Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Author Studies!!

One of my favorite activities to do with my class is author studies. I have done various activities with each grade I have taught. I have always made all the books by a certain author availabe to all of my students. Sometimes we have done ABC books about the author. We have also written about our favorite stories by an author. My second graders also wrote a piece about why everyone should read books by their own favorite author. I have alot of success with authors writing letters to our class. Jan Brett has written back very quickly. Eric Carle, Tomie dePaola, Joanna Cole, Marc Brown, and Robert Munsch have all responded to our letters. It is really engaging experience for the kids and gets them motivated to read. They feel like they really know the author. The books above have helped me with my author studies. I have also found great success with the Scholast Teaching with Favorite..... series. They have great printables and ideas.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Journey to Literacy: Priceless

I came across the below linked article as I was searching the net...It is written by Theresa Walsh Giarruso from the Atlanta Journal-Constititution. Miss Giarruso interviewed reading expert, Kathleen Hayes about how parents can effectively help their child become more literate. As a Kindergarten teacher, this was very beneficial because I am always looking for new ways to inform parents how they can better help their child learn to read and write.


Donna Whyte

Donna Whyte is a presenter that I have seen on several occasions. Her workshops cover many topics such as centers, classroom management, and differentiated instuction. One book that I have found that was particularly helpful to me was "Morning Meeting Afternoon Wrap-Up." It gives many ideas on classroom managment and how to organize your classroom to use your time effectively.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Michael Heggerty-Phonemic Awareness

For the past few years, our district has been using Michael Heggerty's Phonemic Awareness programs in our K-2 classrooms. This program involves doing each lesson from the book for 12-15 minutes each day. I have taught this program in my Kindergarten class for the past year, and my students have become more aware of letter sounds, rhyming, and manipulating sounds. Below is the link to Mr Heggerty's website.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Phonemic Awareness

Last year, I found a wonderful set of books that helps kids work on phonemic awareness and phonics. They are two Mailbox series books that allow children to sort for different sounds. Phonemic Awareness is the first book of the series. The children sort pictures for the beginning sound on each page. In the next book, Phenomenal Phonics, students sort short vowel sounds, blends, and digraphs. Both books are very beneficial in the classroom for whole class work, small group instruction, and center activities.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Carl's Corner

There is a wonderful site http://carlscorner.us.com/ that has MANY ideas for literacy instruction in the primary grades. The site is run by Cherry Carl, a former elementary school teacher. She has all of her ideas organized in alphabetical order along the left side of the homepage so everything is easy to find. Her site includes, but is not limited to teaching vowels, the alphabet, blends, centers, and sight word recognition. Stop and check out this wonderful site!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Units of Study

I am going to begin reading "Units of Study" by Lucy Calkins this week. It is a writing program for primary students. I think it will be very interesting. Lucy Calkins has written many books on writing instruction. The "Units of Study" are a series of books with different topics about writings. There is also a resource CD with lots of printables.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Teaching Reading

One presenter that has inspired me is Maria Walther. Maria is a first grade teacher near Chicago who conducts many workshops on balanced reading insruction in the primary grades. She has written a college textbook "Teaching Reading: A Balanced Approach for Today's Classroom." She also also written a book with the Scholastic Theory and Practice series called "Literature is Back" which includeds different ways to include wonderful children's literature in reading and writing instruction. Mrs. Walther has also written a book for the Scholastic Theory and Practice Professional Series titled "Literature is Back." This book gives valuable information about using wonderful children's literature to enhance reading and writing instruction.