each Students' Growth and Independence
-DIY Literacy: Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence

Have a great week! Be sure to check everyone's May Show and Tell Blog Hop for more peeks into classrooms.

9 Strategies to Build Oral Language

Oral language is not just speaking. It is a large set of skills that encompasses listening comprehension, understanding and   producing complex language, vocabulary and word knowledge, grammatical knowledge, phonological skills, and so much more.

Why should I worry about it?

Unlike mathematics or science, reading is the only academic area in which we expect children to arrive as kindergartners with a basic skill level. Research has shown that oral language—the foundations of which are developed by age four—has a profound impact on children’s preparedness for kindergarten and on their success throughout their academic career. Children typically enter school with a wide range of background knowledge and oral language ability, attributable in part to factors such as children’s experiences in the home and their socioeconomic status.

Strong oral language makes for strong vocabulary and strong grammatical and semantic knowledge (how words go together and make meaning) then you are better able to understand what you read and produce written words. Let’s take another example. If you have ever studied a foreign language, you know that having limited vocabulary can significantly impair your ability to understand what you read.

How can we promote oral language in the classroom and at home to give students the building blocks for reading and writing? I’m glad you asked. Here are a few strategies that span the grades--Some can be modified to be easier or harder, depending on what you teach.

1) Show and Tell

A classic for elementary students! Students bring an item from home that they want to talk about and there is a precious question and answer session that ensues.

2) Daily Oral Language (D.O.L.) 

Traditionally, this is an activity where each day, there is a prompt written on the board for students, such as a sentence written with incorrect grammar for students to correct individually. I prefer to have the students create grammatically correct sentences in small groups (like their tables or with a partner). For example, you could give the words “Since” “Robert” and “party” and have the students come up with a grammatically correct sentence and discuss as a whole group. Another example is to pre-teach a vocabulary word that you will use that day or in the next lesson. Show the vocabulary word and have students talk about its meaning together in a small group and have them draw a group picture representing that word. Share out with the large group. You can have kids draw the vocabulary word on a post-it and then stick it on the board next to the word.

3) Dramatic Vocabulary It’s kind of like vocabulary charades. The students get in a circle and the teacher has a set of cards with that week’s vocabulary words on them (the students can make these cards in groups before the activity for added learning). The teacher pulls a card and gives it to one student, who must act out the vocabulary word for the other students to guess. After it is correctly guessed, the students say, spell, and write the definition of the word together on the board.

4) Word Wall 

 Also a classic! I think it is used mostly in elementary and middle school, but I can see its value in secondary classrooms with added elements, such as grouping by prefix, suffix, roots, etc. Basically, it is a wall of words that are frequently used in the classroom that are posted for easy reference. Teachers, feel free to comment on how you elaborate on the classic Word Wall. I like to add pictures-even better get students to do them.

5) Listening Activities

For the little ones, I like the classic game “telephone” where the kids get in a circle and the teacher whispers a sentence to the first kid, and they have to whisper the sentence to the next kid. The goal is to have the sentence be in tact at the end. It never is. Hilarity ensues. For older students, teaching listening skills can be in the form of teaching good note-taking skills during lecture. Give the class a list of key phrases that they want to listen for in a lecture such as, “This is important..”, “One of the main things…” “The first thing you have to do is…, etc”, “You will need to know…” To begin, you could ring a little bell or something when you use the key phrase, then transfer that job to a student. I love to do “Story Hour” and then talk about the picture book or link it to instruction.

The more we learn about the relationships between written and oral language, reading fluency has the potential to provide substantial benefit in skill areas related to comprehension, pragmatics, vocabulary, and overall academic success researched based, easy-to-implement strategies help build both oral reading and reading vocabulary tasks by supporting the development of smooth and accurate oral reading. Reading fluency can easily be targeted concurrently with other goals related to oral and written communication and can be linked to the core classroom curriculum without a great deal of extra effort. 

6) Repeated Oral Reading

As discussed in the accompanying article, repeated oral reading is a well-documented method of increasing reading fluency. Using text that is part of the child’s classroom curriculum for repeated oral reading is a relatively effortless way to connect clinical intervention to the classroom setting. Multiple readings of a passage prior to its introduction in the classroom can facilitate better overall comprehension of the topic; this understanding may facilitate more active participation in the classroom. Making prior arrangements with the classroom teacher to introduce a specific passage that your student will be responsible for reading aloud in class is an ideal way to enhance skill development and bolster confidence.

Another way to implement repeated oral reading is through the use of progressive stories. By their very nature, progressive stories have repeated readings of the same material built into the text. The story begins with a sentence or two (“This is the house that Jack built”) with new information added on each new page (“This is the door on the house that Jack built”). The story becomes more and more complex as it unfolds, but the child reads only a little bit more “new” material on each new page. Typically, progressive stories also provide many natural opportunities to practice phrasing and expression—which also contribute to reading fluency—as the story builds and the child becomes more and more familiar with the text structure.

7) Model Fluent Reading

The accompanying article suggests that children need many opportunities to hear fluent reading to facilitate their own reading fluency. Echo reading is an effective method of modeling and facilitating reading fluency, even for very young children. When using this strategy, the adult reads a short passage and then invites the child to “say what I say” or “copy me”. In this way, the adult models fluent reading and then provides the child with an opportunity for immediate practice. Because echo reading does not require children to actually decode the words, they are free to concentrate on how fluent reading feels and sounds. The earlier children have the opportunity to practice reading fluency, the more apt they are to be fluent once they begin to decode words independently. Older children can also benefit by participating in echo reading; choose books that are appropriate for their age/developmental level and interests.

