Making I Like Books 2

Today I took some photos of a student sorting, un-jumbling and reading the sentences from her I like book. (See previous post.) This is an activity I often do during Roaming The Known with students who are reading below level 2 and / or not matching 1 spoken word to 1 written word.

kmartThe book is made up of 5 different coloured pages. The student dictates the sentence.




matching sentenceThe sentence is copied onto a strip of paper using the same coloured marker as the page, for ease of matching the right cards to the page.





2 partsThe sentence is cut into 2 parts for the child to put back together.





3 partsI gradually cut the sentence into more parts. Each time the student searches for the correct parts to put back into order so that the sentence makes sense. (Sounds right and looks right.) I leave the book open until the task becomes easy.




4 partsEventually the sentence is cut into individual words. It may take more than one day for the student to be able to manage individual words. The page may be covered during the un-jumbling and only uncovered to check it is right.




dadA new page is created the next day. The previous pages are reread and the sentences are sorted every day.





plastic pocketThe individual words cards are kept in a plastic pocket and slipped inside the book.





sorting1The words are sorted according to the colour before the sentences are un-jumbled each day. This student now has 5 sentences that she can read and remake. Tomorrow she is going to sort her words into piles, e.g. words that are the same, words that begin with the same letter, and any other suggestions that she might have.

Last week this student had a lot of difficulty reading any book and her eyes were often not looking at the words. Now she confidently reads this book and she recognises many of the individual words as she is searching for them.

Making I Like Books

i likeMy students are now 6-7 days into Roaming. Two students have been making their own I Like books. These books are made up of 5 pages stapled together. Each day the student has dictated a new page beginning with I like, e.g. I like playing with my dad. He or she draws a picture to illustrate the sentence. This helps him / her to recall the general meaning of the page when it is reread on subsequent days.

While the student is drawing, I copy the sentence onto a strip of paper. The student rereads the sentence written in the book, and then reads the same sentence written on the sentence strip. I then cut the sentence strip into two parts and ask the student to put them back into the right order- easy. The student is asked to reread the sentence and check it. The book is left open so that the original sentence can be seen. Then I cut the sentence again into as many parts as the student can manage.

I like playing / with my dad.
I like / playing with / my dad.
I like   / playing with / my / dad.
I  /  like  /  playing  /   with  /  my  /  dad  /  .

Each time the student is asked to reread and check. The sentence may eventually be cut into individual words, or 2 or 3 parts depending on the complexity (length) of the sentence and how easily the student can put it back together.

The purpose of the task is to:   thinking

  • Make a book that belongs to the student who created it. (ownership)
  • Begin each page the same way so that it is easier to read. (confidence)
  • Use the language (words and structure) of the student. (ease of reading / rereading) This book is much easier for the student to read compared to purchased books.
  • Show that a sentence is made up of words, and word order is important. sense
  • Search and identify words using some means of recall and identification, e.g. 1st letter or general look of the word e.g. little word, long word, tall letter at the end.
  • Become familiar with checking. Does it sound right? Does it look right?
  • Reread, reread, reread.  (Because every time you reread there is an opportunity to make a new discovery, e.g. that word starts the same as that word.)

I use coloured paper to make the books so that each page can be a different colour. I write the sentence strip in the same coloured marker as the page. This makes it easy to sort out the cut up words (which are kept in a plastic bag slipped inside the book) each day. Eventually there are 5 piles of words which match 5 pages. (The words written in green will be sorted to match the sentence on the green page etc.)

At the end of Roaming the students will keep the book (and cut up words) in their classrooms to read and unjumble during Independent Reading. At the same time the students will begin homework which includes unjumbling a sentence each day. By then the students will be very confident with the task.

Hello I’m back…


Well here I am… back at St Albans East. There are a few changes including new paint, new carpet … and missing shelving. If you peek inside our Reading Recovery room you will see a lot of unpacked boxes. Lovely new shelving is currently being made so we are ‘making do’ at the moment.

I’m still getting used to some of the Year 1 classes being in different rooms. It’s a bit embarrassing to walk into a room of Year 5/6 students who seem to be thinking… ‘Here she comes, lost again’. I am also getting to know my 4 new students. Having 3 siblings for Reading Recovery within 12 months must be some sort of record (twins!).

After the Curriculum Day, I was busy giving and analyzing the Observation Surveys. This gives me vital information about what my students already can and cannot do. At the end of the week we began the 1st 10 days of Reading Recovery lessons called Roaming The Known. One purpose of this time is for each student to feel comfortable with coming to the lessons. It is also a time of discovering what the student can do with just the right amount of support.

I provide many reading and writing opportunities that should be quite easy for the student, in familiar readingorder to encourage confidence. We build up a number of books that are read often. I might read the new book to the student first. We will talk about it and eventually the child will join in and then take over the reading of the entire book.

Instead of jumping in to teach new things, I am providing opportunities for him / her to discover what is already known, and perhaps to make new discoveries. For example, by the 4th reading of the book the student might observe that 2 words rhyme, or might correct an error and explain that the 1st try did not begin with the right letter.

There are also many occasions to write. Even the most reluctant student responds when he /she realizes that the teacher will help with the parts that cannot be done independently. Gentle prompting encourages the student to ‘have a go’, e.g. stretch the word. What can you hear? Can you write it? I’ll show you. Read that part again. What do you think will come next?

teacher-1415225-mMy job during these 1st 10 lessons is to provide opportunities to read and write, to observe the students, and to take lots of notes. I’m asking myself: What does she do well? How is he helping himself? I have to be careful not to assume that I already know how the student will respond. For example, if I think Adam won’t be able to write a word and do it for him, I am taking away an opportunity to discover that he can write half of it himself.

I will be contacting the caregivers of my new students shortly in order to meet and chat about Reading Recovery. Homework will start after Roaming.