Looking at Literacy

What BAISD teachers need to know today (Jan. 2019)

A New Year! New Books?

Happy 2019! As you enter a fresh new year, it is a great time to think about adding a few more current titles to your classroom library. Luckily, the Nerdy Book Club published the Nerdy Book Awards of 2018 over the break and the winning titles are out of this world beautiful. Books are nominated by educators and readers and must be published in that year. Rest assured, nothing short of fantastic books make these lists. To read more, visit the blog post where John Schu shares the fiction picture books winners or the post where Donalyn Miller shares the nonfiction picture books winners. If you are interested, there are also lists in multiple other categories.

What is your favorite children's picture book? Do you have a 2018 favorite that didn't make the list? I'd love to hear about it!

The winners are pictured below.

2018 Fiction Picture Book Nerdy Award Winners

2018 Nonfiction Picture Book Nerdy Award Winners

Essential Instructional Practice #4: Activities that Build Phonological Awareness

As a quick review, phonological awareness is the umbrella term that encompasses many underlying components. These include, from the most basic to most complex, rhyming, syllabication, onset-rime, and phonemes. While this essential instructional practice includes all phonological awareness skills, it is important to note that most of our time should be spent on phonemic awareness skills as they are the skills necessary for reading. This practice should be present in all K-1 classrooms, and as needed in grades 2 and 3.

Essential 4 Video Samples

Big picture

It is also important to remember that phonological awareness activities can all be done independently of text. It is an auditory practice. Some recommended activities from this essential include:

  • the creation of variations of rhyming books or books with alliteration (see video 1)
  • sound sorts of pictures, objects, and words (see video 2)
  • Elkonin boxes/sound boxes and other tools for segmenting sounds (see video 3)
  • blending activities (see video 4)
  • daily writing opportunities where they have to listen to the sounds of the words to estimate their spellings (see video 5)

In the videos below, you will see examples of these practices in use in Michigan classrooms with real teachers.

Remember to find out more, or enroll in the free modules to dig deeper into the essentials alone, with colleagues, or ideally facilitated by a coach/trainer, visit the website linked below: