Read to Self is an excellent opportunity incorporate additional word work. If you are looking for more opportunities to encourage your students to apply what they have learned from your spelling and phonics instruction WHILE they read, you are going to love this!
We all know that first graders LOVE to read and be read to! The method described below gives them an opportunity to do both. They read independently hunting for spelling patterns AND are read to by their classmates while they listen for spelling patterns!
Right here, on this page, you will learn of tried and true methods of how to disguise Read to Self as a little more: Word Study! Using what kids love:
color coded “gumballs”
decodable “just right” readers
Share Time (they all LOVE Share Time)
Read to Self Mini Lesson
I begin our day (prior to the Daily 5) with a phonics/spelling mini lesson. For example, if we are studying digraphs we might complete a spelling sort or a short fluency passage to reinforce the skill. (To read more about how I manage DiFfErEnTiAtEd Word Study groups using Words Their Way click HERE).
We close our mini lesson by taking a “sneak peak” at their assigned story for Read to Self. In this example, the story would include words with long vowels.
I provide my students with Read To Self bookmarks to mark the page in our decodable readers to help them quickly find their assigned story. Keep in mind the decodable readers will contain words with a spelling focus. The bookmarks not only hold the page of their assigned story, but also have directions printed on them:
If you would like to download a copy of the Read to Self bookmarks click HERE.
Independent Reading During Read to Self:
During the Daily 5 centers, students spend time at the Read to Self center where they complete their assigned reading. As they read their assigned decodable story, they hunt for words that contain the spelling rule they are working. When they find one, they record them in their Interactive Phonics Notebook (shown below).
My students benefit from using a color coded system for our spelling patterns that we like to call “gumballs” It helps them visualize the spelling patterns.
One more thing, once your students have completed their assigned reading, they may move on to their own self-selected books. I encourage them to look for these spelling patterns in these books as well and record one of them on a sticky note. It is important for them to use those stickies as a bookmark on the page where they found the word in the book. They will need to find that page quickly during Share Time.
Finally, once all students have had an opportunity to learn at each Daily 5 station, we meet at the carpet for a Share. This is when they can take the lead as “teacher” and TEACH their classmates their current Word Study focus.
Share Time is a favorite part of our day! By mid-year, my first graders have the routine down pat and run the show themselves. This leaves me the time to review their written work from the Daily 5. This approach to Share Time also worked in kindergarten and is also appropriate for second and third grade as well.
Here is a short video of how my students run Share Time independently as a celebration of their Word Work during Read to Self:
If you include Word Study Share as part of your Daily 5 routine, you will motivate your students to apply their Word Study focus and look forward to celebrating what they have learned.
It is also a great opportunity for children to learn from their peers, especially if you are differentiating your Word Study groups. Children in advanced Word Study groups can introduce new spelling patterns to children who are not yet at that stage. Also, on the flip-side, children who have already learned a spelling pattern will have an opportunity to review those patterns they have previously learned!
Share Time also allows you to informally assess your students’ ability to apply what they have learned.
To learn more about our Share Time and download the FREE Read to Self Thinkmark shown in the video, click HERE. It’s FREE!
Get creative with your Word Study Approach
In the last decade, I have been using the Daily 5 Management for Centers and Small Group instruction. In those years, I have morphed the Daily 5 into a system that combines MANY best practices (differentiation, Daily 5, Words Their Way, Lucy Calkins, Orton Gillingham… the list goes on).
Teaching is an art. If we go about our instruction utilizing the best programs and resources we can get our hands on, we find amazing results! I hope you agree, this story is a testimonial!