Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

The Role of Big Books and Shared Reading, Part 3

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Dec 20, 2016 3:03:00 PM

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This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. To read the first article in this blog series about shared reading, click here. To read the second article, click here.

In the third and last post of this blog series, I will offer ways to use Joy Cowley big books for shared reading activities in your classroom.

BOOK THREE: WISHY-WASHY MOUSE

REASONS FOR SHARED READING:

  • Many students are familiar with Mrs. Wishy- Washy and her animals.
  • The book uses words ending in '-y' that are pronounced with the 'e' sound.
  • The book provides opportunities for inferential questions: why didn’t the animals help Mrs. Wishy-Washy get the mouse out of the barn?
  • The last page of the book uses quotation marks.
  • The word "help” appears as an uppercase "H" on page 3 and a lowercase "h" on pages 4 and 5.
  • The sight words 'is,’ 'in,’ 'the,’ 'did,’ 'not,’ 'said,' 'come,’ and 'out' are featured in the story.
  • The illustrations help the children understand character traits and feelings, helping to promote fluency.
  • The children can hear how the reader's voice changes with periods, quotation marks, and exclamation marks.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FIRST READING:

  • Introduce the book title and provide opportunities for children share what they know about Mrs. Wishy-Washy. Use the title page to introduce the mouse. What do you know about mice? Where do you think the mouse is? Why do you think that?
  • Read the story to the children, employing emotion as you read. As you come to multisyllabic words, tap the pointer to indicate the number of syllables.
  • After reading the story, ask the children to discuss how Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the animals felt about the mouse. Why did Mrs. Wishy-Washy ask for help? Why did the duck tell the mouse to come out 'now'? Why did Mrs. Wishy-Washy run back to the house?
  • Discuss the dialogue on page 8. How do we know that duck said this? Ask the children how the duck was feeling. Stress the word 'now.' Why is that word important?

SUGGESTIONS FOR SECOND READING:

  • Encourage the children to read along with you. What do the children think the word 'cried' means? Is it different from being 'sad'? When you get to page 8, invite a child to be the duck and the rest of the class to read the last line on that page.
  • Study the picture on the title page and the picture on page 2. What happened to the mouse between the two pages? When do you think Mrs. Wishy-Washy first saw the mouse?
  • Ask the children to study the faces of the animals on the last page. How do the animals feel about what happened? What might they be thinking?
  • Ask different children to use the pointer. If the child has trouble with 'one to one,' guide the student's hand, slowly reading and tapping out syllables in words with more than one syllable.

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FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES:

  • Create a blank bingo-shaped grid with a free center square. Prepare large flashcards with eight sight words or write each word on the board. Ask the children to write each word in one of the squares on their grid. Explain that everyone has created his or her own game boards. Call each word one time, encouraging students to listen for sounds in the word. After the students have put an 'x' on the word they think is correct, ask them to spell and say the word with you. If they were correct they can draw a smiley face inside the box. Two of the words begin alike but have different endings. The other six all begin with different sounds. Collect the students’ game boards to help you evaluate each child’s sight-reading strengths. Were they able to accurately write the words? Are there letters that they are still reversing?
  • Ask the children to draw a picture about a time when they were scared. Add a speech bubble above their heads and write a line of dialogue. Add a caption to explain what is happening in the picture.

FURTHER REREADING:

  • Use the book in oral or silent guided reading. The book can then go home for sharing with the family.
  • Add more Mrs. Wishy-Washy books into your class library.
  • Place the big book in a center or the class library. Students can take turns playing the role of the teacher.

 

BOOK FOUR: DAN AND THE PARROT

REASONS FOR SHARED READING:

  • The story includes dialogue that will help practice fluency and reinforce quotation marks and exclamation marks.
  • Rhyming patterns '-an,' '-ash,’ '-ay,’ and '-age' are included. Page 4 and 12 contain words that rhyme but have different spellings.
  • The text includes the contractions 'don't,' 'can't,' 'I'm,' 'you're,’ and 'I'll.’
  • Examples of onomatopoeia are on pages 8, 11, and 13.
  • The story allows for inference questions: What did the parrot mean when it called itself 'tricky'? Why did the parrot tell Dan that he was ' as slow as a flying carrot' on page 9?
  • Some words contain all capital letters. How are these words different?
  • Two synonyms for 'yelled' are used in the story: cried and shrieked. Why did the author use different words?
  • Words ending in '-ing,' '-ed,’ and ‘-y' are used more than once in the story. Discuss the purpose of these particles.
  • The pictures provide good clues for unknown words and understanding character traits.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FIRST READING:

