The week of Valentine's Day is one of the craziest weeks of the year!  Everyone is so excited for the upcoming holiday and classroom parties.  I love incorporating the holiday into my whole group interactive read aloud plans for the week.  I also like to change it up every so often, so this year I made plans to go along with the book, Love, Z by Jessie Sima.  Last year for our party, we made Love Robot Bags for our Valentines, so I thought this story would pair perfectly with the robot theme!  It's about a young robot who is on an adventure to find out what love is.  It's a very sweet story!  


Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft


Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft

I went ahead and made five days of lessons plans for the interactive read aloud that include a scripted mini-lesson, text-dependent questions, a daily task, and an exit ticket for each day.  At this point in the year, my students need to work on answering questions about a text using text evidence, so that's what I chose to focus on.  They become ROBOT READERS and use the evidence to COMPUTE the answer!  I am all about incorporating a theme into everything!  Ha!

Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft


Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft


Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft

Part of being able to accurately answer questions is being able to answer inferential questions.  We spend one day on how to do just that.  The little Robot Readers will do an INFERENCE INPUT reader's response task to practice.

Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft

Students will also create this cute robot craft which is perfect bulletin board decor for the month, too!  The characters in the story describe what love is to them.  Students will make a connection to the text by writing about what love is to them.

Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft

Finally, students will practice doing a Robotic Retell or Robotic Recount of the story, depending on which grade level you teach.  Second grade standards call it a recount.  

Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft

Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft

I also made the daily tasks into digital tasks loaded into Google Slides (TM) in case you are virtual or hybrid right now.  I tried to make them as cute as possible for your students at home to get them in the Valentine spirit!

Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft | Digital Valentines Day Activities

Below are the bags I was telling you about that we made last year!  They were so cute for collecting Valentines!  We made them right before our party.  There's also a great directed drawing HERE that you could do at your party that we did last year!

Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading about my newest Valentine's Day Interactive Read Aloud Lessons!  I hope you all have a great holiday!

Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft

Valentines Day Reading Activities | Valentines Day Craft | Love Z Read Aloud Activities and Craft












 

 Why is phonics so important?  It's the foundational skill of decoding letters into their corresponding sounds, which is essential for students to independently read unknown words.  Research shows that it's the best way to teach students to read words.  While we do provide systematic phonics instruction during whole group and small groups, students also need time to practice these newly learned skills.  It's also vital that they get some spiral review within their day.  The best way I have found to do this is through our Word Work Station.  In this post, I want to share how I set up my word work center, what our favorite tools and activities are, and how I manage it from week to week in a way that's not overwhelming or time consuming.  Teachers cannot afford to add anything else to their plates.

(This post may contain affiliate links.)


This is my most recent word work center.  I like to have it in front of a bulletin board so that I can hang posters and anchor charts.  The pocket chart is for words that they can practice with that week's spelling pattern.  That's an early finisher activity in which they can use whiteboards to quiz each other, rainbow spell, or make words with play-doh.  I like to put fabric around the table so that I can use underneath for storage.



I post this list of to-dos that's laminated, so that I can write on it with a dry erase marker.  I always list two activities that they can do, so that we don't run into the problem of them finishing one and then not knowing what to do next.  I don't have to worry about them interrupting my small group to ask what to do next or for them to be off task doing nothing.  Each group also has a leader, so if they forget to look to the board for what to do, the group leader can show them.

I change what it says every two days.  That sounds like a lot but it only takes a minute, and I usually do it while I'm explaining centers to them.  The activities that go in there are already prepped from years before or I got them ready the week before.  I have four groups, two rotations per day, so that allows each group to go there every other day.

(Find these Back to School Anchor Charts HERE)



We create anchor charts together during our whole group phonics.  I then can move these to the word work center for reference.  I print them in poster size, but you don't have to do that if you don't have room.



Sometimes I don't have room for all that I want to hang, so I print them out letter size and laminate them for the following years.  We then write on them with dry erase markers.  I usually let the students write on these so that we can practice stretching out words with our puppets.


I also always print these posters for the spelling pattern of the week.  I can then move them over to the word work center for reference.



I spend the first month of school teaching lots of procedures.  One of those is where to find classroom tools.  They may need dice, spinners, counters, linking cubes, or game pieces for our word work games, so I make sure they know where to find them.  These Ikea shelves were the best investment for our tools and manipulatives.  They know what pieces they need for each game, so they can grab them themselves.  I don't have to worry about putting tools at the word work center each week.


I do not put dry erase markers or erasers at the center.  They just know to bring their pencil pouches with them to the word work station that contains those needed supplies.



I store my games and activities in two different places.  These organizers from Amazon are great to store posters and activities by spelling pattern.  They don't take up a lot of space either.


I just labeled them according to my pacing guide.


This is an example of printing the anchor charts smaller, so that I can store them in here for next year.  If you print larger, you can roll them up.  I store those in a cute hamper.


I try to just stick to similar activities from week to week.  I don't have time to teach new games and activities each week, so I want station activities to be familiar.  If it is something new, we will play it in small group first and then it moves to the station the following week.  These activities are some of my Word Work Activities and Games.  It's important to have my students do word sorts, so I usually have them complete one of those.  I just laminate them and print them on cardstock and store in these plastic bags.  I throw them in the file folder storage.


They are always obsessed with these spelling pattern board games.  I thought they would get tired of them, but nope!  This is usually activity two in the station.  You can find them in each of my Word Work packs here.


I also love Susan Jones's Print, Play, and Learn Games!  I bought her bundle so that I would have these for all of the spelling patterns.  I just print and laminate them and store in these folders.  We will usually play these in small groups to learn how to play, and then they go in the station the following week.  They're very easy to prep.


I store these and the Roll and Reads from Sparkling in Second in these clear tubs.  They're also very easy to prep, and we use those for small groups and stations.  They are great for decoding and fluency practice.  The tubs easily slide underneath the word work table.  I pull out the box I need and put it at my table and then at the word work station.

My word work station is pretty basic, but that's what I like about it.  Once you make these games and get organized, you are ready to go for years.  Not to say that I don't add new things here and there, but consistency is key with centers or stations.  I hope this post helps you or gives you some ideas on how to create a simple, but engaging and effective word work center.  It's definitely one of my students' favorite spots to visit multiple times each week.  

If you need some ideas for phonics instruction, whether you're teaching in-person or virtually, you can CLICK HERE.
















February might be my favorite month to teach!  There are so many holidays and important topics to cover, from Black History Month, Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day, and Dental Health Month just to name a few.  For these second grade read alouds, I chose to focus on Black History Month, Valentine's Day, and Presidents' Day.  We cover a combination of literature and informational text standards, such as answering questions, summarizing, author's point, making inferences, and comparing and contrasting important points from two different texts on the same topic.


Henry's Freedom Box | Summarizing


February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

Henry's Freedom Box is about a famous figure from the Underground Railroad, Henry "Box" Brown.  Henry escaped slavery by shipping himself to Philadelphia.  This is a great text for introducing students to the Underground Railroad, as well as teaching them about other important figures from that time, such as Harriet Tubman.  You could also read texts about her to give them some background knowledge.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

We focused on standard RL 2.5, describe the overall structure of a story, including how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.  The culminating task for the week was summarizing the story using the SWBST strategy.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

We built up to the culminating task throughout the week with these daily tasks in which students had to describe the character's response related to the beginning and end of the story, describing the setting at the beginning and end, and problem and solution.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

You can click below to view this resource.  I do post them separately, as a digital resource, printable resource, and in the monthly or yearly bundle.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids


February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

This is the sweetest story for