Guided Reading Activities

Hi everyone,

I'm finally ready to reveal my new guided reading pack and I'm so excited about it!
Last year, I made it my mission to improve my guided reading time because I knew that it was very valuable for my little learners. I learned a lot about my students and saw so much growth when I spent time with my small reading groups. Once I started meeting regularly with my groups, I quickly learned that my students got so much more out of hands-on experiences. I made it my summer mission to create new games for my intervention groups. Allow me take you through them...

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I use these letter and picture cards with my students who struggle with letter sounds. We play a variety of games with these cards such as matching letters with pictures and putting them in alphabetical order.
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I also use a set of picture cards that have CVC words only. These are great for playing games that involve beginning, middle, and ending sounds.
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This next game is great for working on listening skills. I like to call out letter sounds and have my students find pictures that start with that sound. Sometimes, I give my students more than one strip at a time. It depends who I'm working with. We also use different kinds of clips every time we play, to make the game new each time!
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These strips have pictures that all start with the same sound (except for one). Students have to find the picture that does not have the same beginning sound and can either circle it with a dry erase marker or cover it with a clip. 
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I also use these "Say & Cover" mats to practice beginning sounds. Students can cover the pictures with magnetic letters, foam letters, or letter blocks. I like to use different items each time to keep the game new.
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These "clip it" cards are one of my son's favorite games! 
They are perfect for practicing beginning and ending sounds.
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Once we have mastered our beginning and ending sounds, we move on to middle vowel sounds. These are especially tricky for my students because many of them are second language learners and, even though many letters are similar, vowels don't sound the same in English and in French. We play a sorting game and practice sounding out each word as we place the cards under the correct mat. 
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We use these word cards to play a reading game. It's very simple - students take turns pulling cards out of the basket. If the child can read the word, he/she gets to keep it (I help them sound out the words if they get stuck). If an "oops!" card is picked, the student has to put all his/her cards back in the basket. 
The "oops!" cards help me control when the game ends ;)
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I like to play a fun reading game with these cards. Here is how I play:
I place a few cards on my guided reading table and I call out a word. Students grab the card with the word that I call out. As we play, I keep adding a few cards at a time. This way, there are never too many on the table. The student who picks up the most cards wins!

Depending on my reading groups, I sometimes ask a specific student to find a card, if I feel a friend is struggling and needs a non-competitive version of this game. 
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 These "clip cards" are a hit with my son too! Students point to the black dots to sound out the word. When the word can be read fluently, the matching picture card can be clipped. 
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I laminate all my cards for better durability. Kids really love using dry erase markers so many of these games are a hit ;)

For this game, I have cards with missing beginning, middle, and ending sounds. Students look at the picture and sound out the word to write the correct missing sound.
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The "Write & Wipe" mats are perfect for sounding out 
and writing complete CVC words.
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 I like to use a variety of tools with my guided reading groups so I made some spinner games. Students use a paper clip and a pencil to spin each side. They can then write out the word, sound it out with the help of the black dots, and read it more fluently by sliding a finger on the arrow. Words can be sorted by real and nonsense on the recording sheet. I laminate the recording sheet and we use dry erase markers on that too!
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I love my sounding out mats because kids can choose picture cards to sound out and read. 
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 Once we can read CVC words more fluently, we can start to read little books!
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Each page has black dots that students can point to as they read. 

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Finally, I made some assessment pages for my guided reading groups. These are perfect for keeping track of where my students are at in their learning.
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Everything you see above can be found in my Guided Reading pack.
I put a FREE game for you to try in the preview file.
Just click on the picture below and download the preview!
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I have finished ALL my guided reading game sets!
Click on the pictures below to see what is inside each set. 
     

     




Are you looking to start guided reading groups in your classroom?
You can now grab your FREE resource kit to help you get started!



Take care for now,
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MORE Classroom Clean Up Tips

Hi everyone,

Have you read my Classroom Clean Up Made Easy post? I got such great feedback from lovely readers that I thought I'd share a few more tips to help you out with your clean up time!