  • If students are already familiar with Dan the Flying Man, ask them to share what they know about Dan.
  • Introduce the three characters on front cover. Ask the children to predict some things that might happen in the story. Turn to the title page. What does the picture tell us?
  • Use a pointer as your read with expression and emotion. Exaggerate the quotation marks and exclamation points.
  • Discuss the main conflict and Dan’s resolution. Why did Gran call Dan "a clever man”?
  • Discuss ways that the Dan and the parrot are alike and different. Use pictures from the books for hints (setting, size, method of flying, etc.) Create a T-chart to record the children's comparisons.

SUGGESTIONS FOR SECOND READING:

  • Encourage students to read along with you and adopt the different character’s voices. Point out the exclamation mark on page 1 and reaffirm its purpose. Practice as a class.
  • Read the story, using a pointer and talking like the characters.

JC_DanAndTheParrot.jpg

FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES:

  • Assign each child to a character in the book. Students without an assigned character can 'SWOOP’ and ‘FLIP-FLAP.' The picture on each page will give clues about which character is speaking. You can point to the character to help the children understand when they should speak.
  • Provide a list of the contractions in the book and ask the students to write the two words that formed the contraction. Then write a sentence using the contraction.
  • The simile "slow as a carrot' was used in the story. Discuss the definition of a simile. The following simile patterns can be included on an activity sheet with blank spaces for the children to complete the simile:
    • The parrot's wings could flap as fast as ________ __________.
    • Dan could fly as high as ________ ____________________!
    • Dan swooped into the air like ________ _______________.
    • As the story ended, the parrot was as mad as ________ ________.
  • Explore the following word meanings, using pictures as clues:
    • "That's not fair!"
    • "I don't care!"
    • shriek with rage"
  • Ask students to study the picture on the final page. What is probably going to happen again?

FURTHER REREADING:

  • Place the book in a center where children can read the story and assume the role of teacher. The book can also be used with a shared reading group or shared with families.
  • Add the other Dan the Flying Man books to the classroom library.

I hope that this blog series has helped you understand the power of shared reading and that you will enjoy it as much as I have over the years. Not only is it a delightful way to spend time with all students, but it also provides ample opportunity for follow-up activities based on your students’ needs.

 

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from Hameray's Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children. 

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Visit our website to learn more about Wishy-Washy Mouse, Dan and the Parrot, and other books by Joy Cowley. Click the image below to download a brochure featuring Hameray's Big Books Collection!

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Big Books, Shared Reading, Geraldine Haggard, Guided Reading

The Role of Big Books and Shared Reading, Part 2

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Dec 13, 2016 3:03:00 PM

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This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. To read the first article in this blog series about shared reading, click here

In the second post of this blog series, I will introduce two Hameray books that are excellent choices for shared reading.

BOOK ONE: HALLOWEEN NIGHT

REASONS FOR SHARED READING:

*Topic is of special interest to children of all ages.

*The story utilizes a repetitive sentence pattern. ("I saw a ________looking at me.")

*Page six repeats the names of the things the boy saw. Beginning letter sounds can be used as clues.

*The introductory phrase "On Halloween night" can be used to discuss breathing at comma, while the exclamation mark on page 7 allows for reading with excitement. There are quotation marks around "BOO."

*Multisyllabic words such as 'Halloween,’ 'vampire,’ 'mummy,’ 'shouted,’ 'away,’ and 'jack-o-lantern' are included.

*Sight words such as ‘a,’ ‘at,’ ‘rat,’ and ‘on’ offer multiple opportunities for the students to see and read the words.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FIRST READING:

  • Introduce the title and ask children when and where they think the story is taking place. Invite them to talk about the picture on the front cover. Quickly visit each page and asks children if they can identify objects in the pictures. Remind them that they may know the beginning sounds of these words.
  • Read the story to the children without inviting them to read with you. Read with great excitement and feeling. Tap the pointer for multi-syllable words.
  • Ask the children to predict why the characters all ran away on page 8. How does the picture help?
  • Ask the children to discuss things that might happen next in the story.kaleidoscope-collection-halloween-night-2-1.jpg

SUGGESTIONS FOR SECOND READING:

  • As you revisit the story, invite the children to read along with you. Continue to use the pointer and read slowly enough that the children can read along with you with fluency and emotion. Children might frame sight words.
  • Reread sentences with multisyllabic words and clap out each syllable.
  • Display the following story map on the screen or board. Have the children complete the sentences:
    • On Halloween night, I saw a ______________.
    • On Halloween night I saw a _______________.
    • On Halloween night, I saw a _______________.
    • On Halloween night, I saw a _______________, a ________________, and a ____________.
    • They all ___________. (Accept various responses.)
  • Have each student write his or her own story, using the shared writing exercise as a guide. After illustrating, children can sit in groups of two or three and share their stories. Remind them that their pictures provide clues for their stories.