8) Sentence Stress

Use of inappropriate prosody by stressing the wrong word in a sentence can substantially change the meaning of a reading passage. For example, the placement of vocal stress in the sentence “They are riding horses” determines whether “riding” is a verb or an adjective. Practicing sentence stress in conjunction with intervention for articulation, language, fluency, or voice may be accomplished through a variety of exercises, such as the one outlined below. The student reads (or models after you read) a sentence such as “I am walking to the store.”
The student then re-reads the sentence in response to the following questions:

“Where are you walking?”
(“I am walking to the store.”)
“Who is walking to the store?”
(“I am walking to the store.”)
“How are you getting to the store?”
(“I am walking to the store.”)

*Note that this strategy has a built-in component of repeated oral readings. The student has a chance to read the sentence numerous times. As the sentence becomes more familiar, the student is able to devote more attention to the meanings expressed rather than merely to decoding the words.

9) Poetry, Songs, and Chants

Poetry can help readers develop a broad range of fluency skills and provide concentrated practice with rhythm, cadence, expression, and prosody. You can use poetry written by others or help children write their own poetic masterpieces. Similarly, songs and chants—particularly those that call for physical participation—are an excellent way to develop the rhythm and cadence of fluent reading. Poetry, songs, and chants can also be read in groups (choral reading) or pairs (duet reading). Acting out books and stories can provide additional opportunities to translate written language to fluent oral delivery.

I have had some great reading growth with these ideas. I'd love to hear how they work with your students. With strong oral language skills comes building vocabulary skills that make reading easier. 

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in words. We know that a student's skill in phonemic awareness is a good predictor of later reading success or difficulty. Find out what parents and teachers can do to help children develop this critical literacy skill.

Before children learn to read print, they need to become aware of how the sounds in words work. They must understand that words are made up of speech sounds, or phonemes.

An important pre-reading skill is phonemic awareness. Children become aware that words are made up of sounds which can be assembled in different ways to make different words. Children build these pre-reading skills by practicing nursery rhymes and playing sound and word games such as learning to hear and recognize rhymed words. Tutoring, workbooks, games, or structured computer programs can help teach or reinforce these skills. Parents help in this process by providing high-quality educational materials, establishing a pattern of daily reading, creating a rich language environment, discussing your child's progress with teachers, and following up on their recommendations.

As this phonemic awareness is developed, children should become interested in how words are portrayed in print. Daily reading sessions with the children following along should help develop their understanding of print concept and feed this curiosity. This interest in decoding the words is the fuel for children learning the alphabet and phonics decoding skills.  For more information on teaching phonemic awareness, read the Put Reading First report on Phonemic awareness instruction. 
The "What Works?" Report found that the five key areas in learning to read are phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency.
Phonemes are the smallest parts of sound in a spoken word that make a difference in the word's meaning. For example, changing the first phoneme in the word hat from /h/ to /p/ changes the word from hat to pat, and so changes the meaning. (A letter between slash marks shows the phoneme, or sound, that the letter represents, and not the name of the letter. For example, the letter h represents the sound /h/.) Children can show us that they have phonemic awareness in several ways, including:
  • recognizing which words in a set of words begin with the same sound ("Bell, bike, and boy all have /b/ at the beginning.")
  • isolating and saying the first or last sound in a word ("The beginning sound of dog is /d/." "The ending sound of sit is /t/.")
  • blending the separate sounds in a word to say the word ("/m/, /a/, /p/ – map.")
  • segmenting a word into its separate sounds ("up – /u/, /p/.")

The phonological processor usually works unconsciously when we listen and speak. It is designed to extract the meaning of what is said, not to notice the speech sounds in the words. It is designed to do its job automatically in the service of efficient communication. 

On the other hand, phonological skill is not strongly related to intelligence. Some very intelligent people have limitations of linguistic awareness, especially at the phonological level. Take heart. If you find phonological tasks challenging, you are competent in many other ways!

This fact is well proven: Phonological awareness is critical for learning to read any alphabetic writing system. Phonological awareness is even important for reading other kinds of writing systems, such as Chinese and Japanese. There are several well-established lines of argument for the importance of phonological skills to reading and spelling.

Phoneme awareness predicts later outcomes in reading and spelling.

Phoneme awareness facilitates growth in printed word recognition. Even before a student learns to read, we can predict with a high level of accuracy whether that student will be a good reader or a poor reader by the end of third grade and beyond. Prediction is possible with simple tests that measure awareness of speech sounds in words, knowledge of letter names, knowledge of sound-symbol correspondence, and vocabulary.

The majority of poor readers have relative difficulty with phoneme awareness and other phonological skills.

Instruction in phoneme awareness is beneficial for novice readers and spellers. Instruction in speech-sound awareness reduces and alleviates reading and spelling difficulties. Teaching speech sounds explicitly and directly also accelerates learning of the alphabetic code. Therefore, classroom instruction for beginning readers should include phoneme awareness activities. Phonological awareness interacts with and facilitates the development of vocabulary and word consciousness. This argument is made much less commonly than the first four points. Phonological awareness and memory are involved in these activities of word learning:
  • Attending to unfamiliar words and comparing them with known words
  • Repeating and pronouncing words correctly
  • Remembering (encoding) words accurately so that they can be retrieved and used
  • Differentiating words that sound similar so their meanings can be contrasted
Learning to read has a sequence. If a student is forced to try to learn skills that he or she does not yet have the foundation for, he or she might become frustrated and lose confidence.  Parents should get a sense of what the right sequence is so that they do not inadvertently frustrate their child. Prior to learning to decode words with phonics, there are a few important pre-reading skills.

Happy Teaching-Have a great week!

What is Guided Reading?

