Getting Ready for Second Grade

If you spend at least 30 minutes a day reading, writing, speaking and listening in English, your English will improve.

  • Write for 15 minutes (But don’t sit and say, “I don’t know what to write about.” That doesn’t count as time writing.)
  • Read and listen for 15 minutes.

I already shared some resources for reading/ listening online.
Here is a curated list of resources to use over the summer:

Websites for Reading
Starfall Begins with sounds; continues through short stories
Funbrain Reading
Robert Munsch– Wonderful stories to read and listen

Websites for Listening
A Story Before Bed– Read and listen to authors read their stories

Keep a journal– What did you do today?  What will you do tomorrow? What did you like?  What didn’t you like? 46 more questions to write about, 50 more writing prompts,

Reading Passages  (requires a free account)

If you know of other great resources (there are lots of them!) please add them to the comments section.

Read and Listen Online

I am collecting a list of online places to read and/ or listen to stories in English for elementary school students and families.
What great sites am I missing?
Please let me know and I will add them to my list!

Reading Bear
Magic Keys
Mrs. P    
Story Cove
International Children’s Library
Loyal Books
A Story Before Bed
TuneIn Radio    –Stories-g227/
Online Audio Stories

Writer’s Workshop Ideas- Fun, Engaging

A colleague in my K- 5 school asked for a few ideas about making writer’s workshop fun and engaging.  I love those questions because it allows me to be creative and gather ideas.  Here are a few ideas to get started… (If you have more please add them!)

  • Be passionate- write in front of the students and let them see you write and talk out loud about your process, about spelling, …
  • Draw pictures to go with the writing
  • Write stories to go with the pictures
  • Make comic books
  • Re-write comic books (the one you just made or one that was professionally made) into story format with dialogue and description
  • Let students write what they want- lists, stories, opinions, how-to, all I know about…, non-fiction or fiction, poems, … play with words
  • Find a real audience- another classroom, the hallway, a classroom in another school or another city, country, a blog, …
  • Design/ diagram something invented and explain how it works
  • Read/ tell the beginning of a story and have the students continue/ finish it
  • Act out a story and then have the students write the script
  • Write a script and then have the students act it out, or with puppets, or as a podcast or …
  • Writing prompts
  • Connect writing closely with reading or science or social studies
  • Shared writing
  • Do you have a class mascot (stuffed animal, live animal, …)?  Write the stories of the mascot- where from, past adventures, include pictures,
  • Class blog on
  • Add podcasts of students reading their writing on your page of the school’s website
  • Check out blog posts such as:
  • Stick with the standards but let your mind wander and your creativity soar

The Tooth Fairy: A True Story

Last Friday I read a story with a first grade student during his independent reading time. Actually, he read to me a story of the Tooth Fairy.  His ancestors of a few generations back came from Mexico (that will matter towards the end of this commentary).

Here is our conversation after he finished reading the story:

Student: I know that the Tooth Fairy is not real.
Me: No?  (I know that this student has older siblings and I wondered what they had told him.)
Student: No.  It’s not real.
Me:  What more can you tell me?
Student: No, it’s not a fairy.  It’s a ratoncito. This is true!  In parts of Latin America it is not a fairy that leaves coins for a tooth it is a Ratoncito Pérez.

Centros de aprendizaje (lectura)

Algunas ideas para centros de aprendizaje:
(se puede añadir ideas, cambiar ideas, juntar ideas, …)

Es importante enseñar y practicar cada centro de aprendizaje antes de que los estudiantes lo hagan solitos.

Formando palabras
Usando las sílabas que han aprendido, estudiantes forman palabras juntando papelitos que tienen las sílabas escritas. Durante su tiempo en el grupo tienen que formar 10 palabras reales, escribir las en un papel o en su cuaderno y dibujar tres; pueden añadir 5 no-palabras (sílabas que han juntado que pueden decir pero que no son palabras reales: “me-pe”).

Escuchar y contar
Estudiantes escuchan/ leen un cuento. Después, tienen que contar el cuento usando las frases, “Al principio…, Después… y Al final… .” Pueden usar títeres si son disponibles.

¡PUF veloz!
Usando un cronómetro, estudiantes repasan las palabras de uso frecuente que han aprendido para ver si pueden decirlas cada vez más rápido. Uno compite contra uno mismo, no contra otros estudiantes. Pueden escribir su tiempo y/o las palabras que no sabían en una hoja o en su cuaderno.

Estudiantes elijen una palabra de un montoncito y tiene que decir y escribir 5 palabras que riman; la meta es que 4 de los 5 sean palabras reales. Después tienen que marcar las palabra que no es una palabra real. Añade un cronómetro para otro desafío.

Leyendo con pareja
Estudiantes leen un libro juntos alternando:
Una página cada uno;
Una oración cada uno;
Una palabra cada uno.
Después cuentan el cuento o dibujan su parte favorita.

Los libros de la maestra
En este centro los estudiantes re-leen los textos que la maestra ha leído en lecciones de lectura compartida, rimas que han estudiado, canciones que han aprendido… cualquier texto que la maestra ha leído con el grupo (“Big books,” “charts,”…)