Teaching FREEBIES and Resources Monthly Newsletter!
  

Jul 12, 2015

How To Make Reading FUN!


Hey!  Janet from Mrs. D's Firsties here to talk about making Reading FUN!

....I can't stand teaching out of a scripted book.  I hate following the exact same routine in Reading groups.  If I'm bored, I can't imagine how my students are feeling. Teachers have to make reading FUN!

I'm teaching summer school to the incoming first graders.  These poor little babies don't know their letter names, letter sounds, and can't read the pre-primer sight words.  We spend our time learning about letters, words, and sentences!  I have planned most of our activities to go along with the weekly themes of summer school: beach, animals, camping, and sports.

Here are my tips to help you make Reading FUN!

GET ORGANIZED!
First, get organized!  Pre-assess your kiddos so you know exactly what kind of lessons (or remediation) they need.   I have a folder for each students. I keep everything I need for one-on-one reading time in a folder (flashcards, books, assessment data, etc).  That way, their time with me is all focused on learning


USE THEMES!
It is always more fun when you're most boring of things (i.e: flashcards) go along with your theme.  Make a theme for the week or the month!  It'll excite the students and make those boring things more fun!

BE REPETITIVE!
Let's be honest......flashcards can be boring.  BUT, repetition is a must (especially for your lowbies!) I fancied my flashcards up by adding fun little themed clip art.  Each week, I introduce new themed flashcards.


Have your students practice their words/letters DAILY!  But, make it fun!  Have them trace words/letters in sand (see pic below)!


USE FOOD!
Gotta' keep it FUN, right? What is more fun than playing with food?  Each day, I have one of my activities include food.  On this day, we used letter cookies to help identify letter names.  Let me tell ya, they work harder when food is involved!


BE HANDS-ON!
During sports week, I used foam baseball stickers (found at my local craft store) and a baseball mitt (cut out of construction paper) to practice addition and number identification.  You could use the materials for reading/letter id too!  Just get the baseball foam stickers - write letters or words on them.  Call out the letter, sound, or word and have students find the correct sticker.  When my students were done collecting all of the baseballs, they peeled off the back of the sticker and stuck them on their mitts!



Simple can be fun, too!  I took a long piece of bulletin board paper, wrote letters on it, and attached it to the wall.  I called out letters or sounds and my students slapped them with their "magic wands" (fly swatters). 

We busted out the Lakeshore Learning Easy-Grip Sponge Painters for some hands-on letter practice.  I let them pick any letter and stamp away!  While they were stamping, I was asking them questions like "what letter is that?", "what sound does it make?", and "what word starts with that letter?".  They were playing AND learning. :)  
When my students walk in and out of the room, they slap the hands.  I have hands with sight words and hands with letters.  It seems like a TON of words...but, this is what the board looks like after 3 weeks.  I introduced/reviewed 2 pre-primer words each day.  


We also practice our sight words with my Sight Word Sentences.  It is a page of sentences that all start with the same 2-4 words (Dolch pre-primer sight words).  The repetition is AMAZING for struggling students.  By the last sentence, they've started to remember the word and are reading the sentences.  *This picture shows one of my incoming first graders helping an incoming Kindergartner. So sweet!

USE WRITING TO HELP READING!
My students always have a writing activity.  Yes! Writing and reading go hand-in-hand!!!  Although I help my students spell the words, they come up with the answers AND must read back their sentences to me.  Sure, we took some time to paint fish and make baseballs.  But the activity also involved writing and reading!



Students wrote rhyming words on baseballs, cut them out, and glued them on their mitts.

The students made a baseball with red paint (for the stitching) and then wrote if they liked baseball or not.



So, the key to helping your students with reading in the summer months is TO MAKE IT FUN - get organized, use themes, be repetitive, use food, make lessons hands-on, and have your students use writing to help their reading!

About Me: 
My name is Janet and I've been teaching for 10 years! I {heart} first grade, but I've also taught 2nd grade.  I've been blogging and creating for TPT for about 3 years.  I love spending time with my boyfriend and my family.  I'm super obsessed and in love with my dog, Tobey!  I hope you stop by and check out my blog and TPT store!!






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