My Top 10 Teaching Resources for an Early Years Classroom-The Must ‘Haves’!

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 PM Big Books

I have no desire to advertise, but sometimes it may benefit others if I do write about a particular publication that supports and scaffolds student learning. For student’s reading from RR Levels 1-6, I prefer to use PM books. Why do I like PM’s for beginning readers? PM readers introduce new vocabulary slowly, high frequency words are embedded into each text and are built upon at each level. The pictures support the text and the levels themselves are accurate. The topics are child centred.

As mentioned in previous posts, my student’s don’t start Guided Reading until they are Instructional Level 3. Children need to know about books and how they work before starting Guided Reading. For very early readers, I use Language Experience books and Shared Reading. 

 

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Large Sentence Strip Board

Absolute Must! The sentence strip board is essential to my program. This is a critical ‘must have’ for all junior classes, not just Prep. Our Language Experience class made take home books are built from the text displayed on our sentence strip board. Once the sentence strip board is filled and a take home book is made, the sentences are pasted on to a poster and displayed for future reading. Re-reading our sentence posters regularly greatly assists reading development.    

 Mini White Boards

 Mini white boards are fantastic! My students love using them because they can be wiped clean. Children often feel more comfortable ‘having a go’ at spelling unfamiliar words when it’s not ‘pencil on paper’, I can only assume this is because it’s not permanent. They find using white board markers exciting, ‘ah…’ to be five again!  The picture displays magnetic alphabet letters. These are great for making words, ‘breaking and chunking’ (future post). I have a set of eight mini boards, which I protect with my life. Well, not quite, but I do love them!

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 classroom-2009-0101The Changing Dice

How do I describe this?It’s a large cube/dice which has a plastic slip on each face. I can insert words, letters, sentences, and vocabulary for writing, such as who?, what?, why? and where? ,numbers and signs. The uses are limitless. This is a fantastic teacher’s resource and a ‘must have’!

 

 Magnetic Words

They come in a pack of 100 and include all basic sight words. When my students are introduced to a new word, I display it on the white board. It can be peeled off and ‘stuck’ into a written sentence on the board. The children can use them on their mini white boards as well. They can be written on with a white board marker e.g. what happens when we add a ‘magic e’ to a word? For example: Mat – mate

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Small PM Readers.

We’re all subject to budget constraints, but I believe having as many Guided Reading PM sets from Level 3 to 6 is essential for developing young readers. They are great for other levels, but just like any diet, we want to have variety and there are other excellent books on the market. Read Chall – Stages of Reading Develoment (excellent overview)

 

I Love Dr. Suess!

 I have a collection of Dr. Seuss books that I read ‘over and over’ again. These books are popular with my Preps (and all children) and often make their way into my student’s school bags at the end of the day. In the easier books the vocabulary is phonetic, rhyme is integral and simple sight words are repeated. Dr. Seuss books are also wonderful for the older readers. Check them out, if you haven’t already!   

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Teacher’s White Board

Let it roll! I love my roll around white board. It’s magnetic, can hold and display posters and can be rolled around. It’s just the right height for young children to use when they contribute and all children can see it clearly when sitting on the floor.

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Lego

I have lego and a large lego board. I use lego in my Numeracy and Literacy program as well as Developmental Play, for example they might build a story set and act out a story they have read. My kit includes little people, wheels, small boards, windows etc. Buy a kit which includes the extras.

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The Big Book Stand

I was very excited when I found an old rickety Big Book stand that nobody was using. With a clean and a blue Velcro board, it was ready to go! Having a Big Book stand allows me to have a Big Book area (previous post). It means that Big Books are on display and can be easily read by children. It’s about making teaching easier! Once again, it rolls, so I can move it out of the way easily if I need to.  

 Next Top 10 – Upcoming Post & Home Reading – My way!

I hope you’ve got plenty of money in the budget!

Cheers Nina

 

9 Comments

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9 responses to “My Top 10 Teaching Resources for an Early Years Classroom-The Must ‘Haves’!

  1. Have just discovered your blog Nina and what a fantastic list of must haves! Thank youn

    • nina davis

      Hi Jaide,
      I actually need to visit that post again because I have at least another 10 resources I could add. Thanks for the comment.
      Cheers Nina

  2. Anita

    Where can I get the magnetic sight words?
    Anita

    • nina davis

      Hi,
      I’ll have to look at school. I bought the 100 sight words a number of years ago. They can be used for so many activities by the children and teacher. I’ll get back to you with a contact.
      Cheers Nina

  3. Maxine Bone

    Great information and appropriate for thinking and learning!

  4. Kate

    Great list of resources Nina. Just wondering if you could tell me which supplier you used to get the magnetic sight words.

    Thanks
    Kate

  5. Natalie

    I’d also love to know where you get the chameleonic dice! Thank you. 🙂

  6. Kerry Read

    Great list of must haves Nina. Could you tell me where you get the sentence strip boards, magnetic sight words and the changing dice?

    Thanks
    Kerry

    • averil2

      Hi Kerry,
      Back at school this week, so I’ll have a look at the resources and see where I got them. We use many suppliers and I know we bought the items you mentioned last year for every room. The sentence strip board is an essential resource. I’ll be posting another list of top resources for numeracy this year as well. I’ll get back.
      Cheers Nina

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