Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget

March 29, 2015

Win a trip to Vegas and 1 day at the SDE conference! For Real.

 Picture it now!  YOU in LAS VEGAS?
The “Primary Chalkboard”
Team of Bloggers
Wants to Send You
to Vegas!

We want to send YOU to attend a one day session at the SDE conference and you get to pick your day  I know you are going to pick Monday so that you can see me present!

So, will you choose Singapore Math, Differentiated Instruction, I Teach K, I Teach 1st, or the  newly added I Teach 2nd?  How fun is that?

BUT, that's not all,
we're also including a $25 gift card to the SDE bookstore,

So, NOW can you picture YOURSELF in VEGAS?

Oh, you say you need money for airfare, hotel accommodations, or just some spending money while you are here?  Well, we've got that covered, too.  How about ….
NOW, can you picture YOURSELF in VEGAS?

Here's how to enter for a chance to win.
  1.  Start at the Primary Chalkboard blog.
  2.  Hop through our Facebook pages
  3. "Like" and COMMENT with #primarychalkboardsendmetovegas on each page
  4. Each tip will have a number in the pink heart, write those down
  5. Add the numbers together and enter the sum on the rafflecopter found on the Primary Chalkboard blog
Be sure to add a comment on the FB page and include #primarychalkboardsendmetovegas.

START at the  Primary Chalkboard by clicking the image below:

For an extra chance to win this, take a selfie, post it on IG with
Don't forget to tag us in your picture! @primarychalkboard

The winner will be picked on April the evening of April 5th.

for their kind  and generous donation!

March 27, 2015

Let’s Chalk About It

Another week has flown by and I am excited to talk about some cool ideas to make life in the classroom easier!
25 dollar to tpt
Of course, I am linking up my 5 ideas with Doodle Bugs 5 for Friday.
So let this party started and “chalk about it”.
1When everything in your closet is in style and fits, it’s fun to get dressed for a day in the classroom. This is not the case for me right now. I am in a slump, bored with my clothes, and I’m devastated that the ones I really like are too small. {insert the sound of crunching Oreo Cookies} But, I found a blog that made me smile and rethink my wardrobe, my shape, and picking and pairing new outfits! The blog is Modern Modesty. Her outfits are DARLING!
modern mod 1 Here is her post called “Getting Dressed Is Like Frosting A Cake.” I Love it! Such a good mental image of how to make an outfit happen. modern mod 2
Check out her post on planning out your week’s worth of clothes. Her idea is really quite “out of the box” and kind of brilliant for getting new outfits out of your own closet and into your rotation. I find myself in the same clothes all the time because I don’t think about what I’m wearing when I am fully awake. I stumble into my closet, eyes half open, and grab something familiar- so I wear the same clothes constantly! You have to see how the outfits below come together.
modern mod 3
Seriously, this is the best post for getting more use out of a cute maxi dress- Here she's worn it 9 ways ! Please and Thank you Lauren! She is so cute.
modern modesty 
2 My blog post of the week is from the amazing Lisa Mattes who offers up an easy and free idea for helping our reluctant writers finish their work!Work With Writers Who Struggle To Complete Their Writing Pin 3I love it when my students are working collaboratively and this little center was both rigorous and novel. It was novel because we we not writing on a flower instead of a worksheet. The rigor came in that the pairs had to come up with a verb and agree on the spelling of the verb together. Common Core is all about co-constructing learning!Fun Center- make it a shared pen
If you laminate it before they write on it, then you use it year after year. Our campus laminator is forever broken, unavailable, and moody. So mine was not laminated. It will look darling up on the walls and then I will raffled it off and a child can it home.
It’s time to get them comprehending and let me tell you that this unit will get you huge results. Wednesday, I added 5 more days worth of activities and a darling new poster to this product!
Updated Preview Single Picture
Download now new
This packet truly works for my students! But you don’t have to take my word for it!
feedback 1
 Feedback 2
Updated Cover
5 Would you like to buy 35 Comprehension Builders and some other great classroom resources? I have got you covered! Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win $25 dollars to TpT!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

March 24, 2015

Reading Programs to help your K-1 students

Main pictures with kinder baby
This series of posts is about finding THE best materials for the ages and stages of a new reader. Sometimes a new reader is called and emerging reader. Most often these children are kindergarten and first grade students. I am excited to share what has worked with my own son and in my 15 years of classroom experience. I used a mix of sight words, phonics readers, and “real” books written by famous authors, web sites, guided reading, and passage fluency to help my son and students become readers! I am going to discuss each of these and the best materials I have found!

