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Summer Stock Up!

26 Jun

Summer is FINALLY here for us WNY teachers! My last day of school was yesterday, and I am beyond ready to relax and recharge. Of course, in between relaxing and recharging, I will be planning and thinking ahead to next year. (Do teachers really ever take a break?!) The summer always goes by fast, so I’ve decided to pull together some resources for a Summer Stock Up event to help us get ready for next year. Stock up now so you can relax and enjoy the last bit of summer! 🙂 Summer Stock Up This past year, I’ve been slowly building-up my fluency toolbox and creating resources that can be used as interventions with my RTI students. I like to dig deep into fluency and really target the specific area of fluency they struggle with. (Pace? Phrasing? Expression? Attention to Punctuation?) With a new year of fluency groups in mind, it is my summer goal to finish my growing collection of differentiated “Scoop It” Fluency Phrasing Task Cards.  Slide03 “Scoop It” Fluency Phrasing Task Cards are geared toward elementary-level students. They’re easy to use and perfect for the classroom! They can be used in many ways and are helpful for introducing, reviewing, practicing, and assessing fluency phrasing with your students.

(Sets 1-8 are ALL currently available on TpT!) 

These task card sets can be sent home for practice, used as a center, incorporated into Daily Five, or used in small groups. Directions and suggestions for use are included with each set. Scoop It Product Details Each “Scoop It” Fluency Phrasing Task Card set includes the same components, but just increases in difficulty. You can purchase one set, or you can purchase the whole collection! IMG_7212 There are two formats of task cards within each set. The task cards with scoop lines are perfect for students to practice reading with phrasing, following the scoop lines with their fingers as they read. Scoop It Reading Task Cards The task cards without scoops are helpful for students who need practice with identifying appropriate phrases within a sentence. If you laminate the cards, students can draw in the scoop lines (using dry-erase markers) and can practice grouping the different words together. They can then practice reading the sentences afterward. Scoop It Interactive Cards The 48 task cards in each set each feature a targeted phonics pattern. Set 1 starts off with pre-primer words and basic CVC word patterns. Each set increases in difficulty. By Set 6, your students will be interacting with multi-syllable words and complex vowel patterns. Use multiple task card sets to differentiate your practice and instruction. IMG_7217All of the “Scoop It” task card sets are currently available in my MsJordanReads store. The collection consists of the following sets:

There is also a “Scoop It” Fluency Phrasing Task Card Bundle if you’re interested in grabbing all the sets at once and at a discounted price.

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“Scoop It” Freebie & Giveaway

Be sure to stop by my Facebook page this weekend to download a FREE sample of my newest “Scoop It” Fluency Phrasing Task Cards (Set 2). Just look for my “Summer Stock Up” tab to download it. When you’re done, click “More Freebies” to stock up on additional resources from the other participants and see their products in action! Also, as part of this wonderful Summer Stock Up event, I am offering a giveaway for TWO lucky winners! Each winner will receive the completed “Scoop It” sets that are currently available in my store. Enter by completing the form below. I will be randomly choosing the winners Friday, July 3rd and announcing on my Facebook page. The winners will also be notified by email!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! Thank you to everyone who entered. A huge CONGRATULATIONS to Allison Kieffner & Jennifer Lyman for winning my “Scoop It!” Fluency Task Card giveaway! (An email will be sent with the resources!)

Blog to FB Image

Happy Summer!

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Summer Blog Party Kick Off Hop!

19 Jun

Summer Blog Party Post Header

Welcome to 2nd Stop of the Summer Blog Party Kick Off Hop! 

First, I want to shout out a HUGE thank you to Carla at Comprehension Connection for organizing this wonderful summer blog hop! I’m always amazed at how she brings together such a diverse group of literacy specialists to collaborate on blogging events such as this one. (Thanks, Carla!)

Our goal with this blog hop is to bring you tips and resources for avoiding the dreaded “summer slide.” Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, this blog hop is for you! Be sure to hop through all the way to the end because we will be raffling off TWO $25 gift certificates to Teachers Pay Teachers.

This is the 2nd stop, so if you’re just joining us, you may want to hop back to the Carla’s post HERE so you can start at the very beginning.

