Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Letter Buddies Part 2: Blends

Posted by Marcy Godesa on Feb 21, 2017 3:23:00 PM

marcy_godesa.pngThis is a guest blog post by Marcy Godesa, a first-grade teacher from Oregon who blogs over at Searching for Teacher Balance. If you like what you read here, be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts! 

It is always a great find when you have one resource that continues along with your students as their learning grows and develops. That is why I am still loving the Letter Buddies series from Hameray Publishing.

hameray-early-childhood-letter-learning-resources-teachers-1.jpg

You can read all about how I used the first stage of Letter Buddies with my developing readers here. We have since moved into blends, which is huge for my readers! I am so proud of them and the connections that they have been making.

The blends books, which are the next stage in the Letter Buddies seriesare the perfect bridge to sight word development that all developing reading must achieve.

Slide1 (2).pngJust like the first stage, the blends books have a sight word book, Letter Buddies Blends, and a pattern book, Letter Buddies Best Friends, that complement each other.

Slide2 (2).png

After reading and reviewing the sight word book, my kiddos practiced building the words and finding connections between other words that they have learned.

They then applied these new words to the pattern book. The success they have with the pattern book is incredible because they are familiar with the words, thanks to the sight word book.

If you haven't checked out the Letter Buddies series from Hameray Publishing, get on it.  I cannot say enough great things about these books.

What is your favorite tool for supporting your developing readers?  Leave a comment below.  I would love to hear from you.

 

 ~~~

Click the images below to read about the Letter Buddies Blends and the Letter Buddies Best Friends.

New Call-to-Action   New Call-to-Action

 

Read More

Topics: Letter Buddies, Blends, Sight Words, Marcy Godesa

Word Recognition with Letter Buddies

Posted by Marcy Godesa on Feb 7, 2017 3:21:00 PM

marcy_godesa.pngThis is a guest blog post by Marcy Godesa, a first-grade teacher from Oregon who blogs over at Searching for Teacher Balance. If you like what you read here, be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts! 

Teaching word recognition to developing readers can have its ups and downs. I swear there are days when my kiddos are on it, they are recognizing all their sight words, and then POOF!—the next day it is all gone. I decided to try out the Letter Buddies series with my developing readers.

According to Hameray, "This product line supports the development of letter knowledge and early literacy skills through letter recognition and formation, letter-sound correspondence, phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, and oral language development." I couldn't agree more with this statement. Right away, my readers started building letter recognition that they struggled with prior to using this series.

hameray-early-childhood-letter-learning-resources-teachers-1.jpg

First of all, I love that the letters on the covers of the books are printed in a raised text. My kiddos were able to "feel" the letters before diving into the books. By using their kinesthetic sense, we began building a muscle memory that is vital for learners.

Slide1-5.png

Each Letter Buddy has a book and a starter that go hand-in-hand. We started with the Letter Books and practiced our letter and whole word recognition. This allowed my readers to begin connecting the inital letter throughout the book.

Slide2.png

After spending time with the Letter Book, we reviewed the words, generated a few more, and started gaining more letter and sound connections. It was amazing listening to my readers as they inquired about their learning. One of my students, who has really struggled with letter recognition, asked, "Why do all the words have red letters?"  This is HUGE!! He took his learning past letter recognition to word recognition.

Slide1 (1).pngSlide2-1.png

 

Once my readers showed an understanding of the letters and their sounds, we dove into the Starter Books. These pattern books take the words that students practiced in the Letter Books and place them in an early reader format. The Starters allow for students to continue to build on their letter and word recognition while gaining fluency and accuracy with more sight words.

I am so excited for my readers and the skills that they have gained. I cannot wait to use the Letter Buddies Blends Books with them!

Slide3.png

Have you used Letter Buddies with your readers?  What are your favorite resources for teaching letter and word recognition?  Leave a comment below and let me know.

 ~~~

Click the image below to read about the Letter Buddies Letter Books and the Letter Buddies Starters.

New Call-to-Action   New Call-to-Action

 

Read More

Topics: Letter Buddies, Sight Words, Marcy Godesa

Driving Into Word Study

Posted by Marcy Godesa on Nov 15, 2016 3:51:00 PM

marcy_godesa.png

 

This is a guest blog post by Marcy Godesa, a first-grade teacher from Oregon who blogs over at Searching for Teacher Balance. If you like what you read here, be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts! 

marcy1.png

Word Study is one of my favorite times of the day. It is that beautiful point in the day when I get to watch my students learn new words right in front of my eyes. My kiddos are excellent at using their good reading habits to work through new words, but explicit teaching of new vocabulary, on my part, is still extremely important.

I love taking my kiddos' leveled readers and pulling specific vocabulary to not only support that current book, but to support their development of background knowledge. Hameray Publishing came to the rescue yet again with their amazing books. Big Wheels at Work has been the perfect addition to my readers' book bags. 

marcy2.png

During our sneak peek of the book, we explored the tricky words. Throughout our small group, kiddos matched the "stretched out sounds" (word attack strategy) of each word to the correct spelling of the word. They placed the cards in the different parking spots as they matched them up. This activity allowed my students to use the visual representation of the sounds to practice each word.

marcy3.png

Students then drove their monster trucks into the parking spots of each tricky word found throughout the book. They loved being able to "drive" into each word, thus practicing each word again.  

You can grab this parking lot and sound matching cards here.  

