I am sure by now you know that we practice phonics every day in 3rd grade. Last year we began an official program to help all grades K-5 standardize and tighten up their phonics instruction. The program we are now using is called Sunday, and it has five basic parts. Every day kiddos read sounds, write sounds, read words, write words and then learn some new material. Every 5th lesson we have a Mastery Check and kiddos show how they can transfer the lessons they are learning into new situations. Are you ready to see what it looks and sounds like? Here we go!
First we read sounds and write sounds. These are review as well as new ones we’ve learned so far in 3rd grade.
Next we read words (and a few sentences).
Next we write words. These words include sounds we’ve learned together as well as sight words that we have practiced.
After we review, then we learn something new. In this lesson, students are introduced to two new sets of sounds that come after a short vowel at the end of a word. I know it sounds funny, but I do not remember learning this as a child! At least not the “why” of them and/or how to use them. That’s one of the things I love about what we’re doing here: talking to kiddos about what to do as well as the reason why they should do it! Makes it so much easier to apply a “rule” if you know why!
New material: ff, ss, zz, ll
More new material: -ck
I love this hard thinking and work we do every day with phonics! I love that we start with it, as it allows us so many opportunities to practice and apply the new learning throughout the day as readers and writers!
We are learning so many new things about how sounds and words work. What do you remember about phonics?
We are readers in Rm. 204! One of the ways that I encourage and foster a strong love of reading is by doing lots of it myself! Many years ago I learned about #classroombookaday on Twitter and knew it was for me and my students. Check out some past stories I’ve written about it here, here, and here. It’s such a fun and visual way for kids to see all the books that they have enjoyed together as a class, and allows us an easy way to make connections to math and other topics. I LOVE participating in #classroombookaday and after a few hiccups during COVID years, it’s back up and running.
The concept is simple: we read a book and post it on the bulletin board. Then we watch as it fills up! I realized that this picture I’m sharing is even a little bit old now, as the board changes every day! Here’s a picture of it from a week or so ago, in case you haven’t seen it.
I purposefully put this display outside of our room, so that anyone who walks by can see it, interact with it and hopefully be inspired to read something new! When I taught 1st grade in past years and had a room downstairs, our display was right in one of the main hallways where EVERYONE at Robinson walked on a daily basis and it was such a great conversation starter. That year we got to 561 books on our display and it was A.MAZ.ING to look at. Who knows if we’ll get to that number this year, but no matter what, we are committed to reading and learning together with a ton of good books in Rm. 204.
Do you have a suggestion for a book we should read? Leave us a comment and we’ll check it out. Maybe you’ll see it in a #classroombookaday update soon!
We have gotten into some “actual” school things and we did something in particular that I was especially excited about. Based on some learning I did this summer, I am making it a goal to include more of a variety of text types into our reading work. After all, reading is at its core making meaning from a text, with or without words, and no matter what kind of text. So one of our first “read alouds” was a short called “Pip,” an animated short about a dog who goes to guide dog school. Here it is if you want to watch it, too!
As we “read,” I had given kiddos the job of paying attention to what Pip was feeling, as we would be keeping track of his emotions and how they changed throughout the story. There are several stopping points and we recorded words that described his emotions at the time. I added in additional vocabulary that connected with the words they suggested, and we talked about how they were other ways of saying the same thing. We also made predictions of how or whether we thought his feelings would change as we went through the rest of the video.
At the end, I added another teaching point: the difference between emotions and traits. We discussed how emotions were feelings that could and would change, based on the characters circumstances or mood. Traits are words that describe how the character always is; words that describe their personality or how they tend to act most of the time. This second part was a little tricky at this point, but we will definitely come back to it again and again as we go through the year. Here’s the chart we made together:
In addition to making this chart together to revisit with later texts, it also served as a model for something students will be able to use in their own reading, recording their thinking in their reading journals. Here’s an example of the rough draft thinking of it in my journal as I planned:
I was really pleased with how this lesson went, as kiddos were really engaged, and had great ideas to share–many of which I had not thought of when I watched the short! The whole thinking behind using a short first is to get everyone on board and with you from the very beginning. With no text to read, and a short story to hold on to, it’s easy for readers of all levels to join in and contribute an idea. They feel included already and can more easily form a mindset that “Reading in this classroom is for me! I can do it!” Isn’t that what we want for every reader every day?