FURTHER REREREADING:

  • Use guided reading copies and/or big books in the class library. Allow students to read in small groups with one child assuming the role of the teacher. The shared writing could be displayed on the board as a center and the children read as a group with one child using a pointer.

 

BOOK TWO: MUD SOUP

REASONS FOR SHARED READING:

  • Pages 2−6 of the book are based on a simple sentence pattern.
  • Page 7 contains a word that is repeated three times. The picture serves as a great clue for reading 'stir.’
  • Sight words "went' and 'the' are repeated on several pages.
  • Periods and exclamation marks allow for reading with fluency and emotion.
  • The phrase "In went the _______" is repeated five times.
  • Young children enjoy playing with water and dirt!

SUGGESTIONS FOR FIRST READING:

  • Share the front cover of the big book. Ask the children to name the items they see and suggest what they think the boy may do. Point to the words in the title and read the words.
  • Turn to the inside title page and reread the name of the book. Explain that the author took pictures to illustrate her book. Study the picture on the title page. What is the boy doing?
  • Go to page 2 and read the story to the children using a pointer. Read with expression and breathe in the proper places.
  • Revisit pages 2-6 and ask a child to frame the words 'dirt,' 'water,' ‘sticks,’ 'leaves,’ and 'stones.’ After each word is framed, ask the child to frame the beginning sound and share the name of the first letter in the words. Explain that these letters can help them read the words, but the pictures can also give them clues to recognizing the word. 
  • What letter is at the end of the word ‘in’? Do you hear that 'n' as they say the word? You can similarly model the upper and lower case "i." Remind the children that the first word in a sentence always begins with a capital letter.

kaleidoscope-collection-mud-soup-2.jpg

SUGGESTIONS FOR SECOND READING:

  • Invite the children to read with you. Use a pointer as you read and read slowly enough that they can read with you. Pause at periods and exclamation marks and discuss their purposes. How is the exclamation mark read differently from the period?
  • Students should recognize some capital letters. Page 6 includes both upper and lower case 'w.'
  • Discuss the plural forms on pages 4, 5, and 6. How does adding 's' to these words change the meanings of the words?
  • As a shared writing activity, write a how-to for making FRUIT SALAD or VEGETABLE SOUP. First decide what contained to use instead of the bucket. Invite a child to write a sight word or beginning sounds for names of ingredients. The completed writing should remain posted so children can see their work. The children can then draw the ingredients they would want in their soup or salad and label each picture.

FURTHER REREADING:

  • A guided reading copy could be taken home for reading and sharing with family.
  • The book could be reread in a guided group session for those who are ready to read the book.
  • Add the big book to a center or the class library. Students can take turns using the pointer and framing words.

