I LOVE teaching reading! I love watching the kids as they read their first book by themselves. I love seeing students who didn't like reading get sucked into a series. The only thing I don't like is managing the rest of the class while I have a reading group. If you look back over my posts this year, I have shared the different systems I've tried. I like to set up systems with little to no maintence in my room. Things need to stay consistent but challenging. None of my previous systems did that. Enter "Indpendent Reading" activities.
I slowly created and introduced independent reading activities to my kids. As their needs changed, I created new activities. My kids love doing independent reading because they aren't always doing the same worksheets. They now choose between 5 things:
1. Tic Tac Toe
2. Buddy Reading
3. Weekly Book Study
4. Response Letters
5. Think Marks
Because of the wide range of abilities in my room, EVERYTHING is differentiated. I tried to make the worksheets so that you could have students draw or write on them (when possible). The activities work for books at almost any level (a-c level books don't have a lot of substance to them). The fonts are easy to read and there are very few distractions on each page. Besides the title page, everything is in black and white for easy printing. There is lots of space for students to write (great for students who have poor handwriting).
Now while I meet with reading groups, my students choose an independent reading activity to do. When they have finished that, they work on (in any order):
Spelling page or test
Sight Words (with an adult)
Activity Pockets & other "games" from Fcrr.org and TPT, stored in work drawers for pairs of students. The games are sorted to work on targeted skills for each child.
(Sorry for the terrible pic)
Reading Skills Book which have worksheets that fit their needs pulled from different places...some are working on vowel sounds, some on blends, some have word families, some have inferencing pages...it all depends on their needs.
My students, aides, and I all agree that this is the best system we have done all year. It is flexible for students who have many therapies (and aide breaks), everyone is working on targeted skills, and it isn't dependent on a set time schedule so I can deal with meltdowns without disrupting the center rotations. You can grab my reading activities here!
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