Wednesday, July 1, 2020

I love Reading!

I love to read! This week's Mrs. B's Reading Room is all about reading...meaning we are reading about reading! So many kids have negative connotations about reading. This is usually due to reading being difficult, or reading considered as a chore. We need to motivate our kiddos to read for pleasure. And that means we can't grade every book they read. We can't tell them every mistake or pick out ONLY books we think are best. They need to explore. Autonomy is everything for most people. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. What you can do it encourage, model, help them find the most interesting books!
When I was a kid I loved going to the library. It was always fun to be able to pick out any book I want. I can still remember the smell! And, being a child of the 80s, I was totally into the Book It! Program. Anyone remember that? You got a free pizza or a prize after reading so many books. And you got a button sometimes!

Of course, with Covid-19 our kids can't go into a library right now. But, they can still check out books. My kids are working on Battle of the Books reading this summer. I request the book from the library and schedule a time to pick it up. Hopefully we can encourage more kids to do the same.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Do You NEED a Word Wall?

There has been a lot of debate lately about whether a word wall is necessary in a Kindergarten classroom. Overall, the idea of a word wall is to have sight words/vocabulary words up on a wall, alphabetized, for students to access during various times throughout the day, mainly during writing. They have to know that a word is a sight word, know the first letter, and look it up on the word wall across the room to use it. You can also use the word wall for games throughout the year.

The current trend is moving toward using a Sound Wall. A sound wall is a wall where words and pictures are put up according to the first sounds on the wall. It is also used for word families, vowel patterns, and is so versatile it can be used for any new material you are teaching in reading.

I have always used a word wall. But, as of last year, I realized I wasn't using it as much because I didn't feel like the kids were using it. It was in a weird spot in my classroom (because my classroom is so small!) and the kids couldn't reach every word with a pointer, so I didn't play games with it often. What I did use it for was a sound wall. We started with our names and moved into letter/sound pictures and words that were put up. I used it for science vocabulary, and high interest words (like unicorn, video, and rainbow) for my students to use. It wasn't until recently that I realized I wasn't using a word wall at all!

I found a wonderful article about what to do to make the word wall more successful. It is by Ms. Winter's Bliss. https://mrswintersbliss.com/why-i-tore-down-my-word-wall-freebie/ She suggests having students use a personal word wall. This can be in writing folders, taped to a table or desk, in the writing center, or all over the classroom! She suggests that students are going to interact with it constantly and it will become more meaningful if they don't have to look across the room to use it.

I teach under the IRLA model and I need a sight word list to match IRLA's 1G Power Words. So, I created my own personal word wall for my students this fall.

I believe this will help with so many tasks and am excited to not have to maintain the word wall throughout the year. However, I do plan on using a sound wall. I want to differentiate between sight words and other words, so this will allow that to happenI plan on making it mobile, meaning students will be able to take vocabulary words from the wall station to their seat. It will be smaller than a word wall, and be able to be accessed at a Kinders' height.  If you take a look at Marsha McGuire's board, you can get a better idea of idea what I mean.


Separating out my sight words and vocab words will be so helpful because my Sound Wall will be changeable, mobile, and most of all, accessible. I don't know what this year will bring in the way of reading instruction, but I would like to be able to take advantage of a small class size (we will be on a hybrid model) and get down to the nitty-gritty with my reading instruction. 

Are you using a sound wall? How about a word wall? I would love to know!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Mrs. B's Reading Room - Playing Outside

Hi everyone! I have a new week of Mrs. B's Reading Room! This week we are going to explore books about playing outside! Check it out!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Mrs. B's Reading Room



Welcome to Mrs. B's Reading Room! This is my first digital classroom. I wanted it to be fun, bright, and full of books! Each week I will switch out the books for my students to access over the summer. Because Distance Learning is going to have a major effect on our students' learning, I wanted to create something light that will keep them reading through the summer.

Creating this room was so much fun. I googled how to make a 'Bitmoji Classroom' and found a lot of great resources. I have to say, https://www.remove.bg/upload was my biggest find. You can put any image in and it will remove the background so you can insert it into your room. It made it so easy!

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