Second Skill: Mastery of Decoding
At this early a stage in reading skills development, first graders are still in the trial-and-error phase. Decoding is still not fully automatic and therefore, much encouragement and guidance is required from the teacher in order for these readers to avoid being frustrated.
The second activity is called "Reading Guild". In this activity, it is the task of the teacher to create her own story which involves two characters.
The most important thing that a reading teacher should keep in mind when introducing reading material, is to make sure that the reading material is close to the students' interests, desires, and environment. In that way, they are motivated to interact with the text precisely because they are interested in it. The key is capturing what currently interests them the most to jumpstart their love for reading.
Guidelines and Instructions:
1. Divide the class into two groups, each representing one of the two characters that will be read in class.
2. Flash a copy of the story to be read on the classroom smartboard. The lines said by the characters should be marked by distinct font colors. Add a third color which marks the lines of the narrator (the teacher). Make sure to also include pictures in the flashed copy of the story.
3. Tell the class that you will all be participating in a community reading activity, where everyone will do his/her part in telling a story. Assign the character lines to the respective groups, being reminded that they have the colors to clue them in, when it is their turn to read the story lines.
4. Describe to the class how to read the story, especially how to sound like the character currently talking (if a character is a chipmunk, encourage the chipmunk group to read their lines with the voice of a chipmunk).
5. Read the story. As you go along, affirm the first grade readers by nodding your head in agreement or appreciation, smiling, making thumbs-up gestures, etc.