World Hello Day!

Today is World Hello Day. 
You know I love it. 
This blog is about communicating and sharing all my literacy hellos with you, and spreading teaching and learning sunshine around the world. This day is about promoting peace through personal commication.  That is what World Hello Day is all about.  It's every year on November 21st and I couldn't be happier to spread more Hellos around.  So in the spirit of the day, which you can read more about at, greet 10 people today with HELLO. 
Teach students how to say HELLO in different languages.  

RTI: Progress Monitoring CBM's for Phonemic Awareness Interventions

Click on the image to preview this new PM set.

If you a Kindergarten or 1st grade teacher, this is the time of year when you begin to notice that some phonemic awareness skills just aren't clicking.  You've now provided to all your students at least 3 months of solid phonemic awareness instruction (which I hope you have, and if you haven't, you need my Phonemic Awareness curriculum, get it HERE). By this time of year, your students should be very fluent in the foundational phonemic awareness skills of identifying the concept of a spoken word. Meaning, when you say a sentence, they should have 1-1 listening correspondence. For the sentence, "I like cold pizza" students should be able to count chips or use their fingers to tell you that there are four words in that sentence.  And, RHYMING is a foundational phonemic awareness skill that you have hammered since the beginning of the school year.  Listening for rhyming words and producing rhyming words when given a word has been practiced with lot of practice and you've been reading lots of rhyming books like the following:

Download this list HERE

Or, you have been reading lots of poems and nursery rhymes like the free ones HERE.  You've probably been doing lots of singing! I hope. Timothy Rasinski says that singing in the classroom is one of the best ways to practice fluency because it's like repeated reading when you can't get the song out of your head. Or, you picked up my Rhyming unit, Feed Me! A Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Feast featuring the book, The Hungry Thing. 

This unit is 100+ pages of phonemic awareness goodness including a group reading activity (RL.10) called Feed Me Rhyming Food Cards...

 a life size poster of A Hungry Thing...


Games & Centers for practicing Onsets & Rimes (word families)...

a 20 page class BIG book...

 lots of group reading activities including Rhyming Bingo...

 and much more. And any of the numerous activities in this rhyming unit would be great and appropriate for both core or intervention instruction. 

You can purchase this unit HERE

However, for some students, these skills are not sticking. Therefore, you have determined to begin providing some phonemic awareness interventions.  As you know, an intervention that is not progress monitored, is just a reading activity.  If it truly called an intervention, then it must be progress monitored...with data.  Progress monitoring is a form of assessment that is quick, easy, and easily duplicatable and matches the same skills and standards that are in the child's curriculum, and that's why these type of RTI assessments are called CBMs, Curriculum Based Measurements, because the assessment matches what students are learning.  They also measure small increments of growth over a week or 10 day period, which is nice, because as you know, students don't always show much growth on a running record in that same time period, which is frustrating, but is the main reason why we don't use running records for progress monitoring, nor are the called CBMs.  Another synonym for CBM is probe or measure.  I have created several sets of CBMs for foundational literacy areas which are available in my store.  Here is a direct link to all my RTI: Progress Monitoring products. 

Now, I have created a new set.  This set measures growth (or progress) in the following five skill areas of Phonemic Awareness.  Technically, the first four areas are Phonological Awareness and the last measure is Phonemic Awareness.  The two terms are used synonomously as indicated by the International Reading Association, even though phonemic awareness falls under the phonological awareness umbrella.  

There are 25 different probes for each measure, and the probes look something like this. 
For the first four areas, there is only a teacher recording sheet and students produce oral responses. For Beginning Sound Production, students are looking at pictures of things and producing oral responses. 

This pack, like many of my other progress monitoring products is a grade level license.  In most cases, one teacher will buy it, but I give permission for the buyer to share it with the other grade level teachers at your school, in your school. If other grade levels want it, please ask them to purchase one for their grade level.  I want to encourage, praise and make collaboration and RTI easy.  Sharing is easy and it's what helps teachers and students.  

This new PM pack is on sale today and tomorrow.
Buy it HERE

And, be on the lookout for another PM pack out in the coming days...I think you're really going to like it! <3

MSV Strategy Intervention Task Cards for Emerging Readers

One of the biggest rewards when teaching emerging readers how to read is getting them over the teacher-dependent "I'm stuck! (puppy dog eyes)" hump to the self-dependent "I got this! (eyes stay on the page)" side of reading. You all know the students I'm talking about...they are beginning readers, reading somewhere between Level A and E...maybe even G, H or I.  These are students who, without you, don't actually read independently, or fake read because no one is actually listening to them or holding them accountable to actually reading the words on the page.  They are students who, for the most part, don't know what to do when reading on their own because the adult reader (or readers) in their lives, "tell them" when they come to tricky parts in the text.  However, these tricky parts are the critical junctures in their reading journey they need to learn when, where and how to independently, with your strategy support, not telling support, crack the code of how language looks and sounds.

