Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday-Reading Street

I'm linking up with Cara for Throwback Thursday!

I've been getting lots of emails asking about how I taught Reading Street in first grade, so I decided to feature this post today. Back in September, I wrote a detailed post on how I taught whole group and centers during the 90 minute reading block. Now, I know a lot of people are switching to the new version of Reading Street that is CC aligned, so things will probably be laid out a little differently, but you can still get a general idea of what I did. This is how I taught reading for the past 4 years and it worked wonderfully for me. Hope this helps! :)

Reading Street Whole Group/Centers

Here's how I teach Scott Foresman's Reading Street. I'm by no means an expert, but since I've had requests on how I do some of our center activities, I thought it might be easier to go through the whole morning routine. 
We have 2 hours for our morning reading block. We start at 8am and finish around 10am.  At the beginning of reading each morning, I start off with a 30 minute whole group lesson that covers what we will be doing during centers. Each center lasts around 15 minutes.
  Here's the whole group routine:
I make a "Reading Objectives" chart for every lesson. Time consuming? Yes! But it does help me tremendously with planning out the lesson. It also helps the kids know what we will be doing next. Here's an example of this chart.
I put an empty box next to each item and at the end of the whole group lesson, we go over the chart and put a check next to each item. That way it's easy to remember if we've left something out and it serves as a reminder for what we just learned.
See the skill words written on green post it stickies? These are 'tickets' to get to centers. I call on different kids each day to tell me what each word is. If they get it right, they get to go to their center. 

After we quickly go over the objectives chart, we dive right in with the first task: Question of the day. Here's where it is located in the TE
I tell my kids the question of the day, give them a second to think about it, and them tell them to turn and talk to their partner. Their partner is just whoever is sitting close by. While they are doing this, I'm walking around listening and encouraging some of my shy kids to talk. After about a minute, we share as a group what they've just talked about their partner. Sometimes if it's a good question of the day I like to chart their responses on the smartboard.

Next is the amazing words, which are here in the TE
This is something that I don't spend a lot of time on. We just quickly talk about them and move on. I'm trying to find a better way to incorporate these words into our daily lessons, but I feel like I should spend more time on the comprehension and phonics part. If you have any ideas on teaching amazing words, please comment below!!

Next is Building Background. I drill into my kids' head the word "schema" and they love to tell me what it means! We complete the chart that is located in the book and I display it in our classroom. Here's where it is in the book:
This page is for A Fox and A Kit, but here's the chart that we did for Sam, Come Back!

Next we do our comprehension read aloud. If I don't like the one in the book, I usually pull a picture book that fits in good for the comprehension skill and use it, but sometimes the read alouds in the book are good. Here's the page in the TE
During the comprehension read loud, I refer back to a chart that have I created for the skill. For example, when we did the read aloud for Pig in a Wig, we completed this realism and fantasy chart:
The pigs were made later :) 

Next comes the most important item (in my opinion anyways): the phonics skill. For the phonics skill, I use this page in the TE
I write a word on the smartboard, tell the kids to "hold it in their head" so everyone isn't blurting the word out, and then pick someone to tell me the word. We also model sounding out words here. 

On Mondays and Tuesdays we listen to the story after the phonics skill. The book does not have this part, but I feel like it is important for the kids to hear the story day one instead of waiting until Wednesday like the book says. If you wait 'til Wednesday, then the kids have to take the test the next day after hearing the story only once. This would work if everyone read their story at home at night, but we all know that is not the case. 

Now it is time for centers! I have four groups. In each group, each child has a color. Here's an example:
Group 1
Rachel: Blue
Quinn: Yellow 1
Finn: Yellow 2
Kurt: Green
***I am watching Glee while writing this, hence the names! :)
The colors refer to their level. When everyone first gets to a center, I call a color and those kids come and meet with me. This is how I differentiate my centers. It sounds confusing, but it isn't once the kids get use to it and it works out really well. It ends up that everyone misses one center, but they make it up during Tier II time.
I also have four centers: computers, comprehension, word work, and independent/buddy reading. Here's what activities are at comprehension and word work.
Each color has a different activity. This accounts for differentiate centers. Plus, it helps cut down on copying others papers! :) 

The graphic organizers are also the same every week so the kids understand how to fill them out. 

Word Work
There are four different activities at Word Work. By Thursday, everyone will have completed all the activities. They know to do a different one each day. Here are some of the activities that are at word work. These change every week, but here are some favorites.
Reading decodables with word buddies. I simply typed the decodable readers that we do at small group, put them in the binder and placed it at the center. The word buddies are easy to make too. Just print off your favorite clip art and cut out a square in the middle and laminate. 

I put a Stop! post it by the decodable that we haven't read yet so they know not to go past it.

These "Frame a Word" activities came from Babbling Abby's Word Work packets. They are fabulous!!!!! 

My kids love Babbling Abby's Highlight a Word activities, also found in her Word Work packets, so I decided to try the idea using a past decodable. 

There is usually a word sorting pack of mine or a word scramble at Word Work too.

That's all! I hope I didn't make it too confusing to follow along. Please, if you have any more questions, feel free to comment or email and I will do my best to answer them! :)

Don't forget my TpT Sale! It ends tomorrow!! :)


  1. I love the idea of having an objectives chart. I definitely can see how that would be beneficial. Im going to plan one of those for each subject.

  2. Leslie,
    I believe I have the last 3 units of the decodable stories that the kids can highlight words in. However, I don't think I ever found the ones for Units 1 and 2. Are these available somewhere? Thanks! Liz

  3. Thank you for outlining how you teach Reading Street. I love all the little crafts you do to go along with the stories.Here are a few of the ways I use the Amazing Words. We read the 2-3 words each day, talk about what they mean, and come up with a motion or action to help us remember each word. Each day I ask for the motion for the words we learned previously, and then do the new words. Then when we read the Day 4 read aloud containing all the amazing words, they make the motions when they hear the words. I have also challenged them to listen for our weekly amazing words on TV, or in conversations with family. The next day they report back the word they heard, where they heard it, and how it was used. These activities help them build important vocabulary. I also use the amazing words as a challenge to those students who get 100% on the pre-spelling test. Instead of taking the test on Friday on words they already know, they choose 2 amazing words, draw a picture to illustrate the meaning, write a definition in their own words, and use it in a sentence (I have a form I use for this which I would be glad to share if you are interested). Hope this helps.

  4. I teach kinder and think this I can do this too. Questions: how any kids are in each group? Are they each at their own activity? I have at least 22kids last year I has 24, how could I make this work w this any students. Management has been crazy with groups, I end up with 6. I see them every other day.

  5. I love these ideas! Even though I teach second grade, I can see myself using the differentiated comprehension centers with my kiddos. Also, I teach in a bilingual classroom, so my kiddos are really learning English phonics for the first time, so I like the framing words and highlighting words activities (thanks Abby!).

    Thanks for reposting this -- I got a few new things to try this year!

    Bitty Bilinguals

  6. I found this post via Pinterest. Thank you for such a detailed look at how you do Reading Street in first grade! I just got moved to 1st which I've never taught and I'm feeling hopelessly lost. This is BEYOND helpful!

    The Caffeinated Teacher

  7. Do you happen to have the pattern for the pig in the Pig in the Wig?