There are a million reading programs, some free and some worth their weight in gold.  I love these 4 programs: MY SON LOVED THESE 4:
Starfall- free phonics and reading fun
ABC Mouse- paid and very fun
ABC mouse
RAZ-Kids- paid book library that is leveled from non-reader all the way to 3rd grade level. Worth it’s weight in gold!
Reading Rainbow – paid  (iPad) and amazing.
reading rainbow

March 20, 2015

Getting your kindergarteners and first graders up to grade level in reading

Main pictures with kinder baby
This series of posts is about finding THE best materials for the ages and stages of a new reader. Sometimes a new reader is called and emerging reader. Most often these children are kindergarten and first grade students. I am excited to share what has worked with my own son and in my 15 years of classroom experience. I used a mix of sight words, phonics readers, and “real” books written by famous authors, web sites, guided reading, and passage fluency to help my son and students become readers! I am going to discuss each of these and the best materials I have found!
Passage Fluency will get them to grade level: 
I want to talk with you about passage fluency because I believe that this is a really great way to get your students to grade level! Have you ever stopped to think of why a student struggles with reading? Maybe you and I have had the same thought. “Everything they are ABLE to read is so boring! No wonder they don’t want to read!” What if someone came along and wrote engaging materials for young readers that really mattered in the real world?  What if someone wrote informational text that was readable at an emerging level and could help the kids reach and exceed grade level? Well, I did! I was tired of the kids reading “Go Cat Go” and “The Fish in the Dish” I wrote “materials that matter”. They are not just high interest topics, but they are topics that really matter in the real world of history and science.  Kinder winter material and first grade curriculum in my district starts with the ___at family, sight words (go, the, can, have, is, are, ….) and simple sentence writing using CVC words.   This is great, sweet, and teaches/ reinforces reading. But what if the kids could also learn SOMETHING while learning to read? What an IDEA! Enter  one of the best ways to help your readers get to grade level. You must do shared reading & passage reading otherwise known as fluency.
I created curriculum that supports three of the main areas for creating readers. The single-page passages are  2-5 minute quick reads. They are meant to be introduced whole group as a “topic we are learning about this week”. The pocket chart and passages match exactly are designed to be read several times daily over a week. I use a pocket chart (SHARED READING) from the start of first grade all the way through November. Kinders should use shared reading in a pocket chart or large paper chart format for the whole year. In first grade, I write the passage onto sentence strips and use the full color photograph cards that come with the unit as picture support on the pocket chart. The picture cards are hugely important since we teach emerging readers to check the pictures to help word solve and build understanding. Kids keep the single page passage in their homework folder  and at their desk to be read when they have time and when buddies come. (INDEPENDENT READING and  REREADING) Each unit comes with art, a thinking map, and writing prompt with lined writing paper to help kids express their learning and creativity! (PERSONAL RESPONSE) The art is really where the children “buy in” and I always display the art on the pocket chart to build anticipation and joy!
Slide1 The curriculum is differentiated to have picture clues for those who need it and those who do not.
Here is a sampling of the kindergarten passages.Slide3
Slide4 I have created a writing unit that springboards off of the fluency passage. My school is doing “Thinking Maps”, so of course I have included 1-2 thinking maps to go with each passage.
Here is a part that your students will adore. I have included a few art projects to really help the kinders buy in!Slide6
I have just shown you the kinder materials I have written for the last 8 weeks of kindergarten. This will help them be read for first grade.  I have written an entire year of first grade materials!
Re-reading is a way to become a better reader, just like shooting hoops will make you a better basketball player. But, I MUST caution you that if you are asking a child to read something multiple times then it needs to be meaningful material.  I wrote passages  for my kinder unit that can be read by a Running Record 4 or Level C/D, but the best part is that the material is meaningful! As a matter of fact most of it is social studies, science, and or real world based! These materials can be found in my Kinder, Fall, Winter, and Spring Units.  Fall of first grade starts with “ A Cat Can” leveled at D or Running Record 4. Kinder and first grade teachers, I want you to be able to try a week for free, so that you can taste what Kinder fluency and Fall of First Grade fluency is like. A Cat Can will suit kinders in the Spring or firsties in the fall just perfectly.
Freebie for K-1 Teacher to try out fluency