As we go on, I hope to be able to incorporate more shorts like this one, as well as a wide variety of text to help readers see the possibilities! Make sure you’re subscribed to our blog so you don’t miss the next time I tell about it! 🙂
Yesterday’s grand opening meant an air of excitement, brightly frosted cupcakes and lots of money spent on new books to add to my ever-growing collection. I mean, come on—is it possible to have too many books?
The inside of the shop is small, but nicely decorated and clear on who’s important here: the little readers who fill those tiny chairs and spend time finding a new favorite book! There is definitely a South City vibe, which is great. And the best part? I can walk there! (Although I guess that does cause some trouble in that it limits the size of my book haul to whatever I can carry! 😆 Oh well, I’ll figure it out. Maybe a wagon??)
Speaking of “book haul,” let me show you what we bought!
I found two new titles I am excited to share with my kiddos, and one that is an old favorite—but in paperback!
I hope to be able to visit this little gem of a store for years to come and that they get to grow and grow, putting books into the hands of Little Readers all over town! Visit them, will ya?!
I have been busy in my new room, and yesterday I made a breakthrough! Have been working on getting the library–which is all around our meeting area rug–put together and the rough draft of it is pretty much done. I’m so excited to share what’s starting to take shape. There are many small details I have to fix, but I am so excited for our new class to gather in the library every day for learning!
Check it out! And I’d love to know what you think–leave a comment below! 🙂
I know, I know. That’s really a Virginia thing. But yet, I didn’t just take a vacay to Virginia. So San Fran it is. 🙂
If you’ve spent time around here–either as a long-time blog reader or a new reader who’s been getting their feet wet–you have hopefully noticed that I am a reader. Books are kind of a big deal around here: at home and in my classroom. And so, it seems, books are a big deal for me on vacation, too.
We went to lots of fun places on our tour of San Francisco. Some places I can tell you about by the name of the neighborhood, and some I can tell you by the name of the books stores I visited while I was there. 🙂
I think in the end we found three cute little independent book stores, and bought something at all of them! Cuz what’s a better souvenir than a book. Or ten? LOL
The first place we ran into was The Book Passage, in the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. Besides being easy to get to, it had great views of the bay. We went here more than once, just because we could.
On one of our dinner adventures, Grant and I were walking around after our visit to Burma Superstar (YUM!) and came upon this little gem:
Besides being lovely and cute and small and independent, they also had a sale bin. :). Found many things I was excited for some good finds, but especially for the book about the Golden Gate Bridge I had seen in other stores at full price. Here it was over 50% off! WIN!!
The last one was so good we visited it twice: Browser Books.
On our first visit we ran into one of those “blind date with a book” sale boxes and bought almost the whole thing!
Do you have guesses for what those books might be? Are you dying right now? Should I show you what we ended up with? Oh, ok. :). Here’s what was inside of those packages. Be sure to leave me a comment to let me know if you guessed right. I actually did guess one of them correctly!
I think I mentioned that this was our first trip to this store? On the second trip I found two more great books (not on sale, but sooo great it didn’t matter) that I’m excited to incorporate into my classroom this year.
WHEW! What a great trip with such great little bookstore finds. What a special part of traveling–the bookstores come home in my heart and the books come home in my suitcase!
YAY!! It’s the beginning of February, which means that it is time for Global School Play Day and World Read Aloud Day! It’s not a celebration that I’m new to, but it is definitely never something I’ve celebrated in cyberspace. :). Because it’s still COVID times, our WRAD observation was planned to take place on a Friday, were we were online. We figured this was the best way to collaborate as a grade level, since at school we’re only allowed to be with our individual cohorts.
So we sat down as a team before the day, finding times for all of our 2nd grade teachers, plus Mrs. Scanlon–our fabulous reading teacher–and Dr. OH–our fabulous principal–to read to our kiddos. Like a normal virtual day, we also tried to make sure we added in movement breaks and times for kids to interact and talk to each other. Our plan looked like this:
As we went into the day, we were SO EXCITED to be able to get all of our second grade friends and all of our team in the same room (even if it was a ZOOM room!) so we could celebrate books together! We could hardly wait for the morning!
We began the day in our own Zoom Room, with Mrs. Nguyen and me and all of our Rm. 111 friends. We talked about our Zone colors and talked about our day, getting excited for what was to come. After our morning Meeting, we all went to Mrs. Stephens’ Zoom room since she was going to host the morning festivities.
