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Table Baskets and Retelling

What to keep in Table Baskets for Guided Reading Tables

It's that time of year we get all of our materials set up and ready for guided reading.  I wanted to give you a peek of how my table baskets are set up.  Be sure to read to the end, there are are couple of freebies!

What to keep in Table Baskets for Guided Reading Tables

Here is my list of items for guided reading table baskets.  Every basic item the students might need go in these baskets so we don't lose any of our precious reading minutes.

1.  Pencil and Eraser:  That is pretty basic!  I like to keep a big eraser in there too.  My students wear the erasers right off the top of our pencils.  They wear down the pencil caps quickly too.  So I take the big erasers and break them in half.

2.  Red Pencils:  We don't use the red pencils for checking!  I have students write the chunks of words during word study in red so the spelling of the chunk stands out to them more, like in this picture below.

Long Vowels and Short Vowels Word Sorting Activities

3.  Dry Erase Marker and Eraser:  This is self explanatory.  I like the make up puffs from Dollar Tree for erasers.

4.  Reading Strategies Bookmark:  We get our bookmarks out when we read in case we need help during tricky parts.

5.  Magnetic Letter Cups:  These came from the Dollar Store and are the perfect size for magnetic letters when building a word during word work.  You can see the post on these cups here and in the picture below.

Keeping Magnetic Letters Organized for Word Work

6.  Paint Strips:  Ask for these at the paint store and they will most likely allow you to have them.  They are always very nice to me when I ask to have some for my class.  I laminate the strips so students can write on them as they stretch out sounds in words as they write.  

7.  Buttons or PomPoms:  The buttons and PomPoms are for marking letters or spelling patterns on linking sounds anchor charts.  You can read about the different activities we do with linking charts here and see it below.

Activities for Linking Sounds Anchor Charts

8.  Retelling Bookmarks:  Something new I am trying this year.  My students sometimes a visual for their retellings.  So we are going to keep retelling bookmarks in our table baskets too.  After reading our guided reading story and discussing it, we turn to our partner and do a quick retelling to each other. If you need these just click here to sign up for our newsletter to get them free!  If you are already signed up, the bookmarks, both versions, are in your free resources link.  I will be sending out a newsletter this week with the link if you have forgotten it.  

Retelling Bookmarks for Retelling Activities

How excited is everyone in your school about the eclipse?  I know we definitely are!  If you would like this solar eclipse certificate, you can also get it FREE by signing up for the newsletter!  Click here to do that.

Solar Eclipse Certificate


CVC Word Work Activities

You can click here to check out the new cvc resource we now have available!

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Pigeon, Mo, Kohls and Fun!

Mo Willems stuffed animals from Kohls

Were you one of the many teachers who went to Kohl's and got the Mo Willems animals?  I was so excited to get mine!  My students adore the Mo Willems books, so I know they are going to be beyond thrilled to see these little guys in my classroom.

Pigeon is one of my students' favorites.  They can't seem to get enough of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.  Maybe because they identify with Pigeon and being told no!  😀  

Pigeon Activities

Students can take the patterns from the Pigeon books and write their own comments from Pigeon's point of view for Don't Let the Pigeon Cook Our Lunch!

Pigeon craft and activities

Hmmm...what would Pigeon fix?  Hotdogs?  Cookies?  

Pigeon Activities and Craft

Students can write Pigeon a letter, write a book recommendation (or a I don't recommend- but who wouldn't recommend a Pigeon book??), and use evidence from the text to prove what they think about the story.

Pigeon Craft and Activities

My students are needing practice with retelling.  Several of them just seem to struggle with this skill.  There are two different retellings that can be used with this.  Plus, 2 cause and effects.  Click here to see this!

Scooping Words into phrases fluency Activities

Don't forget about the Scoop It Up! Fluency Intervention Binders if one of your goals this year is to improve reading fluency!  Click here to check it out!

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DATA...It's Not A Four Letter Word

RTI Data and RTI Tips

DATA...It is not a four letter word.  Okay, technically it is a four letter word.  But data is not a bad word.  Neither is RTI.  With a few tips and some organization, RTI can be the process that improves your student learning.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips

I have heard of schools progress monitoring whenever they decide and some requiring teachers to progress monitor every day!  Neither is good or productive.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips Progress Monitoring

Our school progress monitors once a week.  Some schools assess once every two weeks.  Whatever your school decides to do, it should be at  regular intervals to give you the best data.  Keep track of the results in RTI Data Notebooks.

RTI Data and RTI Tips

Goal lines are so important.  You want to figure the goal and plot it out across the graph for the amount of time the student will be in RTI.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips Using Goal Lines

In the picture above, the goal line has been plotted in blue.  Then each week, the progress monitoring result was plotted in red.  You want to check if the weekly assessments are keeping close to the goal line or above.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips

This lets you know whether the student is on track for meeting the goal at the end of RTI time.  
RTI Data and RTI Tips

If after several weeks, improvement is not being shown, you should adjust your teaching to see if that helps improve learning or determine if this is in fact the correct intervention that the student needs at this time.