As they progress through the units, each week pushes the kids toward reading grade level expectations. By the end of the units they will be reaching the beyond the end of year 1st grade Running Record 16 into the 20 range which is mid year second grade. This is what I want for my “firsties”. I want them ready. I want them ahead of the game!Best materials for teaching readingThe best part about fluency is that it’s a game.  The daily objective is to just read more smoothly and understand few words more today than we were able to read yesterday! In my classroom, we read our passage together in the morning, after lunch, and we “buddy read” again it in the afternoon.  Kids also bring it home for homework. As kinders you might want to just focus on getting through the passage. Each day your little one should be sounding more smooth and reading with expression.
Fall fluency picks up where kindergarten leaves off. It takes your students from a Running Record4 / Level C/D on through to a Running Record 12/13. August, September, October, and November passages are included. 16 in all.
Slide1 Slide3
Slide5 Slide6
Now it pains me to not write PAGES all about fluency because I love it so much.  I adore it because I have seen fluency/ shared reading change  “almost readers” into “high fliers” ! I actually travel all over speaking about fluency. But I have written about it a whole bunch of times.
  • here {Spring Fluency}
  • here {Winter Fluency}
  • here {How to get started with fluency}
  • here {Teaching Comprehension and Fluency}
I am a fluency floozy, what can I say? I have seen it change my readers over the past 5 years. In that five years I have gained 10 more students bringing my total to 30 and had my guided reading time cut in half. What helped stand in the gap? Fluency. It’s a life saver! I have written fun classroom curriculum that has games, tools, and lesson plans as well. Click the picture below or {here} to see the Comprehension 101 unit.
Develop fluent readers who can comprehend
As a matter of fact, you can hear me talk about fluency at the SDE  I Teach 1st Conference!  I seriously love fluency and I kind of make everyone in the room love it too I have special mind powers, plus I’m super silly and have fun with it.
If you are going to be in Vegas on July 6-10 I will be speaking Monday morning.  I am ready to bring it Las Vegas style. You will be entertained and inspired to start fluency right away! Plus you can see my adorable new dress. That’s right! Every conference needs a new dress! I love speaking and meeting you and new clothes.
what Im wearing
Seriously, try fluency. It will change your non-readers into readers!
It's the last 8 weeks of kinder- the final push to get them to grade level- the unit will do it- Try a week for FREE

March 16, 2015

How to choose “Just Right” books for kindergarten through first grade emerging readers

Main pictures with kinder baby

Finding “ Just Right” books is always a challenge, but with these tips you are sure to have success.

Capitalize on what they already love:

Parents and teachers get your hands on anything that your child/ student is actually interested in. If they love rocks, Legos, Strawberry Shortcake,  Curious George, or Scooby Doo, books that match are out there. Believe me.

Kids are curious about the world- teach them to read by capitalizing on what they loveI was able to find my son’s phonics readers and real books on topics he loves through a company called Scholastic. Your child’s teacher is probably sending home little magazines filled with books that you can buy at your child’s level. If not, you can buy from Scholastic by clicking {here}



Parents: grab a Starbucks and head into a local bookstore and just let your child peruse. Will they beg you buy them a book? YES! Praise the Lord, they will!  Just remember the “Rule of 5”. (I talk about that in just a minute.) Also, when buying consider how much support you can provide your little reader for the book they have chosen. When my son (second grader) wanted the book The 39 Clues (5th grade reading level), I knew he would need some serious support and “lap time” while reading. That’s OK! Remember that children become readers in the laps of their parents and at the feet of their teachers. Children NEED to be read to.