Our first reader was Mrs. Scanlon, who shared one of her favorite books with us:
Somehow in all my years of both reading kids’ books and teaching kids to read, I’ve never read this book! It was so great and the kids loved it!
After this, we moved the whole group into breakout rooms to chat about the story. I was in a room with 3 super great girls who had lots to say! We even had time to start reading to each other! Such a fun time. 🙂
Next up–Dr. OH! This was our first opportunity to have our principal read to us this year, but it’s definitely not the first time we’ve had our fearless leader read to our grade level. Remember when Mrs. Sisul used to come read to us all the time??
Dr. OH shared a great story about a strong girl with us: I Will Be Fierce!
After a quick GoNoodle to give our bodies a minute to move, we got to hear a super funny story from my student teacher, Mrs. Nguyen. My class gets the chance to listen to her read all the time, so I was glad she got to share her stories with the whole grade level for this special day!!
She shared the story Potato Pants with us. 🙂
Mrs. Kier was up next, and she shared an oldie-but-goodie from Epic–The Bad Seed.
After that many super read alouds, we were ready to use our brains in another way. Mrs. Stephens shared a fun activity with us, that started in the main room and then we did in small group breakout rooms. We did a Spot the Difference game she had found on YouTube. There are two pictures and we had to –you guessed it!–find the differences between the two pictures. What fun! This activity was definitely a hit and one we’ll do again when we have a chance!
After a break for lunch and some rest or play time on their own, we came back together, this time in our Zoom room! It was my turn and then Mrs. Dale shared a story, too.
I had a big pile of things that I would have loved to share, but since I only had one, I picked a book that was from a beloved author (Peter H. Reynolds) and that connected with some of our themes in SEL lately.
After the story, kiddos took turns responding to the invitation to “say something. It was fun to hear all of the different things they thought of sharing with their friends!
Mrs. Dale found a great story on Epic, too, one that none of us had heard of before: Nico Draws a Feeling. After we finished the story, she invited kiddos to grab some crayons and a piece of paper and try out what Nico had done. The challenge was to draw the FEELINGS related to an event or episode, rather than the event itself. This was hard work! What a great opportunity, though, to express ourselves in a new and exciting way!
We ended our day with choice time, closing meeting in our homerooms and then our specials class. What an AMAZING day of books and fun and FRIENDS!! It was definitely different than any other World Read Aloud Day I’ve experienced, but isn’t that just how this school year is going?? It will be a memorable one for sure!!
How did you spend World Read Aloud Day 2021? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!
Oh my goodness, friends–how have I not written about this yet? (Wow, those words sound soooo familiar. Please don’t go back to last year’s blog to see if I wrote this very thing last year at this time….LOL). I know, it’s so silly since it’s SO EXCITING! Let me start with a picture, because it’s SO BEAUTIFUL! (Sorry, I overuse capitals when I’m excited. Exclamation points, too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂 )
Am I right? So bright and colorful, and represents SO MANY words, stories and ideas that our first grade friends have already heard. The other great thing about it? While it’s got SO MANY books already, look at how much wall is left! That means we have that much room to read that many more books together this year!
Ok, let me back up. I know that some of you are new to this blog, or new to this whole #classroombookaday thing, so let me explain…
Many years ago, the great Jillian Heise (@heisereads) started a super thing: read a picture book a day and tell someone about it. I am sure that there is a better, more thought out explanation to why she did it than that, but really in some ways it’s that easy. Be committed to reading to kids every day. Find good books. Talk about those books and share them with others. Amazing. She started a hash tag to share her ideas and it’s gone CRAZY places since then.
Fast forward to 2016 and enter me. 🙂 I joined the fun and began my own #classroombookaday journey, posting all of the books my class read on our door. We expanded the next year, and the next, and that brings us to where we are now–all of the first grade teachers in this together. 🙂 The display continues to grow and change, but the intent of the project remains the same: read good books to kids, talk about them and enjoy the reading experience!
This year’s display is a little extra special, though, as we are looping with this group. In past years we’ve had a goal of something over 500 (depending on the previous year’s final numbers!), and we will do so again. But this time, rather than taking down the display to start over–we’re going to keep going! I’m not exactly sure how we’ll do that (don’t worry fire Marshall, we’ll figure out a safe way to make it happen!), but how exciting to see it grow and grow and grow like never before!