Many students reading at level A-E often do not get enough reading practice at reading connected text...whole sentences or whole pages of text.  Many of these students do well with isolated practice of letter names, letter sounds, single words, sight words, or pretty much any early reading lists of any kind, but they don't have enough exposure to reading whole books or whole pages of levels A-E.  In addition, this isolated practice and single page alphabet worksheets don't give them enough practice getting stuck where they actually have to do some real word/sentence problem solving.  And, often, these worksheets or isolated practice games don't have enough context to figure out if "the fix" sounds right or looks right with the rest of the words...because there isn't enough there to check.

Then, when these students are actually given text at levels A-E (or higher for non self-correcting students) there are several lines of text per page and students are concentrating so much on the mechanics of reading, solving the words (even though they aren't solving them correctly) that they don't listen to themselves and process what the words sound like when they're saying them and decide if what they said makes sense or not.  When students read out loud and read words wrong and keep reading, they are not using the skill of self-monitoring.  In this case, a teacher or parent will jump in, often too soon, and say something about the way it was said like "that doesn't sound right" or "does that sound right?" and that is called, self-monitoring FOR the child, which is "ok" to a degree.  It is not our job to do this for the child with every error, nor is it our job to do this for every page of every book, nor should let a child read an entire book with several errors with no reteaching to a at least a few of the those errors when they are done.  At some point, we must teach children to listen to themselves, and ask themselves, "Does what I just said makes sense? Sound right? and Look Right? and match the words on the page?" When we can begin to get students to ask themselves these questions instead of relying on us to ask them these questions, they are on their way to becoming self-monitoring readers.  Because, once students can ask themselves these questions, they will begin to answer these questions and when they answer themselves NO, we will praise, encourage, model, and affirm how and when they "go back" and try it again with something that looks right, sounds right and makes sense.  This should be often for emerging readers. The more often this occurs, the most likely this reading behavior will become a habit of mind.

Recently, I have created two products to help with the very skill of teaching emerging readers to self-monitor their own oral reading.  One, is the Great Readers Strategy Card.

Click on the image to purchase this product.

 As a trained Reading Recovery teacher, the fix-up strategies included on this card, are exactly the strategies emerging readers need to become independent, self-monitoring readers.  You will encourage strategy use a lot in the beginning, but with enough repitition and redirection to the Strategy Card (instead of you) students will learn that they can do something on the card for help instead of look at you.  This is what you want.

The card is front/back with 6 fix-up strategies on the front and 3 self-monitoring strategies on the back.  In the past, I have used some of these strategies with the beanie baby analogies,,,,but for many students, the strategy did not transfer from the beanie baby to the text...they could remember Eagle Eye and that's it...they couldn't remember what to do with the eagle.  So, using real pictures, this strategy card uses kid-friendly pictures and phrases to remember and apply the strategy.

These Strategy Cards endorsed by many teachers including the Brown Bag Teacher on Instagram!
The Brown Bag Teacher is Catherine Reed, a first grade teacher in KY.  

In addition to the Strategy Card itself, there are 9 minilessons included and 9 posters to use while teaching each minilesson.

Here's ONE minilesson and on minilesson poster up close:

In addition, I have created a set of Reading Intervention Task Cards for students in need of MSV help...the non self-correcting, non self-monitoring readers.   These cards are designed to help students notice and hear how some words in sentences are only slightly different in size and shape but change the entire meaning of the sentence. These task cards are designed to provide opportunities to have conversations with students about the way language looks and sounds and how when we look closely to the text AND listen carefully to what we say, we self-correct when it doesn't look and sound right. 

There are 24 task cards per set.  There come color and black/white, and either full page or quarter page.  Here is a sample task card:

The rest of the task cards are available HERE

Enjoy! & As always, HAPPY READING!

Stir Up Some Savings TpT Sale

Click on th image to start saving!

I'm so excited to announce a sale...I haven't had one in a long time, so I hope you all enjoy some savings in my little TpT shop.  Stir up some savings now through Tuesday at

Best witches for a fun week of school!
You know you're little ones will be stirred up for learning this week, too!

Monitor Classroom Noise Level with Virtual Bouncy Things

I'm a firm believer in classroom noise! The good, productive, on-topic student voices that occur when learning is abuzz in my classroom.  But even, students forget to self-monitor their own noise level no matter how productive and on-task it is.   

I wrote a  blog post about this a few years ago and it practically went viral.  The original website from *that* post however, has been disabled and there is a new one...this one.

That .ORG not .COM

It's clever, attractive and sure to engage your students in self-regulating their volume.  Because the application utilizes the microphone on your laptop (you must click "allow to use microphone" when prompted), students must work together to collectively bring the noise level down "so the balls or eyeballs can rest."  

Like anything new, you will need to allow students time to get this new thing out of their system, but once that is over, and the novelty wears off, the balls (or eyes) on the screen will be a reminder to be cognizant of their voice level in the classroom.  This does not need to be used forever, it is a scaffold. Once your students get self-regulated with monitoring their voice levels, you can pull this scaffold away. 

You have the choice of bouncy balls, bouncy emoticons, bouncy bubbles or bouncy eyeballs. My personal favorite are the eyeballs...and just in time for Halloween! 

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