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Winter is here and in most cases there is a lot of learning inside rather than outside. I find that my learners are more fidgety during the winter months than any other season. It doesn’t get too cold here in Texas, but the lack of sun and the short days leave my students tired and restless. Bringing in highly engaging activities during these winter months is a must! My students love these winter literacy and reading activities that focus on fluency, spelling and phonics!

Thematic Units are a Hit!

My students love all the thematic units I’ve brought to the classroom this year. Each month, they all guess what’s coming next. I love their excitement with learning when I bring in a thematic unit. We don’t get a typical winter here, so my students are in awe when we read books about other places that actually have a winter. That’s one of the many reasons why I use thematic units: it exposes my students to things they might not be exposed to otherwise!

Shared Reading

Shared reading is an interactive and collaborative reading experience between the teacher and a child or a group of children. We have shared reading time every single day. I don’t stray away from it!

I print this poem on poster paper and have it hanging on my board. Each student gets their own copy for school and at home. I also created these cute pointers with the clip art that is included in my Winter thematic unit and gave each student one to point to words as we read. Something so simple made this reading practice a hit!

We start our mornings with reading this poem. At the end of the week, I have a student or two read in front of the class (if they want to). But the point of this is repetition and word recognition.

Interactive Poem

There are so many ways you can use this interactive poem. My students love the weekly poems I bring out based on the thematic unit we are on. By reading the poem with a new helper each time, they are building their accuracy, fluency, practicing new sight words, concepts of print and more without even knowing!

Whether you read this poem as a class during a literacy mini-lesson or to introduce your science unit on seasons, this provides a great activity for whole group instruction.  You can focus on reading strategies or the fun things to do in the winter to explore the poem in more detail.

Writing Center

As part of my center rotations is my writing center. I place my winter word list at my writing center. Each student spends a little time each week either tracing or writing each word. My higher level students use these words to write a short 3-4 sentence story while illustrating it.

Emergent Reader

Each thematic unit includes an emergent reader. We start the week by me reading it aloud to the class. I then add it to my guided reading instruction for my emergent readers. These books are phonetically controlled texts with repetitive words that help build the foundation of reading.

Students bring their winter mitten pointer to the table to help with their reading and I focus on listening to individual students throughout the week!

You can grab all of these resources plus science based whole group activities in my newly updated Winter Wonderland Thematic Unit!

Click the link below to grab this resource!

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progress monitoring in the early elementary classroom for math, literacy and reading