RTI Data and RTI Tips

RTI Data and RTI Tips Organizing and Managing Data

Not only should the teacher be graphing and documenting student progress, the student should also do this in their own notebook.  They enjoy seeing their progress and it helps them to take ownership of their learning.

RTI Data and RTI Tips How to Manage RTI Meetings

As I said above, the weekly data is only ONE piece of the RTI puzzle.  You and your committee need to take many other items into consideration as you meet to discuss students.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips

Before our committee meets, I make graphs for each student that contains all their information and data that would be relevant to our meeting.  We need this information as we vote to make decisions on each student.  This Editable RTI Meeting Guide can be found HERE.

I hope these RTI tips help you to see data as a positive thing that truly helps students needing intervention instruction.  RTI Data Notebooks for teachers and students are available for grades K-5.  You can find them HERE.

Sign up for free resources and newsletters HERE!  

Build Student Fluency through Phrases with Fluency Intervention Binders

Fluency Intervention Binders- Sets A thru E are available as individual binders or as a bundle!  Helps students build fluency through reading in phrases.  

Back To School Teacher Survival Kit

Back to School Teacher Survival Kit

Already, it is almost Back to School time!  As I start thinking about getting my room put back together, I am thinking about my Teacher Survival Kit!  A Teacher Survival Kit should include things you might need during the day or night at school that you may or may not carry with you in your purse.   It can just make your day easier when you have a little problem to fix up!

Back to School Teacher Survival Kit

I like to think of it as things I can always have on hand in case I run out of it in my purse, forget to bring it or something comes up like an unexpected parent conference!

Back to School Teacher Survival Kit

I bring my lunch every day to school, but sometimes I just need a little more or once in a while I forget my lunch.  Having a couple snacks put back is always nice to have for those days you just get a little hungry!  I like to have gum/mints to take care of that coffee breath!  
As a title 1 teacher, there are several nights during the year that I have to stay late.  Already having a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash helps me not to have to remember to bring mine from home.  Same for the hairspray and deodorant.  I like knowing it's there and I don't have to remember to cart everything back and forth.
Some little things that are important for me are hair ties.  There are just some days that the hair MUST go up!  😃 For some reason, I can't keep one in my purse.  Spare earrings are good to keep too in case you have forgotten that morning.  Chap Stick, Excedrin and clippers are always things I am needing.  Other teachers told me about keeping a Tide pen for those times you get something on your shirt.  A dollar for snacks or a drink is a good idea too!

Anything you add to your Teacher Survival Kit??  Pack one for yourself or for a teacher friend!

Just in time as Back to School gets going, we have this Welcome Banner and student response pennants for you!

You can print them both or just use the welcome banner by itself.  Print it, attach some ribbon if you wish, and hang it up for a colorful welcome to your room!

The student response pennants are a quick way to get to know your students!  
You can grab this freebie here!

Meeting Your RTI and Literacy Needs:

Word Work Phonics Intervention Binders

Fluency Intervention Binders

Let's Talk Fluency: Building and Strengthening

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Reading with fluency can be a difficult thing to achieve for some readers.  Fluency needs to be modeled, practiced, and approached in a strategic manner for those that it does not come naturally.  Fluency activities also need to be multi-dimensional.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

One of the sayings in my room is that fluent reading sounds like talking!  Then we talk about what that means.  And what that doesn't mean too.  We don't normally talk super fast or super slow.  That our rate actually changes, our voices go up and down and we use expression.  All of this helps the listener to understand or comprehend the meaning behind what we are saying.  Good fluency leads to better comprehension and that is what reading is all about!

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

One thing we work on to improve our fluency is to practice scooping words into phrases.  Readers who do not have good fluency will not automatically read this way.  They may either read word by word or they may read so fast the words blend into each other.  Either way, comprehension is affected.  

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Modeling and practicing how to scoop words together is important.   Students can help scoop the words into phrases using chart paper and poems.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

You can take a page or passage from a book and write it on chart paper for students to help scoop into phrases.  Or use a document camera and your Smartboard!  But modeling and practice are going to be essential to gaining improvement.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Sometimes a lack of fluency is partially because of the student's accuracy.  They may not have a large enough bank of learned sight words.  Sight words must be automatic to allow the reader to keep the right pace when they read.  So one of activities that my students do is to practice sight words in different fun ways until they do become automatic.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Students also can do a quick phrasing practice with words that are already scooped together for them.  I like for students to hear me model what it sounds like too!  They don't need to spend lots of time on this.  Just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.  You can get this practice in small groups during reading, literacy centers, and during RTI intervention groups.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Keep the practice fun and engaging by including games!  Students can play by themselves or with a partner and practice scooping!

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Some students need the next step of scooping phrases with the support of having the phrasing already done for them.  Once they get the feel for this, phrasing will feel more natural to them.  

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

We also need to be sure that students attend to punctuation as they read and practice scooping words into phrases.  They need to understand that the punctuation is very important to comprehension.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

A fun way to practice is to read with different expressions!  
Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

The point of fluency is for it to lead to better comprehension.  You can use quick checks like these to check in on both the student's fluency and their comprehension.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

You can find these 5 Fluency Intervention sets here.  They are available individually or as a bundle.  Each intervention binder has a level so as your readers increase levels they be moved to the next level if needed.  

Free Resources