As you may have read in Carla’s earlier post, this blog hop is the official “kick-off” event for a fabulous, summer-long blogging series. Every Wednesday, throughout the summer, bloggers from “The Reading Crew” will be linking-up their blog posts, focusing on specific literacy-related topics. (Read more about the blog topics and schedule HERE.)

 

Prevent the Summer Slide with Fluency

My focus for this blog hop is FLUENCY! Practicing oral reading fluency throughout the summer is a great way for children to further develop reading skills and prevent summer regression.

Fluency is the glue that holds together oral reading and comprehension. Without fluency, your child may have a difficult time understanding the text they are reading. It is the path to comprehension and is a key foundational skill for children who are learning to read.

There are many resources and activities you can use to develop fluency skills. Many of the activities are free and just require books or texts at your child’s “independent level.” The goal is not to challenge your child with complex phonics patterns or unknown words, but to have them interact with texts that are on the easier side. This transfers the focus from “word reading” to “reading for meaning.”

Over the past few years, I’ve shared many fluency activities for teachers to use in the classroom; however, many of these activities can be used at home, as well.

Here are a few fluency activities that you can try at home:

Rereading

Rereading texts is one of the best ways to improve oral reading fluency (and comprehension!). After the first read-through, students are more familiar with the words and can focus on grouping words together, adding expression, and stopping at punctuation. They can also try to improve their reading pace. Although reading speed is not the biggest focus of fluency, an improved pace will subsequently improve your child’s comprehension of texts. The pace should increase naturally as your child completes multiple readings of the same text!

Poetry

Poetry is a great way for children to practice fluency! Typically, poems are short enough that they can complete multiple readings in one sitting. If your child needs fluency practice, he/she would benefit from listening to someone read each poem with “good fluency” first before practicing it. As a parent, you can model the poem and then have your child “echo read” each line to build up accuracy and phrasing. It takes away the “unknown word barrier” and allows your child to focus on changing his/her voice to sound like you! Poetry is an effective resource that allows children to practice all the components of fluency at once.

Audio Recording

Having children record themselves reading is an extremely powerful fluency tool! There are many free programs out there that are easy to use and allow kids to record their reading (i.e., Audacity for computers, iTalk for Apple devices, etc.). The playback feature of these recordings is the key to fluency development and can build self-awareness for kids regarding HOW they sound as readers. Many children don’t even realize how disfluent they actually are! With the playback feature, your child can listen to his/her recordings and reflect on the different parts of fluency. Encourage your child to answer the following questions: Did I read with appropriate pace? Did I read with phrasing? Did I read with expression? Did I attend to punctuation? Through reflections, your child can set goals and try to make changes. He/she can later compare repeated readings and listen for improvements.

Audio Books

Audio books are wonderful for summer break! With these “books-on-tape,” kids can follow along in a text as someone else reads to them. The power of modeled fluency is HUGE. Your child can listen to how fluent readers group their words together into phrases, change their voices to match character emotions and punctuation, pause appropriately after phrasing and punctuation, and apply intonation.

As our world becomes more digital, there are websites popping up everywhere that offer “Read to Me” books, such as Reading A-Z, Epic!, Farfaria, MeeGenius and more! Hundreds of books-on-CD and audio books are also available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.

If you’re looking for a few free audio books to start with, NOOK Read to Me Books are fabulous and can be used on any device you can download the app to. (My students listen and read the free NOOK “Read to Me” books I’ve downloaded through the NOOK app on our iPads.) Also, if your local library is like mine, you can download audio books to your personal device via their website, using software such as Overdrive. This is a great way to bring new audio books into your home or classroom each week. If you have a long car trip coming up, audio books are an extremely valuable way to fill the time!

“Fluency Fun” Picture Books

If you are already reading with your child, why not pick some fun fluency books? These picture books will be sure to bring out your best phrasing and expression. Be silly. Have fun. Show off your fluency!

The books listed below are my favorite for modeling and practicing fluency, especially expression. Use them for read-alouds, partner reading, and choral reading (reading at the same time). You can even read them at bedtime!

