Tuesday was my day with the first graders. It was a big day. For the first time Ms. H broke the children into five groups and each group worked on a different project. The first problem was some children thought they had to finish all five projects that day. They will move to a different project each day. They did not listen. There was an adult to help each group and it still was a little chaotic.
My group was working on scrambled sentences. Each word in each sentence was numbered. Sentence 1 each word had a 1, sentence 2 each word had a 2. They were to cut out one word at a time for each sentence, arrange it correctly, have me check it, and then glue. Then they were to write the sentence. An example: the He with cat. played I asked them what the first word of a sentence begins with, then asked what goes at the end of every sentence. After they found those two words, some could complete the sentence. But cutting, gluing, arranging words, tough for some. A lot of things to do in a certain order. A couple of the boys just glued without any thought to correct order. That did not work out well.
All five groups finally finished their tasks and them we moved on to phonics. While they worked in their workbooks, I tested them individually on Dolch sight words. Each child would read the word list, if they did well I had them go on to the next list. I marked down which words they missed, gave a check , minus, plus depending on how many they missed. I made comments on speed, sounding out (which rarely works with sight words) whether they liked to read or not. Then on to the next child.
Then we did my favorite thing. I read them a story. Ms. H always picks the story, gives it to me when I arrive, and then before lunch I read to them. This week's book was How Rocket Learned to Read written and illustrated by Tad Hills. This is such a sweet gentle story, and really nails learning to read. The children loved this book and made some great observations about sounding out words. Click here to see the book. Be sure to click on Search inside this book just under the picture of the book. You will be able to read several pages of the book.
Another nice thing for me is walking through the halls. Children stop and hug me or call to me. Parents stop and talk to me. This school is a community. Feels good being there.