In my next post, I will introduce two more Hameray books with suggestions for shared reading activities.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from Hameray's Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children. 

~~~

Visit our website to learn more about Halloween Night and Mud Soup. Click the image below to download a brochure featuring Hameray's Big Books Collection!

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Topics: Big Books, Shared Reading, Geraldine Haggard, Guided Reading

The Role of Big Books and Shared Reading

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Nov 8, 2016 3:49:00 PM

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This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. 

As the first article in a new series, this blog post is designed to share the history and purpose of big books. In subsequent posts, I will share suggestions for the use of three Hameray big books.

HISTORY FOR THE ENDORSEMENT OF USING BIG BOOKS

Don Holdaway refers to big books as “shared-book experiences” in his book The Foundations of Literacy (1979). He discussed students who are not fortunate enough to experience bedtime stories. These children neither possess the early oral language skills of their peers before entering school nor the warm personal experience with an adult who shared the excitement of reading. Holdaway found that when all the students could see the text in a shared reading book, they understand the role of print in reading.

Once, I attended a trip led by Don Holdaway and visited New Zealand schools. I watched Don and teachers in New Zealand use of published big books and class-made big books. I saw children excitedly reading big books together after the books had been used with the entire class. The classes in New Zealand had children of different ages grouped together, so guided reading was a part of the many collective reading activities in the classroom. 

child reading books_14715389_Otnaydur.jpgATTRIBUTES OF SHARED READING

A teacher must choose a big book that the students will want to read and reread. The book should contain repeated phrases and sentences, rhyming words, and pictures that support the text. Such a book will strengthen the oral language skills of the students in a non-threatening way. 

In Different Paths to Common Outcomes (1998), Marie Clay recommends that the teacher move from whole to parts of words, emphasizing the semantic and syntactic cues.

The first reading is done by the teacher after an introduction to the book. The children are not invited to read along but may use any prior knowledge to talk about the book’s content. Thirty minutes is sufficient for the teacher to model, discuss, and guide students.

     Later readings allow students to read along with the teacher in big groups, small groups, and independently.

 

 

 

 

REASONS FOR SHARED READING EXPERIENCES

  • Shared reading provides an opportunity for the entire class to participate, allowing everyone to feel successful and be a part of a happy experience with a book.
  • Children who fear that reading is difficult can have a sense of individual achievement.
  • The teacher can introduce new strategies, provide opportunities for practice, and help students truly understand the importance of the strategies.
  • Discussion allows students to use prior knowledge that will provide a foundation for strong reading comprehension skills.
  • The details of letters and words can be discussed and used later in writing.
  • Students become familiar with essential sight words.
  • The teacher can model the cross-checking strategy that is essential to good reading, teaching students the semantics and syntax behind questions: "Did that make sense? Did that sound right?" Clay believes that meaning and syntax came before print details.
  • Fluent reading by the teacher and emphasis of punctuation can help students use punctuation marks as they read text with emotion and meaning.
  • Research shares that multiple readings of a text are important. Shared reading big books can be a part of the class library, while smaller copies of the book can become home reading.

In New Zealand, I saw small groups of children revisiting and reading texts from shared reading. One student even assumed the role of the teacher!

In my next post, I will present example lessons from the Hameray Big Book Collection. Subscribe in the right-hand sidebar to receive my next post in your mailbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from Hameray's Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children. 

~~~

Click the image below to download a brochure featuring Hameray's Big Books Collection!

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Topics: Big Books, Shared Reading, Geraldine Haggard, Guided Reading

Ways to Balance a Curriculum in the Primary Grades

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Mar 13, 2015 8:00:00 AM

GHaggardbiopicThis is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

Today the teachers of primary grades face some challenges. There are demands from national and state governments that require the teaching of set curriculums for reading, writing, and the content areas. Time allotments of the days do not seem adequate to meet all of these requirements. Teachers are looking for ways to plan their instruction and not neglect any of the disciplines. There are large numbers of children who enter the classrooms with a lack of experiences needed to develop vocabulary and the use of English. What might be the answer to these problems? How can teachers better prepare the children for the shift from 'learning to read and write' to using 'reading and writing to learn'?

childdrawing_84196873_AndreyShtankoResearch and some schools are finding that integrating the three curriculum areas (reading, writing, and content areas) is the answer. Better readers and writers result from using the content areas with focused reading and writing activities. However, there are four important components needed in this procedure if it is to be effective. (source: www.primary-education-oasis.com, "Teaching Writing to Children") These components are:

  • Modeling, done by the teacher
  • Shared writing, led by the teacher with student(s) participating
  • Collaborative writing, allowing student(s) to work with other students and/or the teacher as they are writing
  •  Independent writing, allowing the student to work alone

If you do not include all four of these components as you teach, the results will not be pleasing. This could be compared to baking a cake and leaving out an important ingredient. The purpose of this blog post is to introduce the reader to some research-based ways to deliver a writing program that includes the four important ingredients. I’ve referenced some websites to help you become more familiar with the various procedures.

READ ALOUDS (www.readwritethink.org, an IRA site, "Teacher Read Aloud.")

I once heard Marie Clay say that when a teacher reads aloud to students, meaning can be negotiated in the discussion and activities that follow. After the reading, the children are provided released responsibility as they discuss new vocabulary and the message of the read-aloud, and as they write together and independently.

