During guided reading, we use small group instruction to meet the individual needs of each child. Students use books on their level to develop the skills that will help them take their reading proficiency to the next level.
Shared reading is a time for students to be exposed to a wide variety of literature. Often the texts used at this time are linked to what we are studying in science, social studies, and math. Students learn about the comprehension strategies and practice applying them to texts. Whole group and partner discussions as well as individual assignments enhance their understanding of these strategies.
In addition to practicing capitalization, punctuation, and sentence structure, first graders learn how reading and writing are connected. We use an assortment of books and texts to model how to write using the six traits – ideas, organization, voice, sentence fluency, word choice, and conventions.
Word study is an important time each day where first graders work on a variety of word skills. We use this time to introduce and practice the 220 first grade sight words. We also teach the children to recognize word families that will help them become better readers and spellers. Students also have a chance to work in small groups made up of children working at the same level to sort and write words to develop specific spelling features. Each of these word skills helps students as they become readers and writers.
In first grade, not only do we teach children the skills necessary to become literate, we promote a love of reading and writing that we hope students carry with them throughout their lives.