Singing Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah to the tune of 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Contest: Enter to Win!

Hi Friends...I was telling you about the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway sponsored by Zippy over at ZipADeeDooDah Designs on my Hello Literacy Facebook page on Sunday...and here it is, Day #3. Here's what you could win today. $20 in TpT bucks and a $30 Starbucks card!!!

$5 TpT Gift Certificate to Hello Literacy

$5 TpT Gift Certificate to Love to Teach

$5 TpT Gift Certificate to Kindergarten Smorgasboard

$5 TpT Gift Certificate to ZipADeeDooDah Designs 


$30 Starbucks GC (emailed to the winner)

Enter for a chance to win everything by clicking on the image below.
Good luck!

Alphabet Fluency: Where It Fits into the Fluency Continuum & Why Alphabet Fluency is Essential

This Alphabet Fluency progress monitoring set is definitely a creation out of need.  I am fortunate to work and collaborate with a wonderful and very knowledge teacher here in Wake County, Stacy Bigham, she is the literacy coach at Salem Elementary.  We are in constant communication about our school's RTI needs...and this pack and the last Progress Monitoring Phonemic Awareness Interventions, were definitely created out a lack of appropriate progress monitoring tools out there. Being in North Carolina, we are bound to use the mCLASS and Reading3D systems for progress monitoring reading comprehension, phonics and phonemic awareness.  And formerly, we used Aimsweb to progress monitoring reading comprehension, phonics and phonemic awareness. However, I know there are a lot of lone RTI rangers out there making a go of RTI on your own or on your grade level, and good for you!  Stacy and I believe that there are foundational holes in some of these commercial systems that simply are not meeting the needs of our students, especially the students in need of the most basic and foundational interventions.  For example, if a student does not know Letter Names or Sounds, there is not a more foundational progress monitoring tool to use for phonics than Letter Name Fluency (LNF).  And if a student knows letter names and sounds in isolation but cannot be successful on the Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF) progress monitoring assessment, there is nothing in between to use.  In my opinion, there are are a whole host of incremental skills between letter name ID and Nonsense Word Fluency.  And this PM pack is the first set of progress monitoring assessments to use with any student, most likely a Kindergarten students, recieving an alphabet intervention.  

Remember, the term CBM stands for Curriculum Based Measurement. That means the progress monitoring assessment, the CBM, will be a measure of one skill that is already in the child's curriculum for that year of study.  CBMs are quick and easy to administer and are standardized to 1 minute in length.  CBMs also measure even the smallest increment of growth, unlike a running record.  

In addition, anytime you see brackets like this < > outside a letter like <m>,
 that means to say the letter name...
And, anytime you see brackets like this / / outside a letter like /m/,
 that means to say the letter sound.

Here are the alphabet skills/interventions you can progress monitor with this new pack:

Alphabet Recognition is not exactly what you might be thinking. Students do not look at the sheet and name or identify the names of the letters, symbols, or numbers they see.  This assessment is the most foundational alphabet skill of all, just knowing or not knowing that a letter is a part or not a part of the alphabet is what this assessment measures.  Many students come to us in Kindergarten having no Alphabet Awareness whatsoever. They see a B and say 8, they see a star and say G.  This progress monitoring assessment is for students needing the most foundational alphabet intervention of all...recognizing if a letter is part of the alphabet or not. When students "do" this assessment, they read across the rows from left to right, top to bottom and while pointing to each one, they simply say YES (it is a part of the alphabet) or NO (it's not a part of the alphabet.)  On this assessment students have one minute to tell you if each letter, number, or symbol is or isn't part of the alphabet.

Alphabet Sequencing is about filling in the missing letter.  This skill focuses more on BEFORE and AFTER letters but is an important foundational skill for sequencial processing. This skill is also foundational for the alphabet skills higher up in the sequencing ladder; visualizing letters when spelling, and alphabetizing words.  There are several intervention activities that help students recogntize letters in order and sort out the sequence of the alphabet including the Alphabet Arc.   On this assessment, students have one minute to say the missing letter in each letter series. 

This intervention is simply answering the following question, do students know the letter symbol that goes with the letter name? Jan Richardson is a firm believer that knowing letter names is important for emerging readers. She believes that if students can name at least 40 letter names, then they are ready for guided reading.  The first days of school should be all about learning the names of the letters in the alphabet.  Once a student can name them (LNF), they should learn how to write them.  This progress monitoring assessment measures growth in writing the letters of the alphabet. On this assessment, students have one minute to write as many letters from letter names given orally, as they can.

Being able to write the letters is just as important as being able to read the letters. Writing and reading have a very reciprocal relationship.  Writing is encoding sounds from the inside out, and reading is decoding sounds from the outside in. When students are learning to read, they are also learning to write.  And in this case, when I say writing, I specifically mean spelling.  Taking sounds and turning them into letters is a key skill for emerging readers.  It is not ok to provide interventions in reading letters without also focusing on writing letters...letter sound correspondence will be integral for progress in Alphabetic Knowledge.  Assesment Option #1 asks students to say as many letter names from letter sounds given in one minute. Assessment Option #2 asks students to write as many letter names from letters sounds given in one minute. 

