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Monday, February 23, 2015


Reading is key to students' success. Reading skills are an integral part of each and every task and needed across curricula.
I use a variety of strategies to help my little ones to become successful and confident readers.
One fantastic strategy is "Shoulder to Shoulder" and it is a G.L.A.D. (Guided Language Acquisition Design) strategy.
If you have the chance to attend the GLAD Training, do it! It is amazing!!!
For this specific reading strategy, students are working in pairs. Please remember to pairs students up based on reading skills BUT not Low/High but rather High/Medium,  Low/Medium, High/High AND NEVER High/Low. 
Why? Well, having a high performing student and a low performing student will only lead to disappointment, frustration, a lack of self confidence. 
Students sit down on the floor / on chairs and face the opposite way, shoulder close together, almost touching. They read the same book, take turns, one reads/one tracks and/or they read together.
By not looking at each other, they focus on the text and task at hand. It really works!
Independent Reading
It is critical that children have ample time for reading. I use individual book boxes with a variety of books in each box: decodables, "just right books", challenging books, books children are interested in. Variety is key!
Students read independently. It is important to monitor for appropriate and expected behavior and make sure that students actually spend the time reading.
Partner Reading
Students choose to read with a friend. They may choose their partner and book.
Whole Class Reading
This is fantastic for introducing new decodables and new sight words. I use whole class choral reading each and every time we have a new decodable. I model how the voice changes based on punctuation. We segment and blend harder words, quickly read the sight words, and RE-READ each sentence/page "smoothly and without bumps" after we have decoded all the words. I also do this before letting students reading in pairs, with a buddy or independently. This way, they are already familiar with the text and are more successful and confident. 
Help your students master letter names and letter sounds, read and write!
Check out my store for LOTS of products focused on learning how to read and write, learn sight words, nouns, digraphs, phonics and phonemic awareness AND SO MUCH MORE (MATH and also seasonal products)!!!

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