I recommend that each teacher maintain a vertical file of fiction and nonfiction books that can be used as read-aloud during special content-area topics and holidays. After the books have been read aloud, they can be placed in a reading center and be re-read by a student or a group of students. Include computer programs that you have available and that are approved for your use.

teacherclassreading_26364244_MonkeyBusinessImagesLANGUAGE EXPERIENCE APPROACH (www.k12teacherstaffdevelopment.com,"Understanding the Language Experience Approach")

The teacher models and shares writing techniques as students dictate. The results are used for reading together with the teacher or other students, or reading alone. In New Zealand, I saw the charts on the walls and heard the children talk about 'reading the walls' that had been put there by the teacher.

I did my student teaching in a first-grade class in a demonstration school. The children were in a social-studies unit on transportation. The charts from Language Experience were displayed on the wall and read and re-read. The students decided to make a train from boxes. They wrote and illustrated magazines for the people who rode the train.

SHARED WRITING (www.readwritethink.org, "Strategy for Shared Writing")

This approach is much like the language experience approach, but students do part of the recording of the message. Two colors of pens can be used, one for the teacher, and another for the student(s). These compositions can become big books, or small books, to be read in a center or the class library. Students can illustrate these books. They can add to the original scripts. This can be an opportunity to share what they are learning in the content areas.

WORD WALLS (www.teachersnet.com,"10 Great Word Wall Strategies")

I recommend two word walls. One should be for the special words that are needed to write about the content-area studies. As a teacher, I used a long piece of wide shelf paper. As we met new words in fiction and nonfiction that were related to the content area, the words were entered in large print on the list. These words were discussed and used orally. The children used them as they wrote. I have seen teachers ask the students to record these words on a special page in their writing journals.

READING/WRITING JOURNALS (www.eworkshop.on.ca, pages 15-30,"Independent Reading Assessment Tools") and (www.scholarwork.edu, "The What, Why, When, and How of Reading Response Journals")

Written responses can be made during and after reading. The journals can stimulate discussion during center time and in large groups later. The children can write answers to questions and create their own questions. They can interact with each other as they write.

Writing about what is learned and expressing reflections facilitate growth in content areas, reading, and writing. Explore 'jigsaw' and 'circle' writing.

WRITER'S WORKSHOP (www.busyteachercafe.com, "Writing Workshop")

This teaching tool includes all of the requirements for creating a successful program for children in content areas, reading, and writing. The site shares activities for teachers and students. The teacher models a writing technique. Children read, write, and participate in conferences with their peers and teacher. These interactions can result in books written by children to add to the class library. The site defines the workshop, gives hints for planning, and shares examples of writing done by children.


HINTS FOR TEACHERS

Study the standards and essential elements in your state and school settings. Start your vertical file of books for guided and shared reading, read-aloud, and writer's workshop. Use personal libraries, the school library, and the public library to supply you with books for read-aloud and research by the students. As you purchase new books, buy books that fit your curriculum. Use nonfiction and fiction. Hameray has a huge selection of both fiction and nonfiction that are based on the content areas.

childrenreadingsmiling_16636344_DarrinHenryRemember the four research-based tasks of the teacher:

* I do it. MODELING

* We do it. TEACHER AND STUDENTS

* CHILDREN do it together

* CHILDREN work independently

One goal of integrating the three disciplines is to make writing relevant for all students. Study students' writing over a period of time. Decide what still needs to be modeled and practiced. Plan conferences that allow you and other students to study writing done by the students. You will find all of the children are writing and reading with more enthusiasm. You will be preparing the students to move to higher grade levels that require 'using reading and writing to learn.'

If computers are available for students, explore district-approved sites for reading stories online, using the search engine to find related activities, and for writing for a purpose. Saved writing samples can be dated and used in the students' portfolios.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection Series. For more information about the Kaleidoscope Collection Series click HERE to return to our website or click the series highlight page below.  

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Topics: Kaleidoscope Collection, Teaching Writing, Read-Alouds, Shared Reading, Geraldine Haggard

Hameray Herald: January 2015 Issue

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Jan 15, 2015 11:15:00 AM

 

Hameray Herald: January 2015 Issue

JoyCowley_jan2015-1

Joy Cowley Is Coming to America!

Find Out Where You Can Spot Her!

The beloved author of the Mrs. Wishy-Washy series is coming back to the United States to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Reading Recovery in North America! Joy will be a keynote speaker at the National Reading Recovery & K–6 Literacy Conference taking place in Columbus, Ohio during February 7–10, 2015. Also, she will be spending some time at the Hameray booth, so make sure to stop by and meet Joy if you are attending the conference.

Shared Reading? Try These!