First Sound Fluency is the least foundational alphabet skill in this pack.  In one minute, students must look at a set of pictures and first letter choices for that picture, and decide which letter is the first letter of the word that matches the picture.  This First Letter Fluency skill is least foundational in this series because once students identify what the picture is, say a duck, they must think, what sound do I hear at the beginning of duck, then they must say, I hear a /d/ at the beginning of duck, and then they must say to themselves, the letter I would expect to see at the beginning of duck is <d>, let me find it and circle it. Students have one minute to correctly circle as many first letters as they can. 

You can preview or purchase all my RTI: Progress Monitoring materials HERE

For a big picture of where Alphabet Fluency fits into the general fluency, 
see my Fluency Continuum.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and I shut my laptop down because really, in the words of the best carpool buddy in the world, @alikscott17...

World Hello Day!

Today is World Hello Day. 
You know I love it. 
This blog is about communicating and sharing all my literacy hellos with you, and spreading teaching and learning sunshine around the world. This day is about promoting peace through personal commication.  That is what World Hello Day is all about.  It's every year on November 21st and I couldn't be happier to spread more Hellos around.  So in the spirit of the day, which you can read more about at, greet 10 people today with HELLO. 
Teach students how to say HELLO in different languages.  

RTI: Progress Monitoring CBM's for Phonemic Awareness Interventions

Click on the image to preview this new PM set.

If you a Kindergarten or 1st grade teacher, this is the time of year when you begin to notice that some phonemic awareness skills just aren't clicking.  You've now provided to all your students at least 3 months of solid phonemic awareness instruction (which I hope you have, and if you haven't, you need my Phonemic Awareness curriculum, get it HERE). By this time of year, your students should be very fluent in the foundational phonemic awareness skills of identifying the concept of a spoken word. Meaning, when you say a sentence, they should have 1-1 listening correspondence. For the sentence, "I like cold pizza" students should be able to count chips or use their fingers to tell you that there are four words in that sentence.  And, RHYMING is a foundational phonemic awareness skill that you have hammered since the beginning of the school year.  Listening for rhyming words and producing rhyming words when given a word has been practiced with lot of practice and you've been reading lots of rhyming books like the following:

Download this list HERE

Or, you have been reading lots of poems and nursery rhymes like the free ones HERE.  You've probably been doing lots of singing! I hope. Timothy Rasinski says that singing in the classroom is one of the best ways to practice fluency because it's like repeated reading when you can't get the song out of your head. Or, you picked up my Rhyming unit, Feed Me! A Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Feast featuring the book, The Hungry Thing. 

This unit is 100+ pages of phonemic awareness goodness including a group reading activity (RL.10) called Feed Me Rhyming Food Cards...

 a life size poster of A Hungry Thing...


Games & Centers for practicing Onsets & Rimes (word families)...

a 20 page class BIG book...

 lots of group reading activities including Rhyming Bingo...

 and much more. And any of the numerous activities in this rhyming unit would be great and appropriate for both core or intervention instruction. 

You can purchase this unit HERE

However, for some students, these skills are not sticking. Therefore, you have determined to begin providing some phonemic awareness interventions.  As you know, an intervention that is not progress monitored, is just a reading activity.  If it truly called an intervention, then it must be progress monitored...with data.  Progress monitoring is a form of assessment that is quick, easy, and easily duplicatable and matches the same skills and standards that are in the child's curriculum, and that's why these type of RTI assessments are called CBMs, Curriculum Based Measurements, because the assessment matches what students are learning.  They also measure small increments of growth over a week or 10 day period, which is nice, because as you know, students don't always show much growth on a running record in that same time period, which is frustrating, but is the main reason why we don't use running records for progress monitoring, nor are the called CBMs.  Another synonym for CBM is probe or measure.  I have created several sets of CBMs for foundational literacy areas which are available in my store.  Here is a direct link to all my RTI: Progress Monitoring products. 

Now, I have created a new set.  This set measures growth (or progress) in the following five skill areas of Phonemic Awareness.  Technically, the first four areas are Phonological Awareness and the last measure is Phonemic Awareness.  The two terms are used synonomously as indicated by the International Reading Association, even though phonemic awareness falls under the phonological awareness umbrella.  

There are 25 different probes for each measure, and the probes look something like this. 
For the first four areas, there is only a teacher recording sheet and students produce oral responses. For Beginning Sound Production, students are looking at pictures of things and producing oral responses. 

This pack, like many of my other progress monitoring products is a grade level license.  In most cases, one teacher will buy it, but I give permission for the buyer to share it with the other grade level teachers at your school, in your school. If other grade levels want it, please ask them to purchase one for their grade level.  I want to encourage, praise and make collaboration and RTI easy.  Sharing is easy and it's what helps teachers and students.  