As a special education teacher, I spend most of my small group reading time doing guided reading. Those students who need comprehension work over phonics, this the best way to get students to read at grade level. It does take planning and thinking about where students are going. One thing that has become a great help in planning is my Fountas & Pinnell Guided Reading Questions and Checklist (click on the picture). It has the reading levels A-Z. I use them when I'm planning groups and looking forward to where they are headed. I use it for daily targets and cross them off when students have mastered a skill. Click on the picture to go to my store.

Guided reading is a procedure that enables the teacher to observe, teach and support a small group of children as they develop an understanding of the reading processes and put into practice their literacy skills. The group reads a book which has been carefully selected based on students' strengths and needs. The teacher facilitates discussion and guides and directs the readers. Groups are formed according to children’s needs and the purpose of the session.

Essential Components of Guided Reading

1. Explicit small group instruction
2. Text matches student’s reading instructional levels and are selected by the teacher
3. Teacher introduces a new book
4. Each child reads the whole text and applies known strategies (the goal is for the student to eventually read the book silently and independently)
5. Teacher assists students in developing self-extending strategies (strategies that the student knows and continues to extend or improve on and apply in different situations)
6. Children are grouped and regrouped based on ongoing assessment of students reading level and strategy growth


• To teach reading strategies while engaging in meaningful reading and writing
• To model strategy use that will facilitate students becoming self-extending readers
• To teach letter/sound relationships within the context of a text as well as with alphabet drill
• To practice fluent reading
• To utilize daily running records as a monitor of student progress, data-driven acceleration within flexible groups, and cue and strategy use
• To scaffold strategy use by readers that allows for “cutting edge” growth
• To provide a supportive, successful reading time that allows students to perceive themselves as readers and writers

Traditional vs. Guided Reading Groups: What’s the Difference?
Traditional Guided Reading

o Groups remain stable in a composition; progress through the same phase at the same rate
o Groups are based on general ability
o One kind of grouping prevails
o Students progress through a fixed sequence of books and skills
o Introduction focuses on new vocabulary
o Selections are usually read once or twice
o Skills practice follows reading
o Focus is on the lesson, not the student
o Teachers follow prepared “script” from a teacher’s guide
o Questions are generally limited to factual recall
o Teacher verifies meaning
o Students take turns reading orally
o Students respond to story in workbooks or on prepared worksheets
o Readers are dependent on teacher direction and support
o Students are tested on skills and literal recall at the end of each story unit
o Evaluation based on progress through a set group of materials and tests
o Groups are dynamic, flexible and change on a regular basis
o Groups are based on strengths in the reading process and the appropriate level of text difficulty
o Groupings for other purposes are used
o Books are chosen at the appropriate level for each group; there is no prescribed sequence and books may overlap but generally are not the same for every group
o Difference in sequence of books is expected
o Introduction focuses on meaning with some attention to new and interesting vocabulary
o Many frequently used words but vocabulary is not artificially controlled
o Selections reread several times for fluency and problem solving
o Skills practice is embedded in shared reading skills; teaching directly related to text
o Questions develop higher order thinking skills and strategic reading
o Teacher and student interact with the text to construct meaning
o Students read entire text silently or with a partner
o Focus is on understanding meaning and the strategies used to construct it
o Students respond to story though personal and authentic activities
o Students read independently and confidently
o Assessment is ongoing and embedded in instruction
o Assessment is based on daily observation and systematic individual assessment

Guided Reading Lessons with Experimental Readers
Experimental Reader

Before Reading

Lesson focus: From ongoing assessment in previous lesson ask:
• What knowledge and understandings do students already have about reading?
• What strategies are students using to read?
• What attitudes do students have about reading?
• What do students need to know next?
• What reading behaviors need to be reinforced?

Select an appropriate book or text to match the purpose of the lesson. The purpose could be to introduce or develop further understanding of a story, a topic, a theme, an author, language patterns, or conventions, or a particular reading strategy.


• Set purpose for reading by discussing title and main idea
• Provide any essential knowledge that will assist their understanding of new concept or vocabulary
• Link prior knowledge and experience
• Talk through the story looking at pictures and asking students to make predictions
• Engage students by asking critical thinking questions as they “walk and talk” through the pictures
• Call attention to frequently used words of new vocabulary

During Reading

Read the Text

• Read the text together (e.g. choral, echo, or shadow reading)
• Model, prompt, and reinforce the use of reading strategies
• If appropriate, set a focus question and ask students to whisper read a section of the text (1-2 pages)
• Discuss the story by first answering the focus question
• Elicit further discussion by asking students to ask some of their own questions
• Continue this format to read the remainder of the text
• Revisit the text to confirm or revise predictions
• Talk about strategies used to gain understanding, e.g. how did you work that out?

After Reading


• Model and elicit a brief group retell to foster comprehension through prompts, use of text, and illustrations
Respond-- skills & strategy lesson
• Teach skill/ strategy lesson based on assessment and individual observation obtained from reading of text
• Confirm and adjust predictions as a group
• Engage student in self- assessment
• Practice and reinforce high frequency word in second reading
• Reinforce reading strategies
• Reread one or more times to promote fluency


• Elicit response in a variety of ways: discussion, question and answer, etc.
• Offer opportunities for students to respond through writing, drawing, painting, dramatizing, etc.

Revisit: Encourage students to:

• Reread/practice familiar text
• Reread as a group or independently
• Reread independently at home to a parent


• Running records should be done weekly on seen text for which instruction was provided
Guided Reading Lessons with Early Readers and Transitional Readers

Early Readers Transitional Reader

Before Reading

Lesson focus: From ongoing assessment in previous lesson ask:
• What knowledge and understandings do students already have about reading?
• What strategies are students using to read?
• What attitudes do students have about reading?
• What do students need to know next?
• What reading behaviors need to be reinforced?
Select appropriate book or text to match the purpose of the lesson. The purpose could be to introduce or to develop further understanding of a story, a topic, a theme, an author, language patterns, or conventions, or a particular reading strategy.


