Teaching students to read is such a JOY. Helping my students LOVE to read (instead of DREAD to read) is one of my biggest goals as a teacher. To do this I always make sure that my guided reading groups include three things:
3. Books that are on my student’s level
I always start my reading groups with a game that is going to work on a particular skill. I choose fast paced games that are both engaging and interactive for my young learners.
My students LOVE my sight word roads. They beg for them!! What I love about them is that they are differentiated and help my students with particular skills. This child was working on decoding CVC words.
Another game that my students love is “Spin to Win.” In this game my students were working on solidifying their vowel sounds. We play this game “bump” style. Each student picked the color cube they wanted to be and covered the pictures that had the correct vowel sounds in them. If their friend’s piece was on a picture that had the vowel they spun, they could “bump” their piece off. If they spun a vowel sound that already had their piece on it, they could lock it up by adding a second block on top of their previous block.
My students also love games where they have to build words. In this game, they pick out a card and then use our movable alphabet to spell their word.
After their game, we dive into their text for the day. I front-load vocabulary with good old fashioned index cards. I have my students illustrate the words so that they will remember what the words say.
Then, before we read the book, we play “I spy” and highlight their new words. (I have my students color each word using a specific color so that they are very easy to recognize.)
By color coding the words, it makes the new words easier to read. My students love this little “help” and it makes them feel so confident when they read! (If you notice, with ‘jumped’ we highlighted jump one color and the ‘ed’ a different color. I taught a brief mini-lesson on adding “ed” to the end of words.)
Reading helpers also make reading so much fun!
By creating a safe place for students to read and making it fun and engaging, we can successfully develop young students who LOVE to read as opposed to dread to read! I hope that you can use some of these ideas in your guided reading groups.
As always, have fun teaching!