Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reading Update

We've now been back in school for three days and I've started implementing some new things in my class. The first new thing is Daily 5. The first day was wonderful and magical. The kids read for the whole 3 minutes with no problems at all. Yesterday and Today not so much. We've only made it like a minute in a half. It's really only one or two kids that are struggling with reading the whole time. They seem to understand why we're practicing reading and are buying into it. We'll just keep practicing.
Another new thing that I've started is the bucket filling. This is going really well. I haven't made my bucket yet for class bucket filling. I've got way too many things going on right now. But we've been discussing it everyday and using the language. It seems to be affecting the way they are treating each other. They are being kinder to each other and all I have to do is say are you being a bucket filler or a bucket dipper. I've been proud of them. Then again it's only 3 days in. We'll see if we keep it up.
I've mentioned several times about the fluency and phonics workshop I went to before break with Tim Rasinksi. Dr. Jean mentioned me in her blog yesterday which was unbelievable. I also found out that she's coming to Knoxville in April and I'm determined to go. She said she'd love to give me a hug and sing a new song with me. Made my day! Anyway, we haven't tried out our song books yet. I've got them all made but they haven't made it to the carpet area yet. But I've been working on some other fluency and vocabulary ideas.
The first is our poem and fluency routine. We are working on the poem Five Little Fishes. I read it yesterday and then they echoed me in reading it. They took the poem home for homework for the week. Monday night they had to read the poem with their parents and then illustrate it. Tonight's homework was to find all the letter f in the poem. We reread the poem today where our student of the day tracked it. Then we looked for our sight words. I've been telling them that we're learning to be good readers and practicing. I also told them that on Friday they will have the opportunity to read the poem to the class. I'm excited to see how many of them try to do this.
Click Here to get the sheet.

The next idea that  I got from Rasinksi is using word walls that the kids create themselves. He calls it harvesting words. When you read books with the kids, you have them look for words that interest them. So yesterday we read our book for the week, "Animal Babies: An ABC book." I told the kids to listen for words that they thought were interesting. We read about half the book and they I asked them what they thought. This was a mistake. They didn't really understand what I was talking about. They just named different animals. So then we talked about how we were looking for interesting words that maybe they didn't know what they were. So we stopped after a couple of pages this time and they came up with a few words. I wrote nightingale, snug, quills, and herd . I want to make a poster that says interesting words that we can use each week. But right now they are just written on the board. Today we talked about what the words meant and read them. Then when we reread the book they added two more words; cria and kits. They were into looking for interesting words. My plan was to have the students use the words in sentences today but the day got away from me. So tomorrow we'll try this. This seemed to get the kids thinking about words. They also were on the look out for these words as we read the book. We're studying about animals this week so we should get some good vocabulary in. What do you do for vocabulary building in your class? I loved the discussion that followed my last post on fluency and Rasinski. I'd love to keep the discussion going.


  1. I love the harvesting of words idea! I know the name Rasinski, but I can't place it. Has he written a book?

    Daily 5 will get better. Promise.

    I love bucket filling. My class made a classroom book about it this year. you're interested.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love Rasinski's ideas! I use a lot of his ideas for fluency with my struggling readers. This one is a cute idea!