I’m not entirely sure that this year’s first graders are entirely clear on what we’re doing here yet, but they are at least familiar with that big book wall in the hall, as they walked by it over and over again as kindergartners last year. Now it’s theirs, and we’ll watch it fill up together! I hope you’ll come along the journey with us this year (and next!). PLEASE suggest books to us that you think we might enjoy! WE LOVE BOOKS!! 🙂
This week we got to 367! February is a weird month–feels like almost every week we’ve had something extra or surprising with our schedule, and this week as no different–we had a surprise ice day on Thursday. But then Friday was a 1/2 day, which includes school-wide programming, so it means less reading time for us in Rm. 111. Anyhow, we did get 7 new titles on our wall, and enjoyed everyone of them!
Here’s our wall currently:
This week we added these new books!
We have happened in to a Dan Santat study, as he has written and illustrated SO MANY amazing books–most of which become our new favorites! This week were two I had never even seen before! Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is an oldie that I had never read, and Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon was a not-so-oldie that I’ve read lots and lots of times and never gets old! Cows Can Moo! Can You? came as a recommendation from a first grade friend, which always makes for a good read aloud. Be Kind is a goodie that you can read over and over and over (and connects to our recent Kindness Week activities as well as the Kindness Quilt our school school is working on), and Little Dragon and the New Baby is a sweet story and loads of first graders can make connections with the way Little Dragon didn’t want to have a baby to share his things with–at first. 🙂
Another great week of read alouds in first grade! Can’t wait to see what this upcoming week brings!
Whew! This week was crazy! Besides it being World Read Aloud Day on Friday, we had TWO “it’s-too-cold-to-go-outside-today” days off of school! It was a nice refreshing mid-week break, but definitely made for a week where NO ONE knew what day it was. LOL
So…remember how last week I mentioned a super project that was sparked from another Peter H. Reynolds book we read? Well, I finally have enough of it up and photographed that I can share it!
Last week as one of our read aloud we enjoyed hearing The Word Collector. Basically, in the story, Jerome collects words that he hears and likes–short words, long words, funny words, nice words, you get the idea. Eventually he ends up have a GINORMOUS bag of words on little slips of paper that he drops and they get all spread around, then being shared with the rest of the world!
We decided that as super readers and word-lovers ourselves, we could also collect words! It really only took a quick mention of the idea for first grade readers and writers to be IN and start finding great words all over the place! We “officially” worked on it for one reading/writing time, but I know they literally could have done it all. day. long. I love how Sam and Jaxon, who were working together, said they collected pages and pages of words for 20 or 30 minutes but said, “I think we could do this for 20 or 30 more HOURS!”
Now, when something like this happens, I can’t ever decide if the best part is what happens in our room, or what happens when someone decides we should share the idea with other kids. In this case, it may have been both.
I went ahead and covered the door in blue paper, which was supposed to look like the cover of the book. See?
Then as a class (well our class and Ms. Turken’s kiddos, too), we decided what we might do to share our work with our school on our doors. We agreed that we should have a picture of Jerome, telling our Robinson friends about our inspiration and the word collecting we began to do.
We decided rock-paper-scissors would be the best way to decide who would create Jerome, and so after many, many games, Makhi, Wyatt and Isaac became our illustrators. They made a most-handsome version of Jerome, and also a word bubble that we added words to together.
Beckett helped add some words to our speech bubble, using interactive writing and his best first grade letters!
One of the best things that happened as we talked about what our speech bubble should say, was when Hailey suggested we invite other Robinson friends to collect words WITH US!? I usually have an idea of what I think the words could say, but it’s generally up to kiddos to decide what they will say. Hailey had the great idea that we should invite the rest of Robinson to collect words WITH US, which I had not even considered.
On Friday we finally had time to get our lists and lists of collected words onto our slips and finish our Jerome and words. We still have to add the pocket that will house the slips, tape, and sharpie for other people to use, but it’s up and it’s FABULOUS! Don’t you agree? I LOVE LOVE LOVE that these kiddos are already learning to pay attention to how words sound and think about the power they have!
What words would you add to our display? Please leave your suggestions in the comments and we’ll put them up for you! Can’t wait to hear what you say and from how far away our words will come! So in addition to your words, please tell us where you live!