Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Joys of Reading

I love teaching reading because I love to read, but it always seems to be the most daunting subject to plan for in first grade. So much is involved in turning fledgling readers into accomplished, "I can do it!" readers. Phonetics, phonemics, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency all have to come together under the right conditions for the magic to occur. At times it feels as if I'm stirring together a witch's brew where one misplaced ingredient would cause the whole concoction to explode.

This never turns out well!

After teaching reading for several years and researching good reading practices, I would like to say that I have completely come to terms with reading instruction. Although I do feel more comfortable with it, I still have my panic moments, especially with my strugglers. I don't consider this a bad thing. I think any teacher worth their salt (as we say down south) should worry. No teacher wants to let their students down academically or otherwise. On the other hand, we shouldn't beat ourselves with the reading stick every time a student misses a word or gives you a blank stare when you ask them, "What is the setting of this story?"

This actually happened to me....during an one my brighter students...who liked to be noticed...who smiled when she said "What's that?" rendered me speechless...only for a moment...oh dear!

In other words, teach the five components of reading and teach them well. Document progress and change gears when necessary. Research ways to teach reading, talk to good reading teachers, and implement good reading strategies in your classroom. BUT keep in mind that reading really is developmental. Consider yourself, your reading skills are still developing. You will never stop learning how to read and understand literature better. Reading, like math, is a skill that builds and grows with you. The same is true for our little buddies. Give them time and trust your teacher's gut. 

With that said, here is my pacing guide for this year. I can't teach without a guide especially in reading which can feel so random as you move through the different skills. In our district, we use Scotts Foresman Reading Street basal. My plan is to incorporate our basal into the Daily Five. My thought is that the basal stories would be good for Read to Someone and I can pull the activities for Word Work and Work on Writing from the skills presented that week. This will free me up to tackle more complicated texts during our shared reading or mini-lesson each day. What do you think? I would love your feedback as I'm always looking for better ways to teach reading.

Click the picture above to download

If you are considering doing Daily 5 in your classroom, you have to check into the Daily 5 book study going on this summer. I have loved it and the information has been invaluable. It has been wonderful to read and see how other teachers are interpreting Daily 5 in their classrooms. I have recommended it to several teachers at my school already.

Here is a link to Chapter 1
And another one that you might like

  You can also check out my Pinterest boards for more info about reading and the Daily 5. Just click the link at the top of the page. 

Happy reading!



  1. I'm your newest follower! Thank you for sharing your curriculum maps. You did a great job on them. Am I the only person having problems with the link on the reading map? I'll keep trying.

    1. Thank you so much for following! I'm so glad the maps are helpful. Thanks too for pointing out the problem with the link. I fixed the problem so hopefully it'll work for you now!

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  3. I'm your newest follower. Visit my blog @ Calling Plays in the 2nd Grade if you get a chance.

    1. I sure will! Thanks for stopping by and following!