New in our My World collection of informational texts: five big books, each introducing one of the five themes in My World! These big books (12” wide by 16” tall) are perfect for shared reading and for exposing even the youngest children to informational text features and fascinating facts about the world around them. Guided reading levels for this series ranges from A–F.

WHATISABOOK_IMAGE

Joy Cowley's newest children's book, What Is a Book?, written specially to honor the 30th Anniversary of Reading Recovery in North America, will be launched at the National Conference. 

While all conference attendees will receive a special hardcover collector's edition, a limited number will also be available to Hameray customers. Click HERE to be added to our waiting list.

 

Tarantulas, Coyotes, and Sharks! Oh, My!

If you liked Set 1 of the beautifully photographed Zoozoo Animal World series, you're going to love Set 2!  These fun informational texts are designed to inform students about twenty animals in four   different habitats: Desert, GrasslandsMountain, and Ocean. . Guided reading levels for this series range from C–F. 

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Check out our literacy blog, which offers useful content, free downloads, and all the resources you need to make teaching a little easier. Some of the recent blog topics include:

- Guided Reading Group Activities
- Shared Reading
- Supplementing Textbooks with Leveled Readers

Upcoming Conferences

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 Hameray will be attending the following conferences:

We hope you will come by to visit with us!

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Topics: Joy Cowley, Hameray Herald, Conference, Big Books, Shared Reading, My World, Reading Recovery

Shared Reading with Little Dan—with FREE download!

Posted by Elizabeth Hall on Nov 18, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Hall-10-1-200This is a guest post by blogger Elizabeth Hall. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Kickin' It in Kindergarten, for more of her writing, or you can click here to see her other contributions to our blog!

I love reading books where the students are able to get more schema about the character they have already met. I always have a book that we use for Shared Reading. The week we read Little Dan was the same week we were reading Dan, The Flying Man. Students were able to learn more about this character through reading Little Dan.

This story is about Dan when he was a little boy. The kids were so interested to learn that he got his flying hat and clothes from his grandpa. They were able to see his house and make connections to him as a child as opposed to just being Dan, the Flying Man. Each year, my students always love reading this book. I feel like they have gotten to understand the character better by seeing him through the two different stories.

After we read Little Dan, we brainstormed the different problems that Dan had when he was little. He wanted to fly ever since he was a baby but he kept falling. His Mom and his Dad would help him when we got hurt, but it was his grandpa in the end that solved his problem of wanting to fly. There are great connections that students can make throughout this story. There is a birthday party, parents helping their child, and receiving a present. Most students can make connections with the character. This is also another way to deepen a child’s understanding and retention of the story.

Hall-10-2-300Hall-10-3-300

We focused on writing about his two problems and how his grandpa helped him overcome his problem. I had the students draw and write (we are focusing on writing) about the two problems in the story. Then, they had to do the same for the solution. This is a great graphic organizer to use with any story. Encourage students to write and make connections about what they read. You can download a Dan-themed graphic organizer below.

Hall-10-4-300Hall-10-5-300

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elizabeth hallThis is my sixth year as a kindergarten teacher. The best part of kindergarten is watching a child fall in love with reading. It has become my passion to show children the possibilities and amazing adventures literature can offer. I love watching their eyes light up when they tell me they can read their favorite book, or they can’t wait to go back to the library! I have the best job in the world! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful support system in and out of school. My family lives close and I get to spend a lot of time with them! While I am not at school, I enjoy running, teaching spin class, swimming, playing kickball, spending time with my husband, and traveling. I also have a sheltie named Maggie, which is spoiled rotten. I am married to the best guy in the world, work with wonderful people, and have fabulous students!

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We've got plenty of big books for shared reading! Click here to see them on our website! If you want to know more about the Joy Cowley Collection, which features the Dan stories, click the image below to download an information sheet with series highlights! Click the image to the right to download the graphic organizer sheet

 

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Topics: Joy Cowley, K-2 Literacy, Kindergarten, Elizabeth Hall, Big Books, Shared Reading

Shared Reading and the Common Core

Posted by Kathy Crane on Oct 23, 2014 8:00:00 AM

This is a guest post by Kathy Crane, who will be contributing a series of posts over the next few months. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts from here and click here to read her blog, Kindergarten Kiosk.

Teaching the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts – Reading: Literature can seem daunting at first glance, but when you look at the standards closely, everything listed can easily be taught using proven “Big Book” teaching methods.

