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Monday, December 16, 2013

It's your own *special* book!

My new favorite thing ever? Personal Readers. Yes, LOVE them:




Since we want our kiddos to be reading, reading, reading, you might be wondering how you make that happen for kinder kids. They need decodeable texts or books that they have read repeatedly with their teacher. So how do we find enough copies of short, decodable books for our youngest readers?
Now, maybe this is nothing new, but I am only in my first year of learning about reading in the primary grades. In middle school, I could get Just Right books into my kids hands no problem. Kinder presents a little extra challenge - how do you find stories that are just right for the levels that they are reading?

So what are they? They are basically just a folder or a binder with pages of stories the kids can read on their own. Here are a few samples of the pages that the homeroom teacher and I have added to the folder:


What a School Needs was a leveled reader with predictable text that I had done with a guided reading group. After we finished with it, I typed it up on two pages, scanned the pictures from the book, and inserted them into the doc. It took me about 30 minutes, but I saved the file in case anyone ever uses it again.


We Travel was another leveled reader with predictable text that the Melinda, the kiddos' homeroom teacher, did with some of her groups. I let the kinder teachers know that if they give me any text they find, I will convert it to a Personal Reader page.


Then, Melinda found these two decodeable texts for the kiddos on the web. The kids have finished all their initial consonant sounds and are now into their second week of short a word families, so these were perfect!


I can't even tell you how excited the kids get for these readers. They're just plain folders with three prongs in them, but each child gets their own stories and has their own folder of "Just Right" stories to read. We're moving more and more towards a Reading Workshop model with kinder, so they have to have independent reading. Well, here we go!

Here's one of our students reading from her Personal Reader:


Is it so so cute, or what? I need to get in there when she hands out new stories for the readers so I can show you how pumped the kids are. You're going to love it!

So, if you are a kinder or first grade teacher, and you use leveled reading books for your guided reading, go ahead and create these personal reader pages and buy your kids a folder. They will feel so proud as they read through all their stories!


And just wanted to share a picture of one of the great reading specialists at my school - I am learning so much from her and I'm so glad she's my new friend! Christine is totes amazeballs! :) This was us last Friday after our work party. So fun!


And teachers....I know it seems like a long week left so far, but only four more "get-ups," so:


You can do it!

Happy Monday!

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