Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Reading Sentence Practice

This is what hours and hours and several days worth of making classroom reading materials looks like:

Reading Sentence Practice folders ready to be transported to the classroom.
FYI:  First, I would like to warn you how much paper, ink, glue, paper cutting, laminating, and extra trips to the store for office supplies this project requires…!  Second, if you would like the make a set, you will be overwhelmed with the sense that the job will never be done…!  This took F.O.R.E.V.E.R.

The project started innocently enough - I just wanted to supplement the Montessori Language curriculum with some reading practice for my emergent readers.  Specifically, I was looking for a systematic, easy-to-follow, set of materials providing practice with reading full sentences (rather than only words) along consistent sight word repetition.  I found exactly what I needed while browsing Teachers Pay Teachers: Reading Sentence Practice file folder lessons.  The material consists of three separate groups - Set One, Set Two, and Set Three.  The illustrations are adorable and I really feel they will be a significant point of interest for my students.  I went ahead and purchased all three sets as they are very reasonably priced.

The Montessori teacher in me decided to code the sets by color.  Actually, the red, yellow, and blue coding follows perfectly with the way our Sound Boxes and Sandpaper Letters are coded in the classroom.  After many hours (days) of preparation, the sets were completed.  Here is a breakdown of what is included in one folder (there is a total of 32 folders):

The first folder:  Each folder has a cover with the following items tucked behind: 
One laminated envelope (I used an exacto knife to open the top after laminating) with the corresponding answer cards - each folder includes 12 picture answer cards.
Behind the cover is also the storage place for the folder's Answer Sheet.  This is an essential component to my decision  to make these materials for my classroom because this allows the lesson to be self-correcting - children can easily check their own work through the use of these types of  answer sheets.

Here is the inside of the first folder.  As you will notice, the phonetic sentences in this first folder are simple and short.  While I do not have photos of other folders, the sentences become progressively more challenging as fluency increases.  
The folder completed with the answer cards.
The child can check his/her work with the corresponding Answer Sheet.
As I was making these materials, the following thought occurred to me, "How am I going to keep track of each child's progress for each of the 32 folders?! (gasp!)"  So, the fun didn't end with the completion of making all three sets of folders - I also decided to make a tracking chart so children can self-monitor their progress.  Again, I used the same color-coding system for each folder while providing three headings to track progress:  Read with a teacher; Read to myself; and Read to a teacher.


The idea here is repetition, repetition, repetition - it is my hope that they will spend a the most time in the 'Read to Myself' column.  I am planning to use stamps or stickers to mark each box as each section is completed.  Once the whole row is filled in with stamps/stickers, they child is ready for the next folder.  By using this type of chart, the child knows exactly where he/she is in the series.  Likewise, any  adult in the classroom can look at the chart and know where the child is in the sequence.  You can find a free copy of this chart at my Teachers Pay Teacher store.

This photo shows how I ended up placing them on the shelf - I did have rearrange a bit, but I'm pleased with how it turned out.


  1. Sure thing! I hope you find it useful. :-)

  2. Hi: Great folders. Always looking for supplementary materials for montessori curriculum. Did you laminate the folders as well? and the inside sheet? just wondering how they are holding up if not. Thanks for your blog! It's great!

  3. Hi Karen, I ended up not laminating the folders or the inside sheet - only the answer sheets, pictures, and envelopes. So far so good with the holding up...

  4. ...and lastly, how did you attach the outside pocket? It looks so smooth. I would like it to stick very well. I was thinking rubber cement? Simple questions but they can make all the difference! Happy holidays to you!

  5. Hi Karen, Only a glue stick - I didn't want a lot of gooeyness everywhere and the they glue stick worked fine. After they dried fully, I went through the folders to make sure the corners were still adhered as a few of them popped off.

  6. Thanks, Sasha! I am so excited about this work and the website has some great work you can make into self correcting materials! Thanks again!

  7. No problem, Karen. I'm glad you have found this useful and the Teachers Pay Teachers site is so much fun! Enjoy!

  8. Do the children check of their progress, or is that your job?