WOW Wednesday! ELA Edition (DIBELS tips and tricks!) 

It's time for Wednesday WOW Weekly Linky hosted by Coast to Coast Kinder.  I'm so excited for this one ya'll!  ELA Ideas are my FAV!

A tiny bit of background here....I teach at a school that uses DIBELS as our benchmark measure and I am not here to sell you on the program.  However, with the ups and downs I've felt over the years I can tell you I can finally see the light!  I've taught Kinder, 1st, and 5th grade under the "realm" of DIBELS so I have seen it all.  After earning my reading endorsement (and bashing DIBELS the entire way) I {think} I have gained enough insight into reading instruction to {kind of} know what I am talking about :) 

Nonsense words.  What the heck?  Why on earth would you want to teach kids to read words that don't exist?  Well, I'm here to tell you I have lived to tell the tale that it really works.  I monitor my kids weekly (yes, all 25 of them) and we work, work, work on nonsense words until we have mastered them.  With all this weekly monitoring I started to see some trends.

#1  Kids that aren't ready to blend yet won't blend the words.  They will say each sound individually.  That's ok.  That's where they are on their reading journey and you have to let them do that.
(let them read it by the sounds)

#2  When kids start to blend the sounds you have to show them how.  Isolate the first two sounds of the word and have them read those 2 sounds together ONLY!
(cover the last sound with your finger)

#3 Once kiddos can blend those first two sounds you can start revealing the last sound.  I say, "Say the last sound fast!" when they are ready.

It may sound silly, but they say the word something like this......... miiiiiiiiiiiiip!  I'm telling you. It does the trick.  
The important part.  
When I started using DIBELS I thought this was the end pass the test. HOWEVER....I learned that once they truly are ready to pass this test they are ready to move on to reading.  It's true!  If we try to move them forward before hand it doesn't work.  

Once we move on to Oral Reading Fluency we READ, READ, READ, every day in every way we can.  Solidifying reading in 1st grade is my most important job (in my eyes).  Here are a couple of ways we practice reading. 
#1 Read to Someone
During Read to Someone my students practice reading the same passage all week long.  We mark our progress throughout the week in a different color crayon so they can see their progress each week.  We love making goals for ourselves and trying to read more each week!

#2 Small Group Instruction

During small group instruction we practice reading our reading program books together.  Sometimes we read chorally, sometimes we take turns, and sometimes we read them to ourselves first before the group works together.  I always mix it up so they don't get bored!

#3 Technology.....oh how I love thee.
We use a program called Lexia in our district.  It's a purchased program but I can tell you there are a ton of apps out there to get kids reading online.  Read Naturally has a 1 minute fluency app that is great to use.  Anything that CHALLENGES kids to go FASTER will keep them ENGAGED and constantly improving.  That's the goal!

So those are my ELA tips for this month.  I've already checked out a few of the other links and they are GREAT so you should go check them out too!  Thanks Autumn and Ruth for hosting such a fun linky!