Make your whole group reading instruction work for you and your students. In order to do this, implement a whole group reading instruction routine. Routines are by far the easiest and fastest way to make the most of your instruction time.
One of the number one ways to help students learn to read is to practice phonological awareness DAILY. This only needs to be about 5 to 7 minutes BUT doing this every day is the key to mastery. Often students who struggle with reading ALSO struggle to put sounds together and take them apart. Here are the important parts of phonological awareness: rhyming, syllables, beginning/middle/end of words, onset and rime (different than rhyme), deleting sounds and manipulating sounds. I teach all these skills sometime throughout the year. There are many ways to incorporate these skills into your day. If you don’t have the time to put together all the lessons here is a program already done for you (including a video to teach you how to to teach the different components).
I also like to do a quick review (or introduction) to a phonics skill. Here are a few foundational skills we work on: alphabet letters and sounds, word families, blending words (short vowels and long vowels) and digraphs. I also like to review sight words at this time too (although that is not specifically phonics instruction). Here are some resources I use to help teach phonics instruction. Some of the activities in the resources are perfect for whole group reading instruction and others work great during small group instruction (all in one resource).
Songs and Music
My hands down favorite part of my whole group routine incorporates songs. There are carpet behavior songs, thematic songs that teach concepts and sight word songs. They all help with reading skills. Here is a blogpost that explains how I use my music and incorporate reading skills through Poetry Journals.
Don’t forget about the purpose behind reading: To develop a love for reading that will take you on adventures, tell funny stories and make you cry. It also helps with comprehension and being able to recall facts. Let them hear you read to them and see those amazing pictures, listen to great stories with advanced vocabulary and also learn some facts along the way.
Here is a great way to schedule your time:
Phonological Awareness – 5 to 7 minutes.
Phonics Instruction Review – 5 to 7 minutes
Songs – 5 minutes
Story – 10 minutes
The important thing is to keep it fast pace and fun!