Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Tips- Guest Post from Buzz Into Kinder

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be guest blogging today at the Kindergarten Pod! I am Carrie from Buzz Into Kinder and I thought I would share some of my guided reading tips today!

I hope you find something new to take and use in your classroom!

1. Monster Fingers or some sort of tracking device.
I will shamefully admit that I thought I could live without these and I did live with out these for almost three years of teaching. Then in casual conversation one day someone told me they were doing an oriental trading order. I asked if I could throw something in and split the shipping. So I grabbed these suckers. Now I don’t know how I lived without them. I had a kid ask me last week if I could put some of these in the treasure box! I think yes- if you want to point to words at home- let’s do it! Plus for when I can get  72 of something for $7.00 I am all about it.

2. Find noise makers you like and stick with them.
When I am in guided reading I don't plan for transition time. When I say rotate I mean walk quickly to your next center we don't have time for discussion. This is because I want to ensure that I squeeze every second out of the day and especially when it revolves around individualize instruction. This year I have two distinct noise makers one that means rotate and one that means we are getting too loud. I use a classic bell to switch and the the most wonderful sounding star wand to signal that we need to lower voices. The best part about the star wand is that it starts off at a high pitch and slowly fades out. FYI I am not musically inclined it could start off low but either way it starts loud and fades. Best part is- this star wand is 5.95! One of my teammates bought one and then we all had to have it!
You could also make a fun rainstick out of a paper towel roll and some cool duct tape!

3. Elkonin Boxes and Making Words Cards
This activity is definitely a favorite in my classroom. My kids love making words and I love it because it really tells me who can segment sounds, who knows letter recognition, and who truly knows and can apply their letter sound knowledge. I have this handy little tool kit from Home Depot to store my letters and I printed the vowels on yellow paper. 
I also use elkonin boxes when we use these cards. I think it helps the students to visualize how many sounds they are listening for and allows them to have a place for their letters or possibly I am slightly OCD.
If you need some new Elkonin Boxes download them for free at the end of this post!

4. Have a "Turn It In" Bucket
If you are going to have students completing work at other centers that you want to look at have them turn it into a bucket or have them keep it at their seats. As you can see my bucket is nothing fancy. Just a place located next to my reading table so when a student comes to the table to turn it in you can point quickly and quietly to the bucket.

5. Showcase
Showcase and reward the students who put in tons of extra effort at their centers. Not only do I want the students at my reading group working to their fullest potential I want ALL my students working. Students know at the end centers I will go through my bucket. Students who do an excellent job on their work can put it up on the "Super Center Work" board. Students who need a little bit of extra help on their center will complete it as morning work or during our intensive instruction time at the end of the day.

6. Have Buckets for Each Group
These little buckets were the best thing I have ever made. They are labeled for each of my groups and have the books I will be working during the week. These buckets make it so I have everything I may need at my finger tips!

 Thanks so much for letting me guest post today!

1 comment:

  1. Great tips Carrie! I can't wait to make the display area for extra good center work! And I LOVE the letter storage center for the Elkonin boxes. Thanks so much!


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