Image result for children become readers on the laps of their parents image

The library:

Use the local library to get fresh books into kids hands each week

New teachers, Homeschoolers, Veteran Teachers, Parents, you know that the school library is available, but have you ever considered checking out books from your local library? My library lets me check out 20 books on my card and 20 on my son’s card. This is handy for author studies or books on topics. As a classroom teacher, I don’t let the city library books go home or into desks. I have learned the hard way.  The students look at them in a center and none get lost. I just have to remember to return them in time to not incur fees. #LearnedTheHardWay on that on too.

Get a good mix of levels for the child and put a post-it on each book.

When choosing books for your child or a student’s personal reading box, I recommend putting in some that are too hard that can be read on the lap of a parent or with a school big buddy. I also recommend some books that are very easy. My son calls these his baby books (with a hint of disgust in his voice) until I remind him that he can practice using voices when he reads. “Reading with expressive voices is ULTIMATE reading!” I remind him.  Then, get a few that are right on their level.  When possible I put our guided reading books into their book boxes so they can practice those to the mastery level.

Choosing -just right- books for book boxes is easy with the rule of 5 freebie and these great tips In my home my son has a bizzillion books that I have done my best to organize by level and interest. For example, all his easy readers are together and all his other books are in groups too. All his Clifford books are together, truck books, Curious George, Magic Tree House, 39 Clues etc. That’s a huge reading level span represented from kinder to second grade to 5th grade. He will choose a book based on how much attention or focus he wants to give his reading. When he is falling asleep, he will pick a relaxing, easy reader. When he is focused he picks The 39 Clues or Magic Tree House.

In a classroom a kid can’t have 15 book boxes at his desk. But he can have 1 box filled with books that are carefully chosen:

  1. Easy Breezy Books (Bob books are very easy to decode)
  2. Books on Level (Guided Reading books or classroom library books)
  3. Books that have high interest to the child but may be too hard without a buddy reader. The child can glean info from these books and ask questions and receive help.

Provide a post-it to go on each book where a child can write down a word that was hard, or a connection they made, a question, idea, a favorite part. Even if your emerging reader only “doodles” a picture and explains it to you,  this is the beginning of expression in writing. The post-it is a good reminder that something should be happening in their brain as they read- ideas, mental images, predictions, enjoying humor. Debbie Miller wrote an amazing book called Reading With Meaning. I bought the book and about 10 million post-it notes for my students to use at will.

Ages and Stages: How can I tell what books are good for my little reader?

Each company has their own way of marking ages and stages, but I want to offer a rule of thumb or actually a “Rule of 5 Fingers”. It’s an old and very common rule among teachers, but in case you have never heard it , here you go.  

Rule of 5 poster will help students understand how to choose just right books. A freebie from Teacher to the Core

Download now new

If a child reads a page and makes 5 errors on that page then this book will push the child to frustration level. These books are not off limits, but will be enjoyed most when read with a buddy or on the lap of a parent.

If your little reader is 5 going on 15 when it comes to reading skills, then you might want to ignore the “ages and stages”  listed on books and think about what they are interested in. If your child struggles to learn even 10 sight words, or just struggles in general, then you are going to go toward books that are phonics based with very short words. You are also going to want to be very “present” to help, encourage, and talk about the pictures if you have a struggling reader. For a child that struggles you should read aloud and have them read their sight words that you come across within the book. Sight words and decodable words are found in all books. Pointing these words out or having them read them will provide practice and has both of you participating.

Main pictures with kinder baby

To read the rest of this series click the link below.

  • Just Right Books
  • Sight Word Tips {Coming March 17}
  • Get them to grade level with passage reading  {Coming March 19}
  • Computer programs the help with early reading {Coming March 21}
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