I can’t believe that it’s already November! This school year is going by so quickly. First grade has kept me quite busy, especially since it’s my first year in first! I’ve had a steep learning curve and have really had to take a step back and figure out that what works for third graders doesn’t necessarily work for my littles.
That being said, first grade is my absolute favorite!!! I love how sweet and tiny my students are, and how much impact I have on their future feelings about school. Every day is a complete blast, and they always keep me smiling.
Have I mentioned before that I have the best job in the world?
The biggest change this year has been my student’s reading. First grade focuses heavily on learning how to read (no pressure, right?!), which was definitely not the case in third. I mean, reading is important in third grade, but the main focus is cursive handwriting and multiplication facts.
I have quite a few extremely low readers, and I’ve been scrambling to find something that they can read on their own, yet are also interested in. One of my teaching partners, Kari Peterson, told me about some books that she used in her classroom. I borrowed a couple from the first set, and decided that same day that I needed to get my own!
Here’s the best part: they’re free! You can make them yourself by printing them at home and stapling them together. How simple, right?
This incredible website, clarkness.com, uses the first grade program, Read Well by Voyager Sopris Learning. The stories at level one start out with simple words, accompanied by a picture above newly introduced words, and the number one. They progress with each level, going from level one to level thirty-eight, resulting in 642 beginning reading stories!
I printed out the stories and stapled them with a large piece of brightly-colored construction paper to make them more like actual books. I used an address label to write the title of each story level on the front cover.
This construction paper is exactly what I used: Construction Paper – 12″x18″ , along with the address labels: Avery Easy Peel Rectangle Address Labels for Inkjet Printers 1″ x 2-5/8″, Pack of 750 Labels (8160).
These books have been so amazing to use with my lower readers. I’ve been pairing them up with a higher reader, and they take turns reading each page. My students LOVE these books, and I’m hoping to see them become more fluent readers very soon. I have them work on these stories every day, and am excited to see their reading progress throughout the year!
The books don’t have to be used in just a classroom, either. They could also be used at home with little kids, to help them learn how to read!