Showing posts with label reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading. Show all posts
Friday, 17 November 2017

Using an Effective Method to Teach Sight Words

Writing Sight Words in Sentences is Effective





Have you ever had a student read a sight word with you perfectly well on a flash card and then later when presented with the same word in the context of the story not be able to read the word? This is happened to me so many times as a reading teacher. One of the things that I found that has helped my students immensely is writing their sight words in the context of a sentence. I don't just have them copy the word over and over again. Not only is that boring and demotivating, it doesn't really work.

Sight Word Sentence Fun


I created a  fun product which encourages children to write their sight words in the context of a sentence. However,  especially for the younger students I didn't want it to be overwhelming. That's why I made it gradual.  In my first level pack the students begin by writing one word of the sentence each subsequent sentence they add another word that they need to write.




A Specific Method-Whisper Writing


I encourage students to read the word and then say the letters as I write them each time. If they're doing this all the center then I have the students whisper read the word and whisper the letters as they write them.Sometimes I give students and sight word sentence buddy somebody that they can do the center with that will make sure that they are reading the word and saying the letters as they write them. The students take turns writing their sentences whispering as they write.




Helpful Variations

Another variation . Students often enjoy  is stamping out the word with stamps and colored ink word building the word with plastic letters. But If you are using this in an intervention group, I encourage you to at least at first have the students write out the sentences and not just write with plastic letters or with stamps. This kinesthetic experience of writing the words is extremely powerful to help students take the word from their short-term memory into their long-term memory. If you're working with a student with dysgraphia and the student really struggles with writing then perhaps it would be a good idea to have them write out the sentence at least once but for the other times you stamps or plastic letters so that the student doesn't become too frustrated.



Better than Flashcards

If you send the sheets home for students to do for homework I would suggest instructing the parents to have the students read the word and write the word saying the letters as they write them. If students write the words within the context of a sentence they're more likely to be able to recognize their sight words again in the context of their reading.


The first pack covers 93 words you can get it here  and the second pack covers 83 words and you can get it here.

Happy Smart and Special Teaching!

How to Increase Reading Fluency in Children

Improving Reading Fluency and Comprehension with Cloze Passages




As a reading therapist, my ultimate goal with each student is to help Students become fluent readers. When I first started teaching reading, I struggled to find enough good reading material for my students who struggle. We would get through the curriculum and my struggling students still needed more practice. The I started looking for other things for my students to read. The problem is that many of the things they're out there labeled as easy to read Level 1 readers or I Can Read books my students were not able to read.  That is when I started creating reading passages that would be easily decodable by my students.

I also wanted to find a way for my students to be able to really connect with the material. I wanted them to have a multi-sensory experience and not just have the words "float over their heads". That's when I decided to add cloze passages to all of my stories. I love cloze passages for the following reasons:

Help with comprehension:


When words are missing from the story and children have to write them in they have to connect to the story enough to know what word is coming next. In fact, some reading comprehension assessment tests use cloze passages to test students comprehension levels.



Make it multi-sensory


Reading cloze passages allow students to have a multi-sensory experience when they reading are reading. Writing is the kinesthetic expression of reading. When I have a student write a word in a  cloze passage. I have them say the word and write the word. This gives them an auditory experience, a visual experience and a kinesthetic experience.



Fun Fluency

Any good teacher knows the key to helping students master material is to give students enough practice with material until they become fluent. Cloze passages are just another way for students to. practice. The students read the story the with me. Then after they read the story they have to read it again in order to be able to do to cloze passage. I usually get students to read a passage 3 or 4 times by the time we're through doing a cloze passage.

Fun and Easy Centers

Also I love to laminate cloze passages and stories and put them into a center after I've done them with students to give them more practice. Kids really love it anytime they get to write with a wipe off marker. It's a fun experience and it makes for a fast and easy Center for me.

Great For Intervention

These passages are also great for an intervention time. If you have volunteers who come in to read with your students or if you take small groups of students out to do intervention time. Cloze passages are excellent for this instruction. It's totally no prep and it's completely effective. I use this technique with my dyslexic students and it works very well!
You can pick up these Blends and Digraphs Passages here at my store and follow me because I am adding more sets weekly and they are half off for the first 48 hours.
If you need CVC Practice go here and If you need Silent E practice or Glued Sounds
Happy Smart and Special Teaching!


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Speech and Language Therapy and Black History Month (with Freebie)

Harriet Tubman Helping Kids with Speech




I normally work with students with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia, but I also help students with speech and language issues. Also, many of my students have English as a second or third language so language is an issue I deal with often. I  wanted to share my new Harriet Tubman Speech and Language Therapy Unit.  Harriet Tubman is truly a woman I respect for her courage and perseverence. The first aspect of the unit is a mini book which features the life of Harriet Tubman in easy decodable language.
I am selling this book by itself in my store, but it comes as a freebie in the Speech and Language Therapy Unit.

The unit cover sequencing and includes Ordinal Numbers and Transition words for retelling.

Then I created 36 game cards which target vocabulary, grammar and phonetic awareness  as well as comprehension and Wh questions for students to answer. They come in color and black and white as well as with and without picture prompts for students at different levels.

The unit covers syllables, rhyme, and articulation goals as well.



There is also an open-ended game which I have included as a Black History Month Freebie 





Please do leave freeback if you decide to download this game.

Hope you find this unit helpful and please subscribe to my blog and follow my store so you don't miss out on great products and more freebies
Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The Floss Rule for Spelling and Reading



Do you use the Floss Rule? No, it isn’t for your teeth. The Floss Rule is an extremely helpful memory aid for spelling words with a double consonant ending. The FLoSS rule is one of the first spelling rules I teach to dyslexic students to help them understand when to double the final “f”, “l” and “s” consonants at the end of certain words. It is often taught in first and second grade.    
When a /f/, /l/ /s/ (or /z/) is heard after a short vowel at the end of a one-syllable word, it is spelled with a double “ff”, “ll”, “ss” or “zz”.    Feel free to download this free floss rule poster for your classroom.

I created 3 resources to aid beginning or struggling readers with this helpful rule. First, I created a set of decodable stories with matching close passages.



Then I created a fantastic  Word Work activity packet filled with lots of no prep and low prep  printable activities that will help with reading and spelling.





My struggling readers need lots of practice to gain fluency so I made the activity packet with lots of variety to keep their attention and keep them learning. This packet is a great Response to Intervention addition to your classroom. This packet includes lots of picture and word cards for a fun "write the room" activity.

Lastly, I made a great Smart Notebook Companion Activity Presentation which correlates to the printables so you can easily use them together.






Use the floss rule as another great opportunity to improve your student's literacy skills.

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.