Tip One: Assign your students different items to pick up. For example, you can ask one student to pick up 2 crayons, another can pick up 3 scrap pieces of paper, another can pick up 4 pencils, and so on. This helps students focus on one goal and makes the cleaning process a lot more fun!


Tip two: Sing the clean up song as your class gets to work. You can play it on the Smart board, if you have one. Everyone likes the clean up song!


Tip three: Assign different corners of the room to different students. You can put one student in charge of a specific corner for the day or for the week. Try this out and see what works best for you and your class.


Tip four: Play games during clean up time to throw in a fun twist. You can play games such as "freeze-go" or Simon Says" (simon says clean up your books, simon says clean up your markers, simon says do 5 jumping jacks). Your students will have so much fun playing the games that they will forget they are cleaning. PLUS, they will get a nice brain break during clean up time too. It's a win-win! 


Tip five: Don't forget to praise your students as they clean. Give them high fives as they walk by you. A little encouragement can go a long way!


Tip six: Reward your students when they are finished cleaning. You can do this several ways, by either giving them small prizes (like pencils or erasers) or giving them some time on iPads or computers. As my students finish cleaning their desks, I hand them an iPad. This way, they can stay busy as the rest of the class cleans up their own desks. It also motivates those who take a little longer ;)


Tip seven: Keep your clean up time short! This will help avoid the lack of motivation that some your students may have. If there are many spaces in the room that need cleaning, try to space them out during the day or during the week.


Tip eight: Use a timer to avoid extra long clean ups. So often, I have students who take FORVER an extra long time to clean up. I use my timer to keep everyone on task and I reward my class if they finish before the timer rings.


I hope some of these tips are helpful to you.

If you have anything to add to this list, please leave me a comment below!

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First Week Of School Ideas

Hi everyone,

Are you getting ready for your big return yet?? I'm only a few weeks into my summer break yet I'm already finding myself searching for fresh ideas for that busy first week of school!

The first week can get pretty crazy if you don't start it with a plan... The best advice I ever got for the first week is to OVER PLAN! The more you have ready to go, the less stress you will feel when unexpected things happen. Not everything will work out exactly the way you planned but it will all work out if you have lots if ideas that are ready to go!

That being said, here are a few things that you may want to include on your "First Week Ideas List". 

Back To School


I like do play a scavenger hunt game with my students. It gets them moving and allows them to explore all the different nooks and crannies in your room. I always have at least one student who asks me a million several questions about my classroom. This is the perfect opportunity for these curious students to walk around and explore!



It's SO important to talk about school rules on the first day! You want to make sure that you give your students the information that they need in order to be successful. Talking about rules and making them very clear is a great way to help all your little learners out!

Instead of just telling my class the school rules, we write them out together. This way, it helps kids become more accountable later on.



Writing goals is a good way to motivate students who are a little shy or discouraged. Not all kids will come to you on the first day feeling driven and inspired. It's your job to help them come up with a goal that will drive them to learn and try new things.



Many of your students will already know most of their peers, if they were in your school last year. However, they may not have been in the same class and you will most probably have a few new students too. A class collaboration project is a fun activity to help create friendships and teamwork skills in your class. Students love to put their work together to make a class book! Everyone gets to bring it home and show their families all the great friends that are in their class.



At the end of the first week, don't forget to reward your students. For many, this first week is very stressful. Let them know that their teacher loves them and is proud of them by sending them home with a certificate!

I hope some of these first week tips will be helpful to you!

Don't forget to grab your FREEBIE before you go. 
(You will have to download the preview file to get it)


You can also take a look at my "Getting To Know Your Students" tips 
over at the Primary Chalkboard blog



All activities mentioned above are from my Back To School pack.
I also have created an "All About Me" flip book and an "Interactive Craftivity" for the first weeks of school.

For those of you who want all three, I bundled them to help you save :)


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