Here are a few examples:

Little_Dan-coverKey Ideas and details:

  1. After the first reading of a big book, move through the book page by page while making a list of the key details. For example. What is happening on this page? How do we know the character felt this way? Let’s reread the page to see how the picture reflects the words in the story. (You can expand this by adding sticky notes on strategic places to document findings or by creating a large chart.)
  2. Big books can easily be retold to enhance student understanding concerning details of text. These retellings, as well as the listing of characters, settings, and events can be accomplished in a number of ways such as: story mapping, spidergraphs, story paths, dramatization, puppets, art, writing, story hand, etc.

Craft and Structure:

1. Make a dictionary or bulletin board to compile unknown words. One example is “Fancy Nancy’s Words.” After a few readings, go through the text, list and define “fancy” or unknown words. Write the words on a strip or piece of paper, and ask a student to illustrate the word(s). Add to your bulletin board or dictionary.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity! This one is easy, as it is already the purpose of teacher big books and shared reading! Our goal is to “actively engage (students) in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. Shared reading allows students opportunity to be engaged in text and vocabulary well above their independent reading level and, therefore, accomplishes this goal every day!

So if you are worried about teaching the Reading: Literature portion of the Common Core Standards, worry no more! Stock your room with great quality big books. If you don’t know where to start, here is one of my student’s favorites! If you love Joy Cowley’s character Dan The Flying Man, you will love to see how he first acquired his flying suit in her book Little Dan

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For more information about Joy Cowley's books, click here to visit our website or click the image below to download an information sheet with series highlights. 

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Topics: Joy Cowley, Common Core, Shared Reading, Kathy Crane

Shared Reading with The Meanies

Posted by Elizabeth Hall on Oct 14, 2014 8:00:00 AM

elizabeth hallThis is a guest post by blogger Elizabeth Hall. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Kickin' It in Kindergarten, for more of her writing, or you can click here to see her other contributions to our blog!

One way that I love bringing reading and characters alive in my classroom is through shared reading. My favorite books are those featuring Mrs. Wishy-Washy, The Meanies, and The Hungry Giant by Joy Cowley. I read the same text from Monday to Friday with the goal of students being able to read the words independently by Friday. We do activities to accompany the book throughout the week.

When I saw Meanies’ Night Out, I knew that we had to have it in our classroom! Every year without fail, the Meanies in the story are always a favorite. They think they are funny for sleeping in garbage cans and eating old bubble gum. Any time you can get kids laughing, it is a good thing! They find an emotional connection to the story and they get excited when they see the characters in a different story.

One of the activities that we did this time around was about what it meant to be “Nice-ies”. They all knew what Meanies did, but it was a great activity to piggy-back off of both Meanies stories. I never miss an opportunity to talk character education. First, we brainstormed what things Meanies do from both the original Meanies story and then also from Meanies’ Night Out.

We talked about having manners and treating others kindly. Then, I asked students what the opposite of a Meanie would be. I let them come up with a few ideas until I prompted them to think about what Nice-ies would look like. Then, they started to talk about the pretend characters and brainstorm some different actions that Nice-ies would do.

Hall-9-2-200  Hall-9-3-200  Hall-9-4-200

Students in kindergarten are just learning how to sound out words and phonetic spelling is vital in the development of young readers and writers. I asked students to sound out one action verb to finish the sentence “Nice-ies…” and they responded: help, hug, are nice, make friends, and be kind. This was one of our first independent writing activities and I was so pleased with how they turned out!

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This is my sixth year as a kindergarten teacher. The best part of kindergarten is watching a child fall in love with reading. It has become my passion to show children the possibilities and amazing adventures literature can offer. I love watching their eyes light up when they tell me they can read their favorite book, or they can’t wait to go back to the library! I have the best job in the world! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful support system in and out of school. My family lives close and I get to spend a lot of time with them! While I am not at school, I enjoy running, teaching spin class, swimming, playing kickball, spending time with my husband, and traveling. I also have a sheltie named Maggie, which is spoiled rotten. I am married to the best guy in the world, work with wonderful people, and have fabulous students!

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We've got plenty of big books for shared reading! Click here to see them on our website! If you want to know more about the Joy Cowley Collection, which features the Meanies stories, click the image below to download an information sheet with series highlights!

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Topics: Joy Cowley, K-2 Literacy, Kindergarten, Elizabeth Hall, Big Books, Shared Reading

Teaching Kids To Read with Shared Reading: Part 3—with FREE download!

