Mastering Reading in First Grade: A Monthly Guide

by | Dec 5, 2023


Welcome, first-grade teachers! In this blog, we’ll explore how to effectively teach reading by integrating insights from the Simple View of Reading and Scarborough’s Reading Rope. Understanding these frameworks is crucial for guiding first graders towards reading proficiency.


The Simple View of Reading and Scarborough’s Rope: Alignments and Differences


  • Simple View of Reading: Focuses on decoding (word recognition) and language comprehension as key components of reading.
  • Scarborough’s Rope: Offers a more detailed view, presenting reading as a complex skill woven from strands like phonological awareness, decoding, and language comprehension.


Both models are valuable, highlighting different aspects of reading development. Teachers should blend these insights to provide comprehensive reading instruction.


Monthly Focus on Core Foundational Skills


September: Advanced Phonemic Awareness


  • Skills: Blending and segmenting more complex sounds.
  • Instructional Strategy: Use rhyming games and sound manipulation activities.
  • Assessment: Phonemic awareness assessments.
  • Corrective Action: Targeted phonemic exercises.


October: Complex Phonics Patterns


  • Skills: Introduce vowel teams, consonant blends.
  • Instructional Strategy: Phonics games and decoding activities.
  • Assessment: Phonics quizzes.
  • Corrective Action: Reteaching through multisensory phonics activities.


November: Fluency with Simple Texts


  • Skills: Reading simple texts smoothly and accurately.
  • Instructional Strategy: Paired reading and fluency drills.
  • Assessment: Timed reading exercises.
  • Corrective Action: Additional practice with appropriate level texts.


December: Vocabulary Expansion


  • Skills: Learning new words and their meanings.
  • Instructional Strategy: Vocabulary games, context-based learning.
  • Assessment: Vocabulary tests.
  • Corrective Action: Repetition and usage in different contexts.


January: Basic Comprehension Skills


  • Skills: Understanding and summarizing texts.
  • Instructional Strategy: Read-alouds followed by discussions.
  • Assessment: Oral or written comprehension questions.
  • Corrective Action: Revisit texts with guided questions.


February: Writing Simple Sentences


  • Skills: Constructing sentences, beginning spelling.
  • Instructional Strategy: Sentence building activities, spelling games.
  • Assessment: Writing assignments.
  • Corrective Action: Focused spelling and grammar exercises.


March: Reading Comprehension Strategies


  • Skills: Predicting, inferring, and questioning while reading.
  • Instructional Strategy: Guided reading sessions.
  • Assessment: Comprehension tasks.
  • Corrective Action: Strategy-focused reading activities.


April: Reading for Different Purposes


  • Skills: Understanding various text types and their purposes.
  • Instructional Strategy: Exposure to different genres.
  • Assessment: Genre identification exercises.
  • Corrective Action: Re-exposure and discussion of different texts.


May: Integrating Knowledge and Ideas


  • Skills: Comparing texts, integrating knowledge from various sources.
  • Instructional Strategy: Comparative reading exercises.
  • Assessment: Comparative analysis tasks.
  • Corrective Action: Guided comparative reading discussions.


June: Review and Assessment


  • Skills: Reviewing all reading skills learned.
  • Instructional Strategy: Integrative literacy activities.
  • Assessment: Holistic literacy assessment.
  • Corrective Action: Individualized or group review sessions.


Structuring the Literacy Block and Small Group Instruction


50-Minute Literacy Block


  • Opening Activity (10 minutes): Warm-up exercises like sight word practice.
  • Whole Group Instruction (20 minutes): Focus on the monthly skill.
  • Small Group Instruction (20 minutes): Tailored activities based on student needs.


30-Minute Small Group Instruction


  • Focus on specific skills.
  • Group students based on similar needs.
  • Mix of guided reading, skill-based activities, and games.


Independent Practice


  • Age-appropriate reading tasks.
  • Writing journals.
  • Phonics and vocabulary exercises.


In conclusion, by methodically focusing on these foundational skills month by month and using targeted assessments and instructional strategies, teachers can effectively guide first-grade students on their journey to becoming proficient readers.




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