Our RTI is a little over half way through for the first cycle of the year. Lots of work on chunking word families and phrase chunking for reading fluency is happening. My students are making good progress and are improving their reading skills. And just as important, their confidence in themselves is also growing!
One thing that helps their confidence is I have my students graph their own progress each week. Having students keep RTI Data Binders gives them a good visual to see how they are doing and helps them take some ownership in their learning.
My tier III student reads a Blends and Digraphs chart every day. Then I say words and ask him to find a picture that begins like my word. He also uses a chart for reference when he practices breaking words apart into chunks and putting them back together again. We practice doing this quickly. He has difficulty recalling the correct sounds to make and then holding on to those sounds when putting the word back together.
My older students in group 2 do a lot of practicing with questioning and visualizing the text. You might be surprised how many students need explicit teaching for thinking about what they read. Especially for struggling readers, they truly feel like the goal is just reading (word calling) the words. It doesn’t seem to click with some students that they should be thinking as they read. I like to use these wipe off boards for students to flip back and forth as we read and discuss the story. Sometimes they can’t get enough time to say all they want to say about what they are thinking! It has improved their confidence in their reading and thinking skills and they love participating in the discussions now.
This older group of students are also practicing hard to improve their fluency by reading in chunks of phrases. Some were reading word by word and others just plowing through the words as quickly as they can. They are enjoying reading more by using phrasing chunks because they can now add in expression and it helps their comprehension.
Another kind of chunking my first group is working on is word family chunking. He needs to move away from reading and spelling words in individual sounds. He is working on using the chunks of sounds instead. These Chunk Its are a great way to practice this!
Students glue their chunks and then write the whole word. It is important too that we move from individual sounds to chunks into the whole word. That is always our goal- whole words. Then they read a sentence with those chunks and you can check their comprehension of what they read by the student doing a quick sketch of what they read. Reading is all about comprehending!
More Chunk Its Now: Blends & Digraphs!