As you can see, I love working on words with my kiddos. Do you love working on words with your students? What is your favorite time of day teaching your students?

 ~~~

Click the image below to read about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which includes Big Wheels At Work.

Kaleidoscope Collection Info Sheet

Read More

Topics: Leveled Readers, Kaleidoscope Collection, Vocabulary, Marcy Godesa

Establishing Buddy Reading Expectations

Posted by Marcy Godesa on Oct 4, 2016 3:10:00 PM

marcy_godesa.png
This is a guest blog post by Marcy Godesa, a first-grade teacher from Oregon who blogs over at Searching for Teacher Balance. If you like what you read here, check her blog out, and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!

Setting clear expectations beginning on the first day of school is vital. The amount of time we practice routines in my classroom may seem crazy to some people, but it is the only way to ensure a successful school year. One area that I spend a lot of time practicing with my students around is buddy reading. I have learned never to expect that my students know how to do something—they need to be taught. This doesn't just apply to primary age students, but all students. As teachers, we sometimes expect kids to just know or remember from the pervious year and that does not always work on our favor. Therefore, day by day, we practice one expectation and add another as mastery of the previous is shown.

Here are the buddy expectations that we have been working on. We practiced one a day, adding to our expectations over the first few weeks of school.

Marcy1.jpg

                        Marcy2.jpg        Marcy3.jpg

I have learned over the last 12 years that it is important for buddy readers to not only be able to meet the expectations set, but to be able to communicate on the same level. I have searched high and low for great books that buddies can build their background knowledge with, and then discuss further through a buddy read. My search for great books is finally over! The Fables and Real Word Series from Hameray Publishing fits all of my buddy reading needs.

Marcy4.jpg

This series allows my kiddos to read and build their background knowledge with the nonfiction books. They can read them independently during Read-to-Self or with their buddy.

Marcy5.jpg

Students then have common vocabulary and topic background knowledge to make connections, retell, find their favorite parts, and just book talk. The nonfiction books are just the beginning. Each nonfiction set has a fable that relates to the topic. Buddies are able to read the fables together, building off their nonfiction reading.

Marcy6.jpg

I love sitting and listening in on buddy reads. It is such a wonderful opportunity to hear students talking about books. I have noticed that by reading books sets and series together they are able to make connections through the conversations they have. Buddies are also so excited to share interesting excerpts with each other. 
Buddy Reading has become a successful time in my classroom. I firmly believe that setting and reviewing exceptions is key, but having meaningful text is the icing on the cake.

What is a Buddy Reading MUST in your classroom?

~~~

Want to learn more about nonfiction books shown in this post? Click the image below to read about the Fables and the Real World series.

Fables and the Real World More Information

Read More

Topics: Leveled Readers, Group Work, Fables and the Real World, Marcy Godesa

Guided Reading Expert Groups

Posted by Marcy Godesa on Jul 28, 2016 3:30:00 PM

marcy_godesa.png
This is a guest blog post by Marcy Godesa, a first-grade teacher from Oregon who blogs over at Searching for Teacher Balance. If you like what you read here, check her blog out, and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!

One of my favorite ways to utilize guided reading groups and reading conferences is to create expert groups. By allowing students to read about a topic that they are interested in, I have found that their want to read increases substantially. This year, I used Hameray Publishing’s Fables and The Real World set to build expertise with my students. 

expert.jpg

The nonfiction books were perfect for my reading groups. Each group would read their text throughout the week. We studied main ideas and details, as well as retellings. The next week, I mixed up my reading groups and students taught each other about the topics they read about.  

expert1.jpg

I can't wait to get my hands on more of Hameray's Real World books.  

Do you like to switch up your reading groups? How do you try to spark interest among your students?

~~~

Want to learn more about nonfiction books shown in this post? Click the image below to read about the Fables and the Real World series.

Fables and the Real World More Information

Read More

Topics: Leveled Readers, Guided Reading, Group Work, Fables and the Real World, Marcy Godesa

Building Paired Text Connections within Young Readers

Posted by Marcy Godesa on Apr 19, 2016 6:00:00 AM

marcy_godesa.png
This is a guest blog post by Marcy Godesa, a first-grade teacher from Oregon who blogs over at Searching for Teacher Balance. If you like what you read here, check her blog out, and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!

When teaching students the importance of understanding their reading, lessons on making connections must take place. As adult readers, we constantly connect what we are reading to real-life events and topics. These connections are what allow our brains to store the newly read information for immediate and future use. How do we get young readers to do they same thing?


First off, as parents and educators, we need to make sure that these readers are exposed to rich text, meaningful stories, and all around interesting topics. You can find wide range of books that cover these three needs in the Fables and the Real World series. My students and I love that their books contain real photographs and cover interesting topics.

Godesa-1.png

Second, we need a variety of books to support the strategy of making connections. By reading nonfiction text and comparing it to the author's message/moral of the story in fables, young readers are able to grow their reading minds. The connections that they are able to make between nonfiction and fiction helps to build the bridge to successful comprehension. I feel that too often young readers focus only on text-to-self connections and the text-to-world connections fall to the wayside. It is these text-to-world connections that strengthen our language skills and understanding of the world.  

Godesa-2.png

Paired texts such as Fables and the Real World and Story World Real World are an incredible resource to use when teaching students about text-to-world, as well as text-to-text connections. My kiddos not only love the nonfiction component, but they thoroughly enjoy discussing the morals of the fables. 

What is your favorite resource for teaching connections? Leave a comment below letting us know!

~~~

Want to learn more about the paired texts shown in this post? Click the image below to read about the Fables and the Real World series.

Fables and the Real World More Information

Read More

Topics: Leveled Readers, Fables and the Real World, Marcy Godesa, Paired Texts

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all

Follow Me