• Set purpose for reading by having students read the title, author, look at illustrations and predict main idea
• Link prior knowledge and experience
• Provide any essential knowledge that will assist their understanding of new material concepts or vocabulary
• Engage students by asking critical thinking questions and guiding them to pose their own critical questions

During Reading

Read the text:

• set a focus question and ask students to whisper read or read silently a section of the text (gradually increase the length of the portion read)
• Elicit other questions from students
• Expect students to begin using reading strategies with less guidance
• Confirm or revise predictions
• Reread one or more times to promote fluency
• Talk about strategies used to gain understanding, e.g. how did you work that out?
• Encourage students to complete the reading of the text independently

After Reading


• Guide students to retell story including beginning, middle, end, characters, sequence of events, main idea, and supporting details without support of text or pictures
• Model summarization and making inferences using narrative and expository text
• Model summarizations, inference making, compare/contrast, cause effect, problem/solution using narrative and expository text


• Teach skill/strategy lesson based on assessment and individual need obtained from ongoing assessment. Check for understanding by asking students to support answers based on text
• Discuss reading strategies
• Engage in discussion and student in self-assessment
• Revisit prediction and critical thinking questions
• Discuss different student interpretations of text


• Elicit responses in a variety of ways: discussion, journal entry, illustration, diary, story maps, written summaries, plot profiles, literacy letters, reports writing, project work, drama
• Retelling, either from the original text or with variation (e.g., change the point of view, change the form, change a character, or change the ending)
• Lead the students in shared responses. Shared responses provide a real audience for responses and encourage a high standard of presentation.


• Provide students with multiple opportunities to read independently in school and or at home
• Monitor student comprehension and strategies weekly through miscue analysis, written responses, individual cloze activities, story maps, plot profiles, oral reports or student self-as.

6 Things to Help Early Readers

Three key research conclusions that support seeking help early are:
  • 90 percent of children with reading difficulties will achieve grade level in reading if they receive help by the first grade.
  • 75 percent of children whose help is delayed to age nine or later continue to struggle throughout their school careers.
  • If help is given in fourth grade, rather than in late kindergarten, it takes four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount.

Yet identification is only the beginning. Effective and intense intervention must be offered immediately. Students who lag behind their peers must be given extra help. These groups should be fluid with students moving in and out as they master skills.

Early signs of difficulty should not be based on immaturity but data. When a kindergarten child confuses letters, associates the wrong sound with a letter, or cannot tell you a rhyme, it usually has nothing to do with social maturity. These warning signs do not necessarily mean a reading disability; these signs may indicate poor preschool preparation. They may not been exposed to letters and letter sounds, they usually catch on quickly once exposed. It is only after instruction has been provided and the child is still struggling that one can conclude there may be a more serious problem.

Key Six Pre-Reading Skills
(for children from birth through 5 years)

Print Motivation

  • Being excited about and interested in books
  • What can you do?
  • Make sure book sharing time is fun.
  • For children with short attention spans, keep it short, but read more often.
  • Don’t get upset when they put books in their mouths.
  • Read books you enjoy.
  • Choose books about things that interest the child.
  • Read with a natural, but cheerful voice.

Print Awareness

  • Understanding that print on a page represents words that are spoken, knowing how to follow words on a page, and knowing how to hold a book.
  • What can you do?
  • Allow children to handle the book and turn pages.
  • Use your finger to point out words as you move across the page.
  • Pointing out signs in your environment.
  • Read books with large bold print.
  • Introduce the cover and talk about the author and illustrator.

Phonological Awareness

  • Understanding that words are made up of smaller sounds. Hearing and playing with smaller sounds in words. Phonological Awareness comes before phonics.
  • What can you do?
  • Encourage your baby to babble, changing the beginning sounds.
  • Sing songs. Clap along with the song. Use rhythm sticks and shakers.
  • Do action rhymes.
  • Learn nursery rhymes. For older children, substitute a non-rhyming word in place of the rhyming word and see if they notice the difference.
  • Read books with rhyming texts.
  • Play “Say it fast; say it slow.” Butterfly Butt er fly Turtle Tur tle


  • Knowing the names of things, feelings, concepts, and ideas. Knowing the meaning of words and connecting words to objects, events, or concepts in the world.
  • What can you do?
  • Any book will help with this, but choosing ones with words not used in daily conversation and nonfiction books are especially helpful.
  • Label things.

Narrative Skills

  • Being able to describe things and events. Being able to tell and understand stories.
  • What can you do?
  • Talk with children about what you are doing. Ask them “What?” or other open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No.”
  • Ask, “What happens next?”
  • Allow young children time to respond. Be patient.
  • Tell stories.
  • Encourage pretend play.
  • Let them help you tell flannel board stories.
  • Read stories with a beginning, middle, and end.

Letter Knowledge

  • Understanding that letters are different from each other. Recognizing letters and knowing that they have different names and sounds.
  • What can you do?
  • Let babies play with shapes.
  • Allow children to handle letter shapes.
  • Learn the alphabet song.
  • Read alphabet books and books about shapes.
  • Books where you have to find things.
  • Help your child identify the first letter in his/her name. Then find that letter in books, on signs, and other things in the environment.

Daily 5: Word Work (freebie)

As special education teacher, one of my jobs is to support classroom teacher support exceptional needs students during their day. One of the more challenging parts of the day is during Daily 5 or Daily 3 (depending on the grade level). For many its word work is the place they run into problems. Granted one wants to see the carry over to other things like writing but that takes patience and tons of practice. But I always say start with the basic and work up from their and if the student is working in a more structured reading program instead of guided reading with me than I turn them something like the word work I have created for Wilson.

