We all know how hard it is to squeeze everything we need to do with a group of kids into 20 minutes of group time. This past year I have started to use those first 5 minutes of my group time in a different way to help maximize the time by starting with letter identification and sounds.
When my students arrive at the teacher table we take out our letter sound cards for the week and begin. I have grouped the letters by most commonly seen ones and we work through that sequence. The students chant the letter name. Then we say the name of the picture that is on the card, Next, we say the sound that letter makes.
Once I have talked about the letter names and the sounds they make I introduce some picture cards that also show the same beginning sounds to my group. We talk about the pictures and what sound we hear at the beginning of them and sort them to the matching beginning sound card. The students like this interactive game and to be apart of the process. On the first day, I only do about picture card per sound just so I can introduce it all and then we move on to the next part of our guided reading lesson.
The second time I meet with this same group we review the same 5 sounds but then, I may just focus on 2 of the sounds and pull out 5 beginning sound picture cards for 2 of the letter and the kids have to sort all of the cards. This again helps reinforce and hear the differences between the letter sounds and also help build their vocabulary.
I will work on the same 5 letter sound with this group for about 2 weeks doing matches with the picture cards, letter sorts with all kinds of letter tiles to the big picture cards, and hopefully, by then my students will be ready to move on the next set of 5 letters.
Depending on the level of my students I try and meet with them 2-3 a week. After I do meet with them I do give them so word work type activities to work on independently in small groups that I will talk about in another blog post soon.
I also have a video of me talking about how I use these cards head over to my Instagram page and click on my IGTV channel. There is a video over there where I explained this whole routine too!
I hope you found some of these tips helpful. Over the years I have found my teacher style keeps changing but, this way of starting out my guided reading group had made a difference for my kids this year and I think this is one routine I am going to stick with. If you have any questions feel free to leave it below.
Make sure to pin this image to Pinterest and save this blog post to your favorite board too!
Thanks for stopping by!