Monday, March 5, 2012

Free Extension Ideas for Reading Groups

Do you have reading groups in your classroom? I run them with small classroom phonics books informally throughout the year. We have formal reading groups beginning tomorrow. Between two kindergarten classes, we run 10 different groups. The other kindergarten teacher takes one group, I take another group. The other 8 groups are run by parent volunteers, three days a week for a half hour each. Parents are so wonderful to help us out, but often wonder about what they can do to add to the reading group experience. Here are some ideas that we came up with in list form for them and I thought I'd share them with you here.

After reading through the story or selection you are using:
1) read the story through once more. Allow students to read different pages than they did the first time.
2) Think of a comprehension question you can ask for each page.
3) Discuss vocabulary on each page. Do not assume children know the meanings of each word.
4) Look at each word. Have them tell you how many sounds are in a word.
5) Look at each sentence. Have them tell you how many words are in each sentence.
6) Focus on punctuation. Have them identify when they see a period or question mark. Discuss what purpose each one serves.
7) Look at each sentence. Focus on where the spacing between words is. Have them identify the space.
8) Choose a word from the story and write it on a small whiteboard. Have them identify what letters are vowels and what sound that vowel makes. Repeat with consonants.
9) Use the whiteboard to play "Hangman" with words from the story.
10) Use the whiteboard to play "Guess the Missing Letter" game with words from the story. You write a word, but leave out one or two letters.
11) Focus on blending in words. You write a word from the story on the whiteboard. Touch and say the sound for each letter slowly. Run the marker under the word slowly and have them read the words slowly. Then run the marker under the word and have them read it faster.
12) Pick a word from the story and write it on the whiteboard. See how many real words they can think of that rhyme with that word. Keep a tally on the top of the whiteboard.
13) Allow them to choose a different ending for the book. What do they wish happened in the end of the story? Compare how that would be different from the real ending of the book.
14) Discuss whether the story is fact or fiction. Could it really happen? Could the characters in the story really do what they do in the story? What parts of the story could really happen? What parts could not?

These are just a few ideas. Remember, the more interactive and fun you make reading, the more students will learn to love the reading process. If you show them you can have fun doing it, they will have fun learning how to do it.

I would love to hear how you make reading interactive and fun for students!


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  3. What fabulous ideas, Christina! I do a lot of these, and I also make guided reading books on the computer. I have about 1,600 that I've made for kindergarten. If you need a particular book, just ask and I'll Scribd it and put it on my blog (or email it to you). I also use magnet letters and cookie sheets to teach the sight words, as well as cooperative sight word board games. I have some new freebies in my latest posts if you have time to come and take a look.

    Sharon Dudley, NBCT

  4. I have just given your blog an award. Come check out my blog for the details.

    Happy Blogging!


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