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First Year Teacher Program



Teacher Toolbox


 1.  Print awareness
 2.  The sounds of speech
 3.  Phonemic awareness
 4.  Phonics
 5.  Informal classroom-based assessment
 6.  Fluency
 7.  Vocabulary
 8.  Spelling
 9.  Writing
 10.  Text comprehension

Diary of a First Year Teacher

Module 1  –  Print awareness

  |   Pre-test  |  Intro  |  In depth  |  In practice  |  Assignments  |  Post-test  |  


Part 1: Watch "The Roots of Reading," the first episode of Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers. Do you see things that you will use with your students?

Part 2: Come up with a format that you will follow every time you read a story to your students. The format should be interactive (it requires participation from both you and students).

A sample format follows, but customize it or come up with one that fits you and your students.

Sample Format:

Prior to Reading Any Story Aloud:

Introduce the story by stating the title, then the author's name and asking students,
"What does an author do?" (Students should respond, "Writes the story.").

State the illustrator's name and ask, "What does an illustrator do?" (Students should
respond, "Draws the pictures.").

Hold up the book and say, "This is the front of the book, (turn it sideways and state)
and this is the spine." Turn the book to the back cover and state, "This is the back of
the book."
Then ask, "Do we begin reading from the front or the back of the
(Students should respond, "From the front.").

"Let's look at the picture on the front."

Hold up the book with the front cover facing the students. Ask: "What do you think
will happen in this story? Remember, I want you to answer using complete

Before the Reading

Select vocabulary words from the story that you need to discuss prior to reading the
story. Write them on sentence strips or on the board. Discuss the words with

Please note the use of open-ended questions that will require the students to give
responses that extend beyond Yes/No answers. Remember to use open-ended
questions as you read the story and in your discussion after the reading.

Encourage students to draw upon what they know about the words from their
personal lives. For example, if the word is the verb fish, perhaps some of the children
have gone on fishing trips with their parents. Encourage a brief telling of
personal stories. Their personal stories allow students to make connections with the

During the Reading

Briefly discuss the pictures on each page after reading that page.

Encourage students to guess/predict what will happen next.

After the Reading

Ask students to tell you if they liked the story and why. Encourage responses in
complete sentences. "I liked it when the little girl rescued her friends because it
showed that girls can be heroes."

First Year Teacher was a pilot project of Reading Rockets, which is service of WETA, Washington D.C.'s flagship public television station. Funding for First Year Teacher was provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs; The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; and The Overbrook Foundation.

© 2004 WETA