Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guided Reading Small Groups

Happy Tuesday friends!  I have been meaning to get a post on how I run my Guided Reading Groups for for.ev.er.!  I get a lot of questions about what I do during reading groups and I how I run them.  I'll be honest...when I first started teaching 10 years ago, I dreaded pulling small groups.  I didn't know what to do with them...I didn't know how to teach them to read.  It pretty much was my least favorite time of my day.  Do you feel that way or have you ever felt that way?  Once, I got comfortable teaching reading it quickly became my one of my favorite times of my day.  I hope this post inspires your small groups a little.
All of the resources and tools can be found in my Guided Reading for Kinders pack HERE except the readers.

Here's how I set it all up:
I pull 3 groups of 5-6 kiddos.  Of course, they are grouped by reading ability.
I usually keep my groups 20 minutes each...however, sometimes I tend to go a little over with my lower babies and take a couple minutes off the middle to high groups.  It really all just depends on what I've got planned for that day and how they are doing in that moment.

Let's Break it Down:
3-5 minutes-alphabet review-we go over letters and sound every day...e.ver.y. day.  I have cards with each letter on them uppercase and lowercase mixed up.  With my low group we say the letter 3 times and the sound 3 times.  This is how I teach my kiddos to name letters and sound from Day 1 of school.  For example: I hold up letter M..they say, "m, m, m, says /m/, /m/, /m/ while rubbing their tummy for the motion to the sound.  I flip to the next card and we repeat.  We do our motions each time we say the letters and sounds at the beginning of the year.  As they get more familiar with this process it goes super fast.  With my higher groups, we will only say the letter and sound 1 time once I KNOW they KNOW it.
5 minutes-Letter/Sound Focus- this is when I will dive deep with our focus letter using our letter/sound cards.  (see picture below)  I also model the correct way to write the letter.  And, we do a super fun writing activity using our bodies!!  (See picture below.)  The kids adore it and I kinda do too!  So. Fun!  I just fan out the cards face down and let a student choose a card for us to use that day.  Sometimes we do two.  :)
5 minutes-Word Work & Writing- this is when we do our blending and building words.  We blend words that we will see in our reader that day.  I usually write them on my easel or a white board for them to read.  With my lower groups we do this together...a lot...I model how to blend and what blending is.  We use our blending ladders a. lot.  a lot a lot.  (see pictures below)  With my higher group I just play it by ear and give what they need.  Sooner than later I teach them to sound out the word in their head, then only say the word aloud.  Because eventually that's what I want them doing when reading their books...and that leads to fluency.  This allows the student to hear the sentence as a whole without all the sounds and such in between.  I try to let them write as much as possible because reading is writing,  and writing is reading right?  Did you get tongue tied reading that?  Pretty sure I did.
We also review sights words right here before we read our text.
5-7 minutes-Reading Text- We use Scott Foresman Reading Street so I use the readers that come with that program.  There's a ton of options from this series that I love.  They have all the leveled text, paper readers that we WRITE on, and even nonfiction readers.

And, that about sums it up...in a few words.  
Does every day goes as planned?  NO!
Do I get to all of this each day?  NO!  
But, I try really really hard.  Guided reading is seriously one of my favorite times of my day.  I love it so I think my kids love it.  If I don't get to meet with my kids I feel lost.
I am NO guided reading expert by any means.  But, I do what I feel my kids need from me most.  I adjust to meet their needs.  They give me inspiration and new ideas every day.  If one thing doesn't work, I tweak it until I think it works.
Is this the right way?  I have no idea.  I've gotten ideas from everywhere.
All I know is this works well for me and for my kiddos.  We get in our groove then we rock and roll...and READ!!  

Let me explain:

These are the letter cards I use for Alphabet Review every day.  We do all Uppercase and Lowercase mixed.
I have these task cards in my Guided Reading for Kinders pack.
These are those super fun ways to practice letter formation that I was talking about earlier in the post.  
Left: Using our Elbows
Right: Using our Hips

These are my Letter Focus Cards that are in my Guided Reading for Kinders pack.
I made these so I could grab the letter on a ring that I want to work on and it's all right there.
 Here's our blending cards in action.
We use letter tiles to blend a consonant with all the vowels. 
These cards are folded to make a double-sided card.  One side the vowels are in order and on the back they are mixed up.
 We are using our paper reader that comes with our reading series to read.  We also write on these readers...we circle letters, sight words, blends, digraphs, etc.
 We have all kinds of pointers that we use to read with.
 I also have this for reference on those tricky letters.  I have found that this visual really helps my kiddos a lot! 

Hopefully this answers some of those questions you may have had or gives you an idea or two that you can use while teaching your kids to read.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Well, I meant to already have this post up, but...life happens.  We celebrated my little one's 2nd birthday this weekend with a Jake/Pirate party!  So fun!  