Students who come to me for Wilson play word games and manipulate letters to create patterns in words so that all are easily recognized. Teachers then can support this work by having a word wall or personal word wall and have these words become “No Excuse” words to get that writing piece they are looking for. In turn it helps expanded vocabulary and correct spelling allow for more fluent reading and writing thus speeding up the ability to comprehend what is read and get thinking down on paper.

Click on the picture below to be taken to Diving with /or/ Words Freebie. Have a great weekend!

Great Read Alouds for Preschoolers

When you read aloud, you’re building their experiences while building vocabulary. Remember, young children can understand many more spoken words than they use. The easiest way to build language is in books that tend to be greater and more diverse than the words we use every day when talking with children. Preschoolers enjoy simple books as well as more complex books, the sound of language. Books with rhymes and nonsense words help to word reading skills.

By: Antoinette Portis
It all started with a little brown bird that tired of making and hearing the same old sounds: caw, coo, chip, peep. Instead, it said “Froodle sproodle!” which came as an unwelcome shock to the crow, cardinal and dove. But the small brown bird’s continued wordplay inspired the others — even the crow. Simple, bold illustrations and varied type present a comical tale of individuality and lots of potential for wordplay.

If You Were a Dog
By: Jamie Swenson
Effervescent language and lively illustrations ask readers what kind of dog, cat, fist, bird, bug, frog, or dinosaur they’d be — but since they are not, they can "arrooo! like a dog, hiss! like a cat," or even "chomp, stomp, roar! like a dinosaur" in this playful, imaginative book.

Kitten's First Full Moon
By: Kevin Henkes
Children will delight in Kitten’s mistake. They know that what she thinks is a bowl of milk is really the moon’s reflection. Mostly black and white (and shades of gray) illustration expressively depict Kitten. Children enjoy the visual and verbal patterns throughout.

Little Mouse
By: Alison Murray
When the young narrator feels quiet and cuddly, she doesn’t mind being her mom’s Little Mouse. Other times, she is as strong as an ox or brave and scary like a lion. A child’s daily changing moods are reflected in the open illustrations and simple text.

Llama Llama Mad at Mama
By: Anna Dewdney
Little Llama Llama has a major meltdown when he tires of shopping with Mama in the shop-o-rama. But Mama Llama is smart and figures out how do end the llama drama. The rhyming text shares not only a common experience but a great deal of llama wisdom all told with good humor and rhyme.
Marc Brown's Playtime Rhymes: A Treasury for Families to Learn and Play Together
By: Marc Brown
Twenty familiar and some lesser-known rhymes are just right for sharing. Actions are shown in small pictograms that accompany each line. One fingerplay appears on each double page with gentle, idealized illustration for a collection perfect for sharing.
Maria Had a Little Llama/Maria tenia una llamita
By: Angela Domínguez
Cheerful, childlike depictions of Maria and her much loved llama set the familiar rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, in a Peruvian village. The little white llama follows Maria to school, makes the children laugh, but with a distinctive and unique setting and characters in a familiar cadence.
Time-Out for Sophie
By: Rosemary Wells
Exasperated Mama and Daddy put Sophie in time-out when she dumps her dinner and tosses the clean laundry. But when Granny puts herself in time-out during their book-sharing, Sophie straightens up. Text and illustration capture a young child’s tenacious behavior and her adults’ reactions, sure to be recognized by all.

Tippy-Toe, Chick, Go!
By: George Shannon, Laura Dronzek
Can the youngest chick solve the problem and help the family get to their tasty meal of potato bugs and beans? Of course, for only she can run tippy-toe around the fierce — but leashed — dog! Young children will appreciate the youngest chick’s success in this brightly illustrated tale.

Tiptoe Joe
By: Ginger Foglesong Guy
A big brown bear in red sneakers tiptoes fast to invite his friends to "…come with me/I know something you should see." Each animal clops, thuds or swishes to see Joe's surprise: two sleeping cubs with their mother. Told with lively language and humorous illustrations.

Whistle for Willie
By: Ezra Keats
Oh, how Peter wished he could whistle to call his dog, Willie. Try as he might, he just couldn’t seem to make the sound come out — until one day he could! The simple description of a child’s yearning is told in natural language and charming collage illustrations.

Yoo-Hoo, Lady Bug!
By: Mem Fox
A small ladybug loves to hide — and she does it well in each familiar scene. "Yoo-hoo, Ladybug? Where are you?" She's hiding behind the teddy bear, tucked in a box, and other places in this brightly illustrated, rhyming hide-and-seek book for younger children.

These are some of my favorites. My family jokes that I need a 12 step for book stores. But when all else falls I hit the public library who always has a great selection of books to build language. Have a great Monday!

What to Read Aloud to Babies and Toddlers?

It’s a busy life filled with lots of things to do and even more distractions. All that’s needed is a comfy place, an adult, one child or more, and a good book to share.

The question becomes-How do you choose what to read aloud to a child? The first thing to ask yourself is simply: Do I like it? Then consider if you’re comfortable with the content. Is there something that you may want to omit or that you’d rather not tackle with your child? Children seem to know instinctively when an adult really likes something or if they’re just faking it.

Sometimes children respond differently to a book than the adults who try to share it. A book that the adult thinks is fantastic may get a ho-hum or downright negative response from the listener or sometimes the reverse is true, too. That’s OK; children have tastes, though sometimes they’re just not ready for a particular book. It’s perfectly okay not finish the book. Just try another one.

What are you looking for? 

Is there something for listeners to grab hold of? For young children, is there a phrase or perhaps something hidden in the illustration to keep them actively engaged? For older children, is there something to think about or talk about or even follow up about? Does it build on a child’s existing interest or maybe introduce a new one?