Daily Fluency Task Cards — Summer FREEBIE!

For my blog hop freebie, I’m sharing my SUMMER set of seasonal Daily Fluency task cards. This resource is perfect for parents looking to further develop their child’s fluency skills. The resource is also great for teachers who are tutoring or teaching summer school during the summer months!

The fluency task cards in this set are geared toward grades 2/3 and focus on the four major components of fluency: Pace, Phrasing, Expression, and Attention to Punctuation. (Want to learn more about each of the fluency components? Download my free “What is Fluency?” Reference Sheet HERE, or read more about fluency HERE!)

Daily Fluency Task Cards SUMMER

(Download this free resource HERE or by clicking the image above!)

How to Use Fluency Task Cards at Home

After modeling and going over the directions listed for each task, your child should be able to use these fluency task cards independently. You can put the cards on a key ring, organize them in an index card box, or even put them in a dollar store photo book. Each day, have your child complete 1-2 task cards and record the completed task cards on the task card log. There are four sets for your child to rotate through.

You child should practice each task card aloud a few times. (Repeated readings are built into each task.) You can even create a DIY whisper phone using PVC pipes so they can monitor their fluency and hear themselves read! Every task has a specific fluency focus (i.e., pace, phrasing, expression, punctuation), but you will find that students will need to combine fluency skills to complete each card.

Tips for Promoting Summer Fluency Development

Obviously, fluency is not a skill that develops overnight. Like most reading skills, it takes consistent practice and requires your child to read EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Here is a review of a few tips and suggestions I shared in this post to help you promote fluency development at home this summer:

  • Encourage repeated reading (reading a text multiple times)
  • Read lots of poetry
  • Choose books that are at easier levels
  • Build in time everyday for your child to practice reading
  • Read to your child to model appropriate fluency
  • Encourage your child to read along with audio books
  • Have your child record their voice while reading to reflect and set goals
  • Switch it up — echo read, choral read, and partner read
  • Complete fluency task cards! 🙂

Hop on over to the next stop, and check out Jessica’s post from Literacy Spark

Next Stop

Happy Summer & Happy Hopping!

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**This post contains affiliate links. Click HERE to learn what that means!

Roll-a-Dice Literacy Fun!

11 Aug

Let’s Shake & Roll!

With my small group pull-out sessions limited to half-hour increments, I’m always looking for quick (fun!) reading and writing activities to reinforce literacy skills. For some reason though, when I think of dice games, my mind always jumps to math and probability. Little did I know, there’s a whole WORLD of possibilities for using dice with literacy! My mind is churning (uh oh!) and I’m already making lists of all the resources I want to create. I have a feeling this year will be fun as I continue to explore and develop literacy-focused dice activities to use with my students. It may be a little loud, too…

Here’s a sample of what I’ve been creating. I hope you find these resources helpful as you head back to school and continue to build up your own instructional toolbox!

Roll-a-Story!

This summer I taught a writing workshop at a local bookstore and had my students create story starters using the  following Roll-a-Story chart. With each roll of the dice (three total!), the students had a character, setting, and problem to use as a basis for their creative stories.

(Download your copy here or click the picture below!)

Once students collected their three story elements, they recorded them on a graphic organizer (included in freebie!) and planned out the rest of the story. If they weren’t happy with their story starter, they were able to roll again, but I did have to put a time-limit on this loud, rolling fun.

Roll-an-Emotion!

For fluency practice, I created a Roll-an-Emotion! activity to reinforce reading with expression. Essentially, students roll-a-dice two times… once to determine which word/phrase card to read, and a second time to determine which emotion to apply to their reading! Cards are not included in the sample, but you can use any cards you have that list simple words, phrases, or sentences.

(Download your copy here or click the picture below!)

(Note: This is a sample activity page from my Fluency Boot Camp product which I referenced in my “Fluency Boot Camp!” blog post this past February. It is my most popular product and includes everything you need to get started with fluency, including phrase and sentence cards. Feel free to check it out!)

Roll-a-Reading Partner!

