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Welcome to The Crazy Pre-K Classroom! Please enjoy your stay, explore my posts and join for more to come! Blessings, Christine

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Round Rock, Texas, United States
I am a wife, a mother to 2 boys, and a Christian Kindergarten Teacher. Besides spending time with my family, I enjoy sewing, scrapbooking, quilting and creating innovative, hands on lessons for my students.

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Why teach Pre-K?

Because, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13

Because, I love it and am called to it!

For my children and my husband!

Because I am me!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

How to differentiate reading and spelling instruction for young learners

Hello All, Happy Mothers Day! I wanted to take a minute to discuss spelling instruction in a classroom with children who are just mastering their alphabet. It is inevitable that our classrooms will be filled with children who are on many levels, from not knowing any of their letters to already reading. What is a teacher to do????? Well, there have been times when I thought if I heard the word differentiate one more time I might loose my mind but in classrooms like ours differentiation is essential to learning. My prior boss once said, "Pre-K teachers are the ultimate differentiating teachers, it is automatic because of the age of children they work with and how often they are faced with different levels of learning." (Susan Owen, 2010) I have found this to be so true across the board. I have started to do most of my math, reading and phonics teaching in small groups of like learners. We have group round robin once a week and read to the teacher once a week as well. So, how do I differentiate when it comes to spelling? First, I assess my students to see what level they are on and assign them to groups. When I am meeting with a group I place challenge centers out for the others to work on. Each group is working on a different set of words with different activities or worksheets. This way my students are not bored or lost. I have to spend some time teaching the kiddos how the groups work and what they are to do when they finish but once I do this things tend to go smoothly throughout the day. I break down my spelling instruction into 4 tiers: Level 1 CVC words, Level 2 CVVC/CVCV words, Level 3 CCVC/CVCC words and Level 4 contains all 5 letter word patterns. Each center is tailored to each group and the activities are on their level. For example Tier 1 CVC group may be spelling in playdough with cards that have the words on them with a picture or tier 4 will be cutting lettes and pasting the words next to the picture, a task tier 1 is not yet capable of not only in spelling but in fine motor skills, organization ability and cognitive processing. The first 2 pictures below show 2 common centers i use with my tier one group to help with letter recognition, spelling, phonics and beginning reading skills. This last picture is my word spelling station that works for all 4 tiers. In this picture it is set up for tier 3 where they are not only spelling a CVC word but adding the beginning letters of all of the other words in the word family. This chart is 2 sided and I have children work quietly in pairs. I find that a system that meets the level of each student and that allows for whole group teaching where everyone can participate works well with young children. You can find my differentiated spelling and word work centers and activities in my newest unit. My Differentiated Spelling Unit offers all 4 tiers of spelling words, worksheets for each tier and 35+ centers and activities. You can find this 308 page unit on teacherspayteachers or teachersnotebook. Click the following links to view: Differentiated Spelling Unit on Teachers Pay Teachers Differentiated Spelling Unit on Teachers Notebook Till next time! Christine

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Comments and Ideas are always welcome, I am always looking for new units to create for TpT!