There are lots of educational reasons to read aloud to children. Reading aloud with children of all ages not only builds language — a key ingredient to success in school — but most importantly, it’s a time for adults to share with the children in their lives and to build a common, positive experience that lasts long after a book is closed.

Babies and Toddlers Picture Book Recommendations 

It’s never too early to start reading to young children. Young children are building vocabularies long before they can say them or use them in conversation. Try one of my favorite books with your baby or toddler. It doesn’t matter if you don’t read every word, but it is important that you share your enthusiasm. You can even do some of the actions suggested by the words or pictures, or you can make up your own. Maybe you just want to talk about the pictures and point to them as you do. It’s the sharing that’s important!

All Fall Down
By: Helen Oxenbury
Young children will appreciate the game played by children (also in Tickle Tickle) in this sturdy book. Rhyming text and uncluttered illustrations are just right to share with the youngest child.

All of Baby, Nose to Toes
By: Victoria Adler
All of a newborn, from head to toe, is appreciated and loved by various members of an adoring family. Lively language and joyful illustrations are used in this ebullient celebratory book.

Diggers Go
By: Steve Light
What sound does an excavator or a forklift make? Each makes its own noise, presented here in bold, dramatic typefaces dynamically shown on sturdy horizontal pages. Children can be encouraged to repeat sounds made by the variety of equipment — likely to delight construction aficionados.

I Kissed the Baby!
By: Mary Murphy
A new baby creates lots of excitement and all the animals want to kiss the baby duckling! Black pages with bold white lines depict the animals with splashes of color to highlight the joy and a repeating text makes this just right to encourage young children.

Lots of Lambs
By: Laura Numeroff
Feel the lamb's wool, then lift the umbrella to find lambs. There are lambs of all types and in many moods doing lots of things. Staccato, rhyming, catchy text is accompanied by expressive images of lively lambs that encourage active engagement with each page.

Lullaby and Kisses Sweet: Poems to Love with Your Baby
By: Lee Bennett Hopkins
Every day, young children and their families can celebrate familiar things and activities in this sturdy, handsome, and appealing collection of 30 poems. Each short piece by a range of poets is about food, family, firsts, play and bedtime, creating a memorable collection just right for the youngest listener.

Maisy's Animals/Los animales de Maisy
By: Lucy Cousins
Maisy’s favorite animals are introduced in both English and Spanish accompanied by Cousin’s signature illustrations on sturdy pages. Maisy is a familiar character with a simplicity of illustration and text that captivates young children.

Max's First Word
By: Rosemary Wells
No matter how hard Ruby tries to get her baby brother to say the names of the objects around him, Max will only say “Bang!” One day, however, Ruby gets a big surprise from Max’s first real word. Understated humor and bright, bold illustrations appeal to children and their adults.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
By: Jane Cabrera
The familiar rhyme continues all the way to 20 as a rabbit helps the farm animals get ready for a party. A small chick on each page encourages young readers to look closely as chicks are hidden on each spread. Bright, boldly lined illustrations are appealing and child-like.

Peek-a Who?
By: Nina Laden
What can you “peek-a” through the die-cut window? Does it “moo”, say “boo” or could it be YOU? Turn the page and find out! A predictable format and bold illustrations are sure to engage and delight.

Peekaboo Kisses
By: Barney Saltzberg
Peekaboo! What do you see? Lift the flap and see the kissable, touchable baby animal & dash; until the final spread. The mirror on the final pages lets young children see themselves in this boldly illustrated, participatory book.

Say Goodnight
By: Helen Oxenbury
Even the most active baby or toddler must sleep sometime, and in this story the children "say goodnight." Similar to Tickle Tickle and All Fall Down, this is a sure hit to share with babies and toddlers.

Say Hello Like This!
By: Mary Murphy
How do animals greet everyone? With woofs and meows for a big hello! Beginning with a dog's "licky and loud … bow-wow-wow-wow!" the split pages hide the sounds until the turn — sure to delight young readers. Bold, colorful illustrations exude joy and spirit.

Tickle Tickle
By: Helen Oxenbury
Chubby cheeked babies of many hues are shown in crisp illustrations doing things that babies do. The simple words are playful and energetic, just like the children in this and others by Oxenbury such as Clap Hands and All Fall Down.

My favorite preschool read aloud to come. Even in my current position in Intermediate Elementary students my student's love when I do story hour. Have a great weekend.

Preschoolers and Reading

Preschool is a beginning of learning to weaver letters into words. They build their language skills and start to make sense of the sound/letter system to begin to read. These days preschool is structured to prepare preschoolers for reading and math. Below are some ideas to what parents can to foster beginning reading skills.

At this stage, students uses their ever-increasing language skills to become a “big talker” and develops an awareness of the power of the written word. Parents and caregivers of preschoolers can help them develop into readers and writers by playing with letters and their sounds, promoting dramatic play using characters from books, and reading lots of books together.

Through daily experiences, preschoolers learns more and more about the way things work in the world. At the same time, they are able to use his ever-increasing vocabulary and language skills to share their observations, ideas, and imaginary worlds with other children and adults. Young children can be entertaining storytellers, engaging conversational partners, and frustrating negotiators. During the preschool years, students become aware that the world is filled with letters and may begin to recognize familiar words.

Parents can help your preschooler become an eager reader and writer through simple conversations and reading together. It helps to plan regular times to read with your young child and talk together daily about things that interest him. You can turn everyday experiences such as waiting in lines, doing errands, and riding the bus into conversation starters. By talking about your child’s ideas, observations, and feelings, you prepare your young child for reading and writing about the world.