This new PM pack is on sale today and tomorrow.
Buy it HERE

And, be on the lookout for another PM pack out in the coming days...I think you're really going to like it! <3

MSV Strategy Intervention Task Cards for Emerging Readers

One of the biggest rewards when teaching emerging readers how to read is getting them over the teacher-dependent "I'm stuck! (puppy dog eyes)" hump to the self-dependent "I got this! (eyes stay on the page)" side of reading. You all know the students I'm talking about...they are beginning readers, reading somewhere between Level A and E...maybe even G, H or I.  These are students who, without you, don't actually read independently, or fake read because no one is actually listening to them or holding them accountable to actually reading the words on the page.  They are students who, for the most part, don't know what to do when reading on their own because the adult reader (or readers) in their lives, "tell them" when they come to tricky parts in the text.  However, these tricky parts are the critical junctures in their reading journey they need to learn when, where and how to independently, with your strategy support, not telling support, crack the code of how language looks and sounds.

Many students reading at level A-E often do not get enough reading practice at reading connected text...whole sentences or whole pages of text.  Many of these students do well with isolated practice of letter names, letter sounds, single words, sight words, or pretty much any early reading lists of any kind, but they don't have enough exposure to reading whole books or whole pages of levels A-E.  In addition, this isolated practice and single page alphabet worksheets don't give them enough practice getting stuck where they actually have to do some real word/sentence problem solving.  And, often, these worksheets or isolated practice games don't have enough context to figure out if "the fix" sounds right or looks right with the rest of the words...because there isn't enough there to check.

Then, when these students are actually given text at levels A-E (or higher for non self-correcting students) there are several lines of text per page and students are concentrating so much on the mechanics of reading, solving the words (even though they aren't solving them correctly) that they don't listen to themselves and process what the words sound like when they're saying them and decide if what they said makes sense or not.  When students read out loud and read words wrong and keep reading, they are not using the skill of self-monitoring.  In this case, a teacher or parent will jump in, often too soon, and say something about the way it was said like "that doesn't sound right" or "does that sound right?" and that is called, self-monitoring FOR the child, which is "ok" to a degree.  It is not our job to do this for the child with every error, nor is it our job to do this for every page of every book, nor should let a child read an entire book with several errors with no reteaching to a at least a few of the those errors when they are done.  At some point, we must teach children to listen to themselves, and ask themselves, "Does what I just said makes sense? Sound right? and Look Right? and match the words on the page?" When we can begin to get students to ask themselves these questions instead of relying on us to ask them these questions, they are on their way to becoming self-monitoring readers.  Because, once students can ask themselves these questions, they will begin to answer these questions and when they answer themselves NO, we will praise, encourage, model, and affirm how and when they "go back" and try it again with something that looks right, sounds right and makes sense.  This should be often for emerging readers. The more often this occurs, the most likely this reading behavior will become a habit of mind.

Recently, I have created two products to help with the very skill of teaching emerging readers to self-monitor their own oral reading.  One, is the Great Readers Strategy Card.

Click on the image to purchase this product.

 As a trained Reading Recovery teacher, the fix-up strategies included on this card, are exactly the strategies emerging readers need to become independent, self-monitoring readers.  You will encourage strategy use a lot in the beginning, but with enough repitition and redirection to the Strategy Card (instead of you) students will learn that they can do something on the card for help instead of look at you.  This is what you want.

The card is front/back with 6 fix-up strategies on the front and 3 self-monitoring strategies on the back.  In the past, I have used some of these strategies with the beanie baby analogies,,,,but for many students, the strategy did not transfer from the beanie baby to the text...they could remember Eagle Eye and that's it...they couldn't remember what to do with the eagle.  So, using real pictures, this strategy card uses kid-friendly pictures and phrases to remember and apply the strategy.

These Strategy Cards endorsed by many teachers including the Brown Bag Teacher on Instagram!
The Brown Bag Teacher is Catherine Reed, a first grade teacher in KY.  

In addition to the Strategy Card itself, there are 9 minilessons included and 9 posters to use while teaching each minilesson.

Here's ONE minilesson and on minilesson poster up close:

In addition, I have created a set of Reading Intervention Task Cards for students in need of MSV help...the non self-correcting, non self-monitoring readers.   These cards are designed to help students notice and hear how some words in sentences are only slightly different in size and shape but change the entire meaning of the sentence. These task cards are designed to provide opportunities to have conversations with students about the way language looks and sounds and how when we look closely to the text AND listen carefully to what we say, we self-correct when it doesn't look and sound right. 

There are 24 task cards per set.  There come color and black/white, and either full page or quarter page.  Here is a sample task card:

The rest of the task cards are available HERE

Enjoy! & As always, HAPPY READING!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...