All posts in Resources

How to End Number Switching

How to End Number Switching (BayTreeBlog.com)

Talk to any kindergarten teacher, and she’ll tell you about her students who transpose numbers. Two-digit numbers puzzle many younger students. It’s not unusual to hear students confusing the numbers “13” and “31” or writing the number “14” as “41.”

This common mistake is sometimes called a transposition. When students transpose numbers, they write down all of the correct numbers, but they don’t put the numbers into the right sequence (place-value order).

Transposition errors often occur in two-digit numbers. For my students, the most commonly transposed numbers are the numbers 12-19. These mistakes with the teen numbers actually reveal the child has a good understanding of the spelling patterns for numbers and words. Mistakes with numbers greater than twenty may indicate that the child needs more place-value practice.

Today, I want to empower you with effective tools for addressing transposition errors. First, let’s figure out why students are confused.

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9 Books Kids Actually Want to Read

9 Books Kids Actually Want to Read (BayTreeBlog.com)

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to find great books for children. But if you’re the parent or teacher of a child who struggles to read, a book might not seem like much of a gift.

For reluctant readers, cracking open new books is like running the gauntlet. Will they be able to read it? Will it make sense? Will they feel embarrassed if they can’t finish the book?

If you’d like to give a child a book, and you need something enticing, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

After years of teaching struggling readers, I’ve discovered a handful of books that any child can enjoy. There’s not just one way to read these books. Children can open the book anywhere and just enjoy the photographs. They can jump around to easier sections.

Best of all, these books are so compelling that the child will want to read a sentence or two. But there’s no pressure. There’s no expectation that they’ll start at page one and finish the entire book.

I’ve collected my favorite books that kids pick up by themselves. These books don’t need an introduction. Just leave them in a room, and children will want to investigate.

The most discriminating of readers – children with dyslexia – have field-tested these books for me. Trust me, if one of my students can’t put down a book, it’s gotta be good!

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25 Must-Have Tools for Learning Specialists, Educational Therapists, and Literacy Tutors

Must Have Teaching Tools For Kids With Learning Disabilities (BayTreeBlog.com)

Have you ever been over the moon to receive a new teaching book you ordered, only for it to fall flat?

Have you ever wondered what great books and tools your colleagues are using?

Today, I’d like to invite you to a virtual visit of my office. Let me show you my favorite books, games, tools, and software programs. I’ve highlighted several of my favorite materials below, but feel free to hop over to our resources page for a complete list of teaching goodies.

I’d love to hear your suggestions too! What are some of your favorite teaching resources? Please chime in by sharing a book, program, or material you love in the comments section.

Teaching Kids to Read

1. Locating and Correcting Reading Difficulties

by Ward Cockrum and James L. Shanker

If you’ve just started working with a struggling reader and you’re not sure where to begin, this is an essential tool in your literacy toolbox. You can use a variety of informal assessments to pinpoint a student’s area of difficulty. The book also includes activities to build up those skills. I especially like to use this book to measure progress in phonics, multisyllable decoding, and sight word acquisition. (www.baytreeblog.com/difficulties)

2. Seeing Stars Letter Cards

I use these cards to teach kids sound-symbol correspondence (i.e. learning the sounds that letters make). They’re sturdy enough for daily use. (www.baytreeblog.com/vccards)

3. Seeing Stars Decoding Workbooks

Once kids have cracked the alphabetic code, they need tons of practice decoding. These workbooks are divided into six levels based on word length. I find workbooks #2 and #3 most useful. The first workbook includes CV/VC words with just two sounds, the second workbook includes CVC words with three sounds, and the third workbooks include CVCC/CCVC words with consonant blends. I like to use these words as a jumping off point for phonemic and orthographic awareness activities. (www.baytreeblog.com/seeingstarsworkbooks)

4. Quick Reads

Once kids are decoding accurately, they need to apply their skills. The Quick Reads program includes short passages that can be used for repeated reading and other activities that build reading fluency. I like that the articles are grouped by topic so that students get many exposures to topic-specific vocabulary. (www.baytreeblog.com/quickreads)

5. Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding and Spelling Instruction

by Marcia K. Henry

New to teaching reading? Not sure how to best help a struggling reader? This is THE book for you. Henry shows how children learn to read and how to best teach literacy. She focuses on morphology (the meaning system) and orthography (the writing system), which are two vital, but overlooked, layers of language. The 100-page appendix of prefixes, suffixes, and bases is worth the price of the book alone. This is an invaluable resource, especially for teachers of children in the intermediate grades. (www.baytreeblog.com/unlockingliteracy)

6. REWARDS

by Vicky Vachon, Mary Gleason, and Anita Archer

Anyone who’s offering you a silver bullet for solving reading problems is probably selling snake oil. However, this inexpensive, accessible program is probably the closest thing to a decoding cure-all. Here’s why. Each lesson includes explicit, structured practice with:

  1. a vowel pattern
  2. decoding a single syllable words with that vowel pattern, and
  3. a multisyllable decoding strategy.

Students are taught to identify common prefixes and suffixes, so they can successfully read multisyllable words. I’ve seen kids’ reading ability grow by leaps and bounds. The intermediate version is for children in grades 4-5. The standard version is appropriate for middle school students, high school students, and adults. (www.baytreeblog.com/rewards)

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Teaching Tools for Educational Specialists