How to Help Your Preschooler Get Ready for Reading

  • Point to the words as you read aloud. When you point to the words as you read or talk about the title and author, you help your child learn about the different parts of the book. You also show him that reading involves connecting spoken words to printed ones.
  • Repeat your child’s words the right way. Most young children make grammatical errors while they are learning to talk. Instead of correcting, try repeating your child’s words the correct way. This way, you teach her proper grammar and demonstrate that making mistakes is how we learn.
  • Join your child in pretend play. Pretending actually helps children develop language and literacy skills. They use new words and ways of speaking when they play different roles. They also practice making up stories, a skill that helps them understand books read aloud to them.
  • Make up rhymes as you go about your day. Rhyming and other kinds of word play help your child to hear differences between sounds to understand that words are made up of sounds. Being able to rhyme will actually help your child learn to read and write.
  • Draw and write alongside your child. One way to encourage your child to write is to show him how you write. When you write, talk to him about what you are doing. That way, you teach your child how we use writing in everything from grocery lists to phone messages.

Preventing the Dreaded Summer Slide

Each fall I'm presented with new student who may or may not qualify for Extend School Year 9 months later. Its whats done over the summer that helps students stay where they left and in some cases grow over the long break.  Here are some ideas to try over the break between family trips and trips to the swimming pool.

Did you know that children can lose up to three months of academic progress over the summer? Over 100 years of research continually shows this trend.

Here are ten things you can do to help your child avoid the summer slide.

  • Read EVERY day!  Read non-fiction, fiction, ebooks, poetry, newspapers and read out loud! For most children, twenty minutes is an appropriate amount of time to read for a child who is an independent reader. Most libraries have a wonderful summer reading program with incentives and rewards for books read over the summer.
  • Cook with your children.  This is one of the best ways to integrate math, reading and following directions.  Let your child design the menu too!  Help your child put together their favorite recipes in a cookbook.
  • Plant a garden.  Your child will gain responsibility and pride as they watch their plants grow and thrive.
  • Take a field trip to a museum, zoo or local park with walking trails.  Keep a journal about your travels.
  • Learn a new word each week!  Hang it on the fridge and see who can use it the most times throughout the week.
  • Enroll in a quality summer program that will provide your child with opportunities to build their critical thinking skills.   
  • Play quick games with flashcards like Math War or Concentration to keep math skills sharp.
  • Listen to Audio Books during your road trip.
  • Take pictures and make a summer scrapbook.
  • Did I mention READ?!  If your child does nothing else this summer make sure they are reading!
Have a great summer! Don't forget to READ!

Stages of Reading Development Plus a freebie

Being mid-year, I find that I'm explaining why I'm selecting the text that I am. I walked into out book room and someone asked what I was looking for and I said no more than 2 words on a page with strong (if not in your face) picture support. I have a student that I've been working with on not adding to the text (she loves adding extra words to the story). The teacher in the book room pointed my to the a shelf on Level As. Knowing what text looks like at each level helps me find the right text for each group. I hope this helps you out or something you can share with parents.

Early Emergent Readers (Levels aa-C)

Readers are just beginning to grasp the basic concepts of book and print. They are acquiring a command of the alphabet with the ability to recognize and name upper- and lowercase letters. They are also developing many phonological awareness skills, such as recognizing phonemes, syllables, and rhyme.

Early Emergent readers are beginning to learn sound/symbol relationships--starting with consonants and short vowels--and are able to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, as well as a number of high-frequency words.

Books at this level have:
strong picture support
carefully controlled text
repetitive patterns
controlled, repeated vocabulary
natural language
large print
wide letter spacing
familiar concepts
limited text on a page
is acquiring book handling skills and concepts of print
is acquiring knowledge of letter names
uses pictures to create meaning
beginning to understand sounds of the language (rhyming, same/different, etc.)
beginning to understand letter-sound relationships
typically can read some environmental print (example: “stop”)
uses one to one matching (connects spoken and written words)
uses left to right progression
recognizes some known words and uses picture clues and print to recognize new words
understands the difference between letters and words
has control of most consonant sounds
typical titles at this level have very simple text, less than five words per page, are predictable,
have strong picture cues

    Emergent Readers (Levels D-J)

    Readers at this stage have developed an understanding of the alphabet, phonological awareness, and early phonics. They have command of a significant number of high-frequency words.
    Emergent readers are developing a much better grasp of comprehension strategies and word-attack skills. They can recognize different types of text, particularly fiction and nonfiction, and recognize that reading has a variety of purposes.

    Books at this stage have:
    ·         increasingly more lines of print per page
    ·         more complex sentence structure
    ·         less dependency on repetitive pattern and pictures
    ·         familiar topics but greater depth
    ·         beginning to use knowledge of letter sounds to solve unknown words
    ·         uses language, memory, pictures, and print as major cues to read and understand text
    ·         is able to predict what comes next

      Early Fluent Readers (Levels K-P)

      At this stage, reading is more automatic, with more energy devoted to comprehension than word attack. Readers are approaching independence in comprehending text.
      These readers are experiencing a greater variety of text and are able to recognize different styles and genres. Independence often varies with the type of text being read.

      Books at this stage have:
      ·         More pages
      ·         Longer sentences
      ·         More text per page
      ·         Richer vocabulary
      ·         Greater variation in sentence pattern
      ·         Less reliance on pictures
      ·         More formal and descriptive language
      ·         Analyzes new words and checks them against what makes sense and sounds right
      ·         Uses meaning to begin to self-correct
      ·         Uses known words and word parts to figure out unknown words
      ·         Begins to retell the major points of the text
      ·         Decreases the use of finger pointing as fluency and phrasing increase
      ·         Uses prior knowledge and own experience to make meaning

        Fluent Readers (Levels Q-Z)

        Readers have successfully moved from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Their reading is automatic and is done with expression and proper pauses. Their energy is devoted to understanding, and they have good command and use of the various comprehension strategies.
        These readers read a wide range of text types and do so independently. They will continue to refine and develop their reading skills as they encounter more difficult reading materials. But for the most part, they are capable of improving their reading skills and selection of materials independently through increased practice.

