Hey, y’all! Last week I shared with you how I’ve successfully taught struggling learners their letters for years and some of the activities I used to teach nouns. Today, I want to share with you how I’ve used color words emergent readers to teach reading to struggling learners. And not only did they learn color words, but sight words as well.
Color Words Emergent Readers
Using Color Words Emergent Readers to Teach Struggling Readers
Using emergent readers to teach struggling learners just makes sense. First, it gives the learners a sense of success. Even if we, as teachers, think the books are silly or boring, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how that learner feels when they’re able to read that book successfully as a new or struggling learner. If they can read it successfully and it makes them smile, or laugh, or they say they like it and want to read it again .. then that’s a WIN!! So don’t let your perceptions as a teacher influence your students. Don’t dull their joy. Celebrate with them as successful readers … no matter how small the progress. To them it may feel like they have just climbed the highest mountain!
I’ve used these color words emergent readers for years to begin teaching my struggling readers how to read. And with the big push in academics and rigor, I updated them to include sight words as well. The key to using early emergent readers is the controlled vocabulary and the repeated sentence frames. Those keys are what allows the student to feel successful.
Using Emergent Readers Daily Makes Successful Learners
To be successful, we read the books daily. It’s important that as they read, they pointed to the words. Did they want to. No. But to ensure that they actually had word to text correspondence, I insisted that they point to the words. Especially since we were using emergent readers with repetitive sentence frames where it would be easy just to memorize them.
Some learners had to have me stand behind them and help them point until they got the hang of it. For some, I added dots with highlighters or markers underneath the words so they’d know where to put their fingers. After I was sure that they had the one-to-one correspondence down pat, then we phased out the fingerpointing.
Each day we read a book that they’d mastered and the current book they were working on. That started them off with something successful before we launched into the current book that we were working on. Copies of the books, when finished, went into their Book Box. During Station time, or free time, they had the opportunity to read their books. And they really had no free time, as there was always Stations available, and it was an offense to not be engaged in a learning activity. But reading in your Book Box was an acceptable activity. At the end of the year, all their books in their Book Box went home in a 2 gallon ziploc bag.
10 Color Words Emergent Readers
Because there are 10 colors (I’m not sure why I didn’t do one for gray), I had the level of difficulty increase as it moved through the books. We always start with the RED emergent reader. And of course, there are other RED activities that you can find to go along with it as well if you choose. Some years I go all in and some years I don’t. It depends on how heavy a student load I have. Hey, that’s real life!
Grab your own emergent readers and get started:
All Things White
More Color Words Resources
This Apples color words emergent reader isn’t part of the set I created above, but is used in the same way. It was actually created as part of an Apple theme. I enjoyed creating it. It’s a FREEBIE, so I hope your learners enjoy using it.
Before I go … I just ran across this blog post on 17 Ways to Help a Struggling Reader. My blog post was from the viewpoint of a teacher of a struggling reader. You can tell from reading it that I’ve been “in the trenches” for a number of years. 30+ to be exact. 17 Ways to Help a Struggling Reader is the view-point of a mom of a struggling reader. You can tell from reading it, that she also has been in the trenches. She’s lived the difficulty and heartbreak of watching her child struggle to learn to read for 8 years.
As teachers of young children, some of her points may shoot a little wide for us, but you’ll get the gist and definitely see the path our students may travel.
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It won’t be long till the new year begins again. I hope you’re getting some new ideas to get your year started off right.