Last week we learned all about apples and our centers were apple themed too!  Here's some of what went on in our little classroom last week.  You can find the apple centers HERE in my Apple Fun Unit.

For one of our counting centers, these little guys hang from our ceiling.  They love to walk around with their little clipboard and count the apples "up on top".  :)
More Math Centers
1.  The apples were put in number order 1-10.
2. Students counted the spots on the apples then wrote the matching number.
3. They had to find the number and matching number word.
4. They counted to ten frame and wrote the number.  

They are lovin' the pocket chart stories right now.
First the kiddos have to match the apple with the correct sentence.
Then, they complete the story.

Literacy Centers
 1. Bushel of Sight Words: I like this because they see the sight words in different fonts and with uppercase letters at the beginning of some words.  They had to read the sights words then write it on the line.
2. Let's Go Pickin': They pick an apple from the tree.  If it has an Aa they write it, if not they turn it back over and try again.
3. Easy as Pie:  They pick a pie "from the oven"...using a pot holder of course, and listen for the first sound.  They write the matching letter.
4.  Johnny Went Walking: Students get a clipboard and search the room for the "Johnnys"and write the letter.  Then, at the bottom they have to write the letters in ABC order.

 I love the way these Johnny Appleseed projects turned out.  These took us a couple of days, but they are oh so cute!  We came up with a fact about Johnny Appleseed as a class and wrote the sentence.  
You can find this activity HERE.
 We learned about the apple tree and made these little apple pockets.
 And, we made these cutie-patootie apple faces from First Grade Blue Skies.

Well, that sums up Apples!  Next up is Spiders, Scarecrows, and Skeletons for Ss Week then it's off to the pumpkin patch and Pumpkin Week!  
Can't Wait to show you my newest Pumpkin Party pack in action!

And, go HERE to check out some of my new-found You Tube videos that my kids are LOVE-ING right now!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's Fall Y'all!

Go visit my Facebook page to see how you can donate to my classroom Donors Choose project in exchange for a product in my store!
You can click the Facebook Tab on the side of my blog to "like" my page.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

All About Me, Name Cheers, & Graphs

I cannot believe we have been in school for almost 1 month!  Starting Kindergarten is super hard...training a new group of kiddos...whoa!  But, I have already seen so many gains in my students...not just academically, but socially & emotionally as well!  Makes my heart happy!  I've watched kids settle into new surroundings and routines, make new friends, learn to write their name, finally crack a smile for the first time in our classroom and lots of other things.  I love my job!

Last week we dove into our All About Me unit.  It's so much fun for the kids.  Of course, they love learning and telling all about themselves!  

We make several graphs during the week...here's 2.  
I LOVE the way this one turned out!  I'm always trying to think of different ways to do things I've done in the past...gotta shake it up sometimes ;).

What Color is Your Hair Graph
Are you a Boy or Girl
We make these cute little megaphones and poms to use as we spell our name then cheer!
I think their favorite thing we do all week are Name Cheers!

This little picture pretty much sums up the fun!
We reviewed what a good listener looks like by making these little people and signing our Whole Body Listening Song.
We measured how tall we are...these will be on the table for Grand Open House along with a couple other things.
These are from Deanna...We put the first letter of our name on the little buses we made.
We made these little Name Gifts for our parents for Grand Open House.
We talked about our favorite color and made these little crayon people from Cara that you can find HERE.
And, here's what some of our centers looked like this past week.  All of these can be found in my All About Me Unit!

As always, thanks for reading this blog!  :)  Have a wonderful week!

Monday, September 1, 2014


For the past several years I feel like I finally got my Back to School routine down pat.  I found ways to introduce rules/routines/centers, and all that good stuff that works for me and is successful for my kiddos.  I love my Back to School units and I love pretty much what I've got going on for the first few weeks, but there is a tiny part of me that ALWAYS wants to try something different.  Even though, what I do works!  So, this year I decided I'm going to keep everything I have, use it all, and do pretty much what I've always done (because it does work), but throw in some FUN, NEW things as well.  My new Back to School with Froggy is what I came up with...I must say I'm in love!  It worked so perfect for me and my kids the first 2 weeks.  The activities I came up with were simple enough for all of my students to feel successful and it was just the touch I needed not to be bored with the same ol' same ol'.  :)  I used this the first 2 weeks of school, but I think it would be fun and a great review at any time!
Wanna see it in action?  Here we go...

We made these the first week of school and they turned out SO cute!
I used lime green crepe paper for the arms and legs which I think makes it pop...and scrapbook paper for Froggy's shorts!

I put this in my reading center the second week of school after we had played it whole group.  They were excited to see it again and they knew exactly how to play it.  
 Here's our build a fly.  This also has a labeling activity included in the pack.
Here's the sequencing activity we did after reading the book.

There's many, many more activities that I didn't include in this post.  If you are interested in doing these things with your students you can find it HERE!
Happy Labor Day Weekend!!

I'll give this unit away to one lucky person who comments below!!
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