Thursday, 24 November 2016

Teaching Reading with the Christmas Story

I absolutely love sharing the wonder of the Christmas story with children. Advent season is so special when children are young. I also adore teaching reading with Bible stories. When I was working as a teacher in public schools it was not possible, but  when I worked in a Christian school in Haiti and when I home schooled my kids having them read the Christmas story was a highlight of the year for me. One problem I found with reading the Christmas story with beginning readers was finding one written using decodable words for kindergarten and first grade. This year I decided to make Nativity Reader's Theater Unit with a mini-book that young students could read successfully.

 Then because I always like to connect reading and writing. I added pages that students could write on  themselves. If children are struggling with reading writing gives them a multi-sensory expression of the words.

 Children can copy from their mini-book or they can paraphrase and write their own sentence.

 A mini-book is great,but reader's theater is my favorite to help with reading fluency. If you want your children to practice reading give them a script and let them perform and you will see the magic happen. 

If you are reluctant to do Reader's Theater then below are some guidelines to help your students.

  Guidelines for Reader's Theater 

1. Every student  needs to follow along with the script, even when it's not your speaking part. 

2. When it is someone's speaking part, NO ONE is going to give  a reminder or even a little nudge. (This is difficult on the others that want to give a  pssstt!! to their friends. However  it builds much better accountability for the reader, and everyone follows along better.)

3. If  a student finishes reading their part, and  and the next person hasn't caught on that it's their turn to speak, just repeat your last line again until the next person realizes it's their turn. 

4. Students should use their best reading expression. If  someone makes a mistake, be calm stop, relax and reread the line again.

These Guidelines will make your Reader's Theater a joy at home, school or church.

 I  also included some character cards which you can attach with a template headband or make into a sign for the different children to wear if you don't have costumes. Or even if you do kids love headbands.

 If you would like them for your  students you may find them for FREE HERE at my store.

 I hope you enjoy this reading pack and stay please follow this blog because I will soon add other Bible Story Reading Packs. So follow my store to get these stories and other great freebies. Don't miss out. Merry Christmas! Rejoice!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Teaching Digraphs Sh, Th, and Ch through Multi-Sensory instruction

Some children struggle with learning digraphs when they begin to read. They sometimes confuse the sounds of sh, th, and ch. Consonant digraphs occur when two consonants that are next to one another represent a single sound.  The most common consonant digraphs are: sh, ch, and th.   

Teaching digraphs is fun and effective for children if we teach them using multisensory activities.  Using salt dough or play dough gives a 3 D representation of the diagraphs which often helps students remember these letter combinations better. Another helpful multisensory activity is to make tactile letters using sandpaper or felt. I have included a play dough mat in each multi-sensory digraph pack I made. Also,as an educator, I  find it helpful to  to have key pictures and words to associate with these tricky sounds.  I designed posters specifically for introducing this concept to students. If you would like to use them in your classroom or homeschool you may download the for free here

Other great activities to practice digraphs can be found in the Multi-sensory packs I made for teaching my students. There are a lot of activities available out there, but many activities focus just on the auditory aspect of the diagraphs. I designed my practice packs so that my students must decode the words in the worksheets. 

I specifically used short vowel words with diagraphs so students must read the words and pay attention to the vowels and not just match pictures. I also have included a specific phonemic awareness word list and sound mat for teachers to help children to focus on the sounds in words. If you would like to use these materials with your students please go to my store and check them out for yourself. Here is the bundle of all 3 packs and each pack is also sold separately.