        Books at this stage have:
        ·         More text
        ·         Less familiar, more varied topics
        ·         Challenging vocabulary
        ·         More complex sentences
        ·         Varied writing styles
        ·         More description
        ·         Reads silently; reads fluently when reading aloud
        ·         Initiates topics for discussion about books
        ·         Begins to use comprehension strategies (retelling, monitoring for meaning, making connections, making mental images, making/revising/confirming predictions, questioning, determining importance, inferring, summarizing, synthesizing, critically evaluating) across genre and subjects
        ·         Consistently develops new strategies and new knowledge of texts as he/she encounters greater
        variety of texts
        ·         Is in a continuous process of building background knowledge and realizes that he/she needs to
        bring his/her knowledge to his/her reading
        ·         Sustains interest and understanding over long texts and reads over extended periods of time
        ·         Notices and comments on aspects of the writer’s craft
          I hope everyone has a great week going into Christmas Break. Have a great holiday break and enjoy the Sight Word freebie below.

          Reading Fluency and Common Core

          I have this love hate relationship with reading fluency. My building uses DIBELS for all our primary students but only use the DRA decoding rubric for the intermediate students. Both of these assessments have speed ranges are the bare minimum of how fast students need to be reading.

          Now factor in Common Core. Fluency is addressed starting in kindergarten with standard RF 1.4 RF.K.4 with students reading emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding. And the standard changes in first grade with RF.1.4 where students have to read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension. It remains the same through fifth grade. Common Core doesn't address in detail what that looks like. The key in reading fluency is finding that perfect balance of accuracy and understand what is being read. Common Core wants students to understand what they are reading and then have meaning deep conversation about what they are being taught. This is a hard balance and a tough shift this year for me.

          It's the readability and the depth in which students have to understand material that really counts. This has more to do with Lexile Measures than DRA or Fountas and Pinnell levels than anything else. This makes for some very fun shifts in what students have to read and what they need to be able to read. The focus needs to stay on text just slightly harder than their independent reading level (at 96% to 98% accuracy and 90 to 125 wcpm) to have a conversation with the depth needed for them to demonstrate that they really understand what they are reading. The shift is in the text complexity. Check Common Core Appendix A for more information on what the Lexile expectations look like.

          I'm not sure this is a huge problem for my student's who struggle with reading fluency but I do know that if they can't read fast enough, they won't finish the test. Students should not see difficult material for the first time on these tests. They have to be prepared to closely read, examine, decode, and digest material that is not within their “fluency” or comfort range.

          I'm not sure if the best way to accomplish this is by giving them more challenging texts or by guiding students through have a more in-depth conversation about what they are reading.  If students can talk about what they are reading, then they can write about it.

          Close Reading where students markup the text is a great way to support students. I have had student do this but I'm having problems with them transferring this idea outside of their time with me. Plus, our new assessment will be on the computer. No marking the text. Markup the text has helped them find the evidence to support their thinking which is I've been told is way more important. They need to work on telling why they picked that specific chunk of text though.

          Why Fluency is important:

          As great as close reading of complex text maybe for instruction, we should not measure independent reading. Also from Appendix A (p.4):

          Students need opportunities to stretch their reading abilities but also to experience the satisfaction and pleasure of easy, fluent reading within them, both of which the Standards allow for…. Students deeply interested in a given topic, for example, may engage with texts on that subject across a range of complexity.

          It's the reading easy material that a student enjoys a book and builds fluency. For independent reading recommendations, students need to read and enjoy whatever they choose, at whatever level for independent reading. That is how to build lifelong readers.

          Ideas to Move a Stuck Reader

          I have a couple of students this year that have not moved much in the last year or so. At our weekly, team meetings we talk about about these guys. As a group we try to figure out why they aren't moving. It tends to be asking lots of why and right when you think you've got it; you ask why again. Sometimes we need to come back and collect a specific data point. Other times a plan is hatched and put in place. Think of these as questions and does the evidence show that the student has it.

          If the student decodes the first few letters or syllables and makes up the rest, confuses simple words like we're and there, or has trouble recognizing high-frequency words than:

          Word Recognition: word recognition is a broad term for being able to access print.

          High Frequency Words: are words that occur often in written language. Students need to be able to recognize these words quickly. Under 5 seconds fast!!

          Sight Words: I think most teach use sight words and high frequency words interchangeable, meaning sight words are words students should know by sight, without sounding them out. Others use sight words to mean high frequency words as words students cannot sound out or don't play by the rules such as have or give.

          Decoding: this refers to understanding sounds and letters. 

          Phonics: this refers to the rules that govern the English language.

          As a rule of thumb, the student's most current DRA or Fountas and Pinnell is used. Digging deeper is key when needing to find a new way to move students. The team is always surprised when talking about High Frequency Words because my buildings kindergarten to fourth grade agreement that all students will known the building list. Student move in and sometimes its just forgotten but not everyone has mastered "the list."

          Going into a week after receiving news that I'm now a National Board Certified Teacher, I wish to thank my mom for her ongoing encouragement and faith in me. I also wish to thank my readers for I hope you find what I share informing and useful and even something you can take back to you class and team. If you are traveling this week--I wish you safe travels and a have a restful and fabulous break.

          About Me

          Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
          Follow on Bloglovin
          Special Ed. Blogger

          I contribute to:

          Search This Blog