Short and Long A Fun

Have I mentioned how much I am LOVING my new job?  Being a reading teacher has been so fun so far. I get to meet with small groups or individual students for 30 minutes each. Did I mention this was uninterrupted time? It is so refreshing to get through 30 minutes of solid, engaging instruction without any disruptions.  I'm in love. It's amazing how much you can accomplish. I already feel like I'm making strides with these kiddos. And it's only been 2 weeks! 

To help my students improve their reading skills, I split my 30 minutes up this way: phonics activities/instruction, shared reading/fluency activities, sight words or vocabulary practice, guided reading (teaching and practicing strategies and comprehension skills), and writing. This is for 1st-3rd grade students. I haven't started teaching my kinders yet. When I get them, I'll probably split it like this: phonological awareness activity (syllables, rhyming, phoneme work, etc.), alphabet practice, and writing. 

I took a few pictures this week. Most of the pictures were taken after the kids left because it's distracting taking pictures while we work. 

With my firsties, we focused on short a in phonics. My first graders all know their letter sounds, but are at that point where they are ready to start sounding out words but it's tough for them. This part is so exciting. I try to give them a lot of opportunities to practice this skill. The more interactive and hands-on, the better! (At least for most kids.)

I added this story and a few other goodies to my short a pack. If you already bought it, you should go back and download again. There are about 15 extra pages now!

These are also included in my short a pack.

With some of my second graders, we worked on long a words with silent e.

I'm working on making a long vowel pack similar to my short vowel packs.

We moved on to long a words that have ai. I ended up doing these activities with my 3rd graders too. I found that my third grade group needed to revisit these phonics concepts.
That sorting ai/ short a activity is from my 2nd Grade September literacy center.

I'm pleasantly surprised at the progress I already see! 

For the guided reading portion, I use books from our reading series, books from (LOVE this site), and random collections of books I've acquired over the years. I'll post more about the guided reading portion soon!


  1. Sarah!
    What a great job to teach reading all day!! And having that uninterrupted time?? Premium! It looks like the kids are going to get so much out of their time with you! They are so blessed!!

  2. Sarah,
    Thanks for sharing these activities! I also switched from first grade (22 years) to reading specialist this year. I am working with K-6 with the main focus on K-3. I am LOVING my new position! Have a great year. Liz in South Dakota