I am finding it!! I want to sing from the rooftops!! Believe me, teaching phonics and struggling readers is not easy, and there are days when I want to pull my hair out BUT each day has gotten a little bit better. One of the things I wanted to share with you all is my reading schedule for each day. For my lower level readers I need STRUCTURE and I am finding that their attention span is so short that if I just keep us moving along, things go much easier. I have a 90 minute reading block each day. I try to keep those 90 minutes packed full!
9:00-9:15 whole group phonics lesson
9:15-9:30 centers/daily 5-rotation 1
9:30-9:45 rotation 2
9:45-10:00 rotation 3 or second whole group lesson depending on the need/the day
10:00-10:15 rotation 4
10:15-10:30 read aloud
For my first whole group lesson I have been using phonic poems, rhymes and songs (thank you Kaitlyn) that I have found on the internet as a class warm-up. We have used wikki-stix to identify words with short a and long a sounds.
During rotations or centers students have the choice or read to self from books that are just right for them, listen to a story, word work (continuing our phonics practice) or a computer program called Imagine Learning- it's awesome. While the students are working on one of those things, I have a group with me and we are working on decodable books.
My optional 2nd lesson is usually a vocabulary or sight word lesson
For my read a loud I am trying to follow along with our basil but jazz it up a little bit. This week second graders are reading The Mixed Up Chameleon so we have been looking at a variety of Eric Carle books.
Now that I have a structure in place I feel like a much more effective teacher. I still have days where my expectations are too high but I am getting somewhere. In my short time with this group I have already seen some progress and that is so uplifting!
So my question to you is, what is the structure of your reading block? Do you have a group of struggling readers, what do you do with them?