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Sunday, May 4, 2014


Lindsey Gates (K Teacher, Crittenden - Mt. Zion Elementary) told me about her reading calendar at a recent workshop.  I thought it was a BRILLIANT way to organize skills and reinforce standards each day.  The results in her classroom have been amazing!  If anybody borrows or harvests (adapts) Lindsey's idea, you need to give her credit because she should win a prize for sharing this activity!

Here is a picture of my reading calendar. Since I started this part way through the school year it will look a little different to start the year and transition as the students learn new skills and as the teacher realizes what skills the kiddos most need to work on. I have set aside about 20-30 minutes for this every morning, but it doesn't always take us that long.

1- Beginning sounds
I show 4 pictures with 2 of the 4 starting with the same sound. On the first day we identify the sound at the beginning and decide which 2 start the same. On the second day we come up with other words that begin the same. On the third and fourth days the kiddos come up with words that begin like the other two pictures. On the fifth day I give them a word and they have to decide which picture it sounds like at the beginning.

2- Ending sounds
I have a list of five pictures and the beginning and middle sounds written next to them. Each day we do one picture. We decide what sound we hear at the end by catching it and then coming up with a few words that end like that as well.

3- Word families
I give the class the word family and they come up with some. If they have trouble I will give them options between a few words to decide which one belongs.

4- Phoneme substitution
I give them a starting word and they help me spell it. I pick a sound to change and they tell me the new word. This is basically a word ladder without the ladder.

5- Onset and rimes
I give them an onset and a rime and have them tell me my word. Then we take away the onset and they tell me what is left and then we do the same thing with the rime and then we put it all together again.

6- Syllables
Kiddos put their hands under their chin and count the number of times their chin hits their hand to count the syllables. We sort the pictures by the number of syllables they have.

7- Medial vowel sound
We sort the pictures by their medial vowel sound. I use baggies so that the kiddos can still see the pictures if they need help.

8- High frequency words/ sight words
I have all 100 of our sight words in the blue container and we go through about 10 or 15 everyday.

9- Fix-a-sentence
I write a sentence incorrectly and the students have to tell me how to fix it. I start with a lower case letter, leave out spaces, spell things incorrectly, use the wrong form of the word and leave off end punctuation.

10- Nursery rhymes
We start off with them repeating it after me, we pat out the rhythm, make up motions and by the end of the week they have it memorized and can act it out on their own. (We sometimes do a finger play with this too!)

11- Rhyming
I show them 6 pictures and they help me organize them into rhyming sets. During the week we come up with other words that could also go in each group and I give them words to decide if they belong or don't belong.

If you have any questions please let me know. I found all of the pictures online using Bing or Google. I am planning ways to make this more appropriate for my kiddos at the start of the year and I will send that your way once I decide the most appropriate things to focus on. Everything can be done without pictures, but so many of my kids are visual learners and seeing the pictures helps them focus on the sound and not trying to remember what word I said. Another teacher does the same skills but does not have it up in her room. I am more visual as well.