Boy oh Boy is there A LOT of information to go through! We are using the balanced literacy approach so we have three different manuals that we need to filter through each day! In order to make it a bit more manageable I did a few things:
In the Comprehensive (Comprehension Guide) they have Mini-Lesson principles that it wants you to write on a chart. Honestly- I love my chart paper (my teammates ordered me the thick colored chart paper and it ROCKS!) and I don't want to "waste" it. So- I just typed up those ML principles and printed them out.
I'll keep them in a notebook and pull them out each year.
A few times a week you also need to read the Decodable readers-
(Which are those paper books that you have to make-one for each kid!!!!)
On the online site- they have the decodable books and they are in color and projectable!!! Yes! One less thing to do! Seriously- who has the time to make 70 paper books a week??
I was searching more on their online site and saw that they have interactive whiteboard files for all of the phonemic awareness and phonics lessons!!! I was super excited because I was planning on dedicating my life this year to making them myself. Their files are way better than what I would have made!
That means I just have to read the questions in the comprehension guide, and a few other items. Everything else is made or projectable! :) What seemed super overwhelming now seems much more manageable!
They also have a section online where you can create a class and assign the leveled readers to your class. I played around with this for about an hour and couldn't figure out how to insert the class list. I created my class, and groups but not the actual kiddos names. Perhaps we didn't pay for this???
I was bummed that I couldn't get it to work.
Then, I visited my favorite kid website- www.raz-kids.com.
I have used them for 2 years. It is AMAZING! The kids listen to, read and then take a comprehension quiz on somewhat animated and in color reading a-z leveled books. They even added the feature that you can print out the corresponding worksheets that go with each book. I have used this as my "listen to reading" in my class. I figured that it is the second best thing to working in a small group with me. I debated and debated whether I should buy the subscription again this year (They raised the price to almost $90 a year!) but remembering that ALL of my students have internet access at home made me look into it further. Then I discovered until the 14th- they have a $15 off coupon! So- I am going to bite the bullet- and purchase it again! It is just such a great tool and I can even assign my students items on there as homework. I seriously recommend checking it out! They have some free samples for a few levels that you can check out, videos to watch to learn more and you can sign up for a free 7 day trial.
One more item to add-
One of the best things about moving to a new district is that each elementary has they very own literacy coach. Mine is AMAZING and super helpful. She suggested that we might make a chart to display our read aloud books and post them by genre. So I used the online resources and copied all of the read aloud books for the year. I printed them, laminated them and glue dotted them to clothespins.
Finally I backed the definition from Journeys for each genre and glued the signs that I made to paper and laminated them again. Then I bought the Lakeshore swooping hanging clips. I clipped each genre sign and will hang this across the back of my room. Each time that I read a book, I will grab the correct clip and clip it around the genre sign. I finally have filled up the space above my boards that I didn't know what to put there! :)
(Photo coming soon!)
Hopefully my husband doesn't read my blog post today! :)
If he is- I LOVE YOU and thank you for making the difference in the lives of many kids! You are so generous with your money! :-)