Posted by Kathy Crane on Sep 25, 2014 8:00:00 AM

This is a guest post by Kathy Crane. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts from her, read her earlier posts, and click here to read her blog, Kindergarten Kiosk.

Shared Reading: Connecting to the Text

Shared reading allows students opportunity to work with text that is above their own reading level. Doing so increases reading skills, vocabulary, and comprehension. In previous posts, I have talked about shared reading steps one through five. Now, it is time to look at the last step of the process. Step six is connecting students to the text.

Screen_Shot_2014-09-25_at_9.53.25_AMThis step engages students with the text and allows for opportunity to explore and extend their learning. Here are some examples that you might consider, when doing shared reading using Joy Cowley's big books featuring the Meanies:

Writing: Write a letter to the Meanies. “If you come to my house you will find a...”

Vocabulary Book: Make a list of vocabulary words and illustrate to add to a class-made new-word dictionary book.

Games: Play games with a Meanies theme, like "Slap The Meanie"! Download the freebie "Slap the Meanie" game sight word packet at the bottom of this page!

Poetry Chart: Write a poem about the Meanies and place it on a chart in the poetry center. Here is an example of a simple poem using easy sight and action words. “I see a meanie hop, hop, hop. I see a meanie jump, jump, jump. I see a meanie run, run, run. I see a meanie sleep, sleep, sleep. SNORE!”

Art: Make a construct Meanie using construction paper, or paint a Meanie.

Social Studies: Talk about real-life bullies. Make a list of how do deal with Meanie-like behavior. 

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Kathy Crane holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading. She is a published author of thirteen books, a freelance author and developer of teaching curriculum, has been a teacher of kindergarten for twenty-two years, and publishes the blog Kindergarten Kiosk.

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For more information about Joy Cowley's books, click here to visit our website. To download the freebie, click the image below.    

Slap the Meanie Game Sight Word Activity Download
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Topics: Joy Cowley, Shared Reading, Kathy Crane

Teaching Kids To Read with Shared Reading: Part 2—with FREE download!

Posted by Kathy Crane on Sep 9, 2014 8:00:00 AM

This is a guest post by Kathy Crane, who will be contributing a series of posts over the next few months. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts from here and click here to read her blog, Kindergarten Kiosk.

Steps one through four of shared reading (as described in this prior post) are generally completed on day one when a new book has just been introduced. Step five will generally begin on day two. This step always begins with inviting the students to read the text along with the teacher (as she points to the text).

Crane-2-300During the first choral or group reading the entire text should be read. Following the initial choral reading there are several activities that will allow students the opportunity to become fluent readers as their ability to comprehend text deepens. These activities are generally based on a lesson objective, the age of the students, and/or the difficulty of the text. Here are a few examples of activities that you might consider using:

  1. Look for specific alphabet letters or sight words.
  2. Focus on phonemic activities such as rhyme, beginning sound, alliteration found within the story, or syllables in chosen words.
  3. Cover words with post-it notes to allow students an opportunity to practice the reading strategy of what makes sense?
  4. Use the think-aloud process to teach reading strategies.
  5. Cover parts of words allowing for focus of beginning or ending sounds.
  6. Focus on new vocabulary words.
  7. Practice sequencing story events.
  8. Focus on writing conventions. Ask students why the author chose a certain punctuation, etc.Crane-2-1-300
  9. Design a story map (beginning middle end).
  10. Make a list of elements within the story.
  11. Dramatize the story.
  12. Talk about the job of the illustrator/author
  13. Ask what was the author’s purpose?
  14. Discuss the book’s genre.

As you can see, the opportunities for good teaching go on and on when you use the technique of shared reading!

My students love Mrs. Wishy-Washy. Of course they do—Joy Cowley is a genius! We all know and love her original story, but have you checked out her sequels? My students love them. In the picture above, they are acting out Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Wash.

So, what is my giveaway this post? An original song poster featuring, you guessed it, the one and only Mrs. Wishy-Washy!

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Kathy Crane holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading. She is a published author of thirteen books, a freelance author and developer of teaching curriculum, has been a teacher of kindergarten for twenty-two years, and publishes the blog Kindergarten Kiosk.

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For more information about Joy Cowley's books, click here to visit our website. To download a larger image of the Mrs. Wishy-Washy song, click the image below.    

A Home for Me Nonfiction Packet Download
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Topics: Mrs. Wishy-Washy, Joy Cowley, Shared Reading, Kathy Crane

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