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Guided Reading Series: Using Linking Charts

Using Linking Charts in Guided Reading to build automaticity and fluency with sounds

As some of us are heading back to school soon, I am beginning a new series of blog posts for guided reading!  First up is using sound linking charts to help students learn and retain the correct sounds for letters and groups of letters.  

Using Linking Charts in Guided Reading

I use linking charts all the time.  This ABC linking chart is from When Readers Struggle.  I have my kindergarten students read this chart every day at the beginning of school.  I like this one because it teaches both sounds for the vowels.  
We read it forwards  and once we get good at that, we read it backwards or one row per student.  I like to call out a sound and they find the letter and mark it with a pom pom.  Or when we get really good at it, I ask them to find the letter 1 over from the Qq.  That gets in two steps.  I need them to know these sounds automatically.  I like to keep this chart in our Readers Notebooks to refer to when reading or writing to make links between the letters/pictures/sounds.


Using Linking Charts in Guided Reading

My RTI students also need linking charts.  Again, we read them in all kinds of ways- forwards, backwards, one row per student.  Just takes a few minutes to do this quickly.  If your students can handle it, adding fun pointers helps with engagement.  If they cannot, fingers work fine!

Using Linking Charts in Guided Reading

On this long vowel silent e chart, buttons were used to mark chunks.  You can use buttons, pom poms, beans, etc...  I call out a word or even a chunk and students have to find the picture that goes with it.   Find the picture that has the /ine/ chunk.  They can find it and mark that space.  Keep it quick and moving!

Using Linking Charts in Guided Reading

Another step in linking charts is to remove the picture clues.  Call out the picture clue that used to be there or just call out a word that contains the chunk.  Students find the chunk and then with dry erase markers they write the word right on the plastic sleeve in the box.  You are trying to build automaticity and fluency with these targeted sounds.

Using Linking Charts in Guided Reading

I also have charts that have the pictures with the sound chunks removed.  I can call out the picture, a chunk or to make it even higher learning if they are ready, I can call out a word that has the same chunk as one of the pictures.  Then the students would write the word again in dry erase marker right in the boxes.  

When you use linking charts, it is a good idea to have 3 sets of each one.  The first one to start with would include the pictures and words/letters/chunks.  The next one you could move to would be the exact same chart with words/letters/chunks removed leaving only the pictures as their link to what chunks or letters to use.  Last, use the same chart, but with pictures removed.  This way students are using the letter chunks to link to other words.

You can click the pictures to see linking charts.  I did not include a photo of my Blends & Digraphs chart- click here.  All of my charts are included in my intervention binders.

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Next week will be the next post in my guided reading series!  Be sure to check back then!


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Recharge, Reflect & Regroup: Summer PD

Teacher Resources for Summer PD

If you are like most teachers, you need the summer to recharge your teacher batteries!  I know I do.  It doesn't take long and I am thinking about the next group of students that will be walking through my door for back to school.  

Teachers recharging for the summer
Thank you Teacher2Teacher for the graphic!

I just got back from a vacation to Colorado that helped me recharge.  Whether you go somewhere or stay home, a teacher needs a bit of time to slow down a bit, think of something other than school, and get re-engergized.  When I have done that, I am more in a state of mind to reflect on the past year and regroup for the changes I want to make in the upcoming year.   Actually, my brain likes to start this about April!  Anyone else like that?  I kind of have to bring that in because it is a bit early to start that!

Teacher Resources for Summer PD Who's Doing the Work

If you have been reading blogs, following teacher Facebook pages or been on Twitter lately, then you know about this book.  I found this book to be a quick read  and full of easy to implement ideas.  The premise is having students do the thinking and problem solving instead of the teacher doing this for them.  As students work through how to solve problems in reading, they tend to show more growth than students who appeal to the teacher getting her to give prompts on what they could try to solve it.  I especially liked the chapter on shared reading and will mainly be using it to tweak this time in my classroom.  

Teacher Resources for Summer PD Kids Deserve It

This book came in while I was away on my trip.  It is about building engagement in your lessons and relationships with your students.  These are two areas that are very big in our school's new evaluation system.  You may also recognize this book from social media right now.

Teacher Resources for Summer PD The Reading Strategies Book

The Reading Strategies Book is full of ideas for teaching different reading skills and strategies.  I like that there are visuals included for the lessons.  I am a visual learner for sure!  Having pictures of actual anchor charts and other teaching aides is a big bonus!  I want to go over this book a little more this summer.  I would like to mark a few more of the ideas to try out this next year.  Jen Serravallo has short podcasts that you can listen to also.  Just search her name for the pod casts.

Teacher Resources for Summer PD Next Steps in Guided Reading

If you teach guided reading groups this is a great book for you!  Actually, one of these is the guided reading book, one is dvds where you can watch Jan Richardson teach lessons, and one goes with the dvds.  Great ideas and again, because I am a visual learner, I enjoy watching the dvds.
So these will be my summer professional development from home this year!  We start back in early August (summer goes by way too fast) so I've got ideas going and lists forming.  So how about you?  What teacher resources are you reading this summer?

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