It’s “clock partners” with a twist! Each student has to find six reading partners and record their names on the planner, one partner in each spot (see picture below). The trick is for the partner to write the corresponding student’s name in the same exact spot or it won’t work! The teacher or class helper rolls the dice and whatever number is rolled will be the listed dice partner pairs for the task/activity. Big foam dice are perfect for this!

(Download your copy here or click the picture below!)

Other FREE Resources for Dice Activities

All Things Dice:

Reading:

Writing:

Technology:

(NOTE: For variation with activities, you can make choices more challenging by using numbers greater than 6 and having students add the numbers of the two dice!)

A Tip for Your Sanity

Here’s a helpful management tip I came across that will prevent flying dice in your classroom! It’s still loud, but it helps… a lot. Use small plastic container to contain the individual dice. (Isn’t that brilliant?!) Of course, being slightly addicted, I found this wonderful idea on Pinterest (shared by Sunny Days in Second Grade, who also got the idea from Pinterest). For my small groups, I bought a package of small plastic containers and filled each with one or two dice. My sanity is still intact, and my teaching colleagues whom I share a room with don’t hate me as much since my students aren’t distracting their groups trying to find their dice. I guess I should change all my product titles to “Shake-a-Dice” activities now though. 🙂

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If noise is an issue, you can use foam dice (large or small) or even colorful foam sheets as individual dice placemats for each student! It doesn’t prevent rolling or bouncing, but it does help with the noise.

Happy Back-to-School Teaching!

**This post contains affiliate links. Click HERE to learn what that means!

Looking for additional materials?

Check out my Roll-a-Dice Activity category page here and {Roll-a-Story} Writing category page here! I’ll be working on the remaining calendar month Roll-a-Story products this month. Start your collection today and keep checking back for new ones!  New products will be added to this category throughout the year!

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NEWS & UPDATES

Announcing a 2-Day Back-to-School Sale at TpT!

Also… did you hear there’s a HUGE Back-to-School sale going on at Teachers Pay Teachers from August 12th to August 13th? Hundreds of stores are participating, including me! All products at MsJordanReads are 20% off, but be sure to use coupon code BTS12 when you check-out for an additional 10% off!

New Products Added!

Check out my newest products I recently added to my TpT and TN stores:

 

Back-to-School Bonanza at Teachers Notebook

 

Teachers Notebook 

20% off my store from 8/11 – 8/15 with a great giveaway this weekend!

Summer Olympics 2012… Some Gold Medal Ideas!

26 Jul

Are you ready for the Summer Olympics 2012?

 Go, Team USA!

If you’re interested in bringing the Summer Olympic excitement into your home or classroom, here are some great Summer Olympic-themed educational books and activities to use with your kids, students, or summer programs. There are a TON of great resources and educational materials just a click away!

Books

Have you heard of the new book called Olympig?

Olympig is a phenomenal story by Victoria Jamieson, author and illustrator of books for young children. Not only is it an inspiring story about a pig who never gives up, but it creates perfect opportunities to learn about the real Olympics that are taking place this summer, starting with the opening ceremonies tomorrow night! Victoria even shared activities and printable pages to go with her new book!

Watch the book trailer below! Buy it from Amazon or local bookstores near you!

 

Interested in other Olympics-themed books?

Check out this Reading Rockets article, “Winning Books About the Olympics and Fun Summer Sports.”

Websites

Activities

Challenge your kids or students to a Summer Reading Olympics Challenge. Check out what a local children’s bookstore, Monkey See… Monkey Do… Children’s Bookstore, is sponsoring for kids in a community near me. Kids complete logs and reviews to submit for a chance to win Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals! Check them out here! (If you’re in the Buffalo, NY area, be sure to participate in this great event that’s still taking place until next week!)

Want to do you own Summer Reading Olympics?

Tell your students or kids to create a neighborhood challenge or a book club with their friends to see who can read the most books! You can even do an opening ceremony using ideas from Victoria Jamieson’s website that she shared along with her new book, Olympig!

Looking for additional printables?

Download my FREE Summer Olympic Choice Board Template

…or purchase a complete 18-page activity packet here!

 

Do you have additional ideas for learning about the Summer Olympics?

Comment below to share them with our blogging community!

Happy Teaching!

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