At Halloween the shops are filled with the most excitingly spooky accessories and recently I spotted these great little party favours at Target (Australia) for only $2. Immediately I could think of a fun classroom use for these little guys - Reading Groups! Stick with me...it will all become clear...
My Preps are getting better at sounding out when reading aloud but often they lose focus and disengage with the same old reading accessories
I have reading wands, plastic glasses with the lens removed, soft toys to read to and even whisper phones (click to see my previous blog post on how to make these).
However, it's always fun when you can bring a new accessory into Reading Groups to hold their interest.
These little plastic pointed nails make perfect finger points for students to use when practising the Lips the Fish reading strategy (make the initial sound by pointing to the first letter/s), Stretchy Snake strategy (run the finger along the word to stretch out the word) and are even long enough to be used with Chunky Monkey strategy (cover up part of the word to chunk it down).
Another useful tool to use during Reading Groups is a set of Emergent Reader Cards such as these.
I would print, laminate then use a ring binder to hold these together and place them in the middle of the Reading Group table. As we undertook Reading Groups I would flip these over and explore the questions to prompt students to think before reading, during reading and after reading. These proved very useful in keeping little minds engaged as they are bright and colourful. Once your groups are up and running you can even assign a 'Flipper' whose job it is to initiate discussion using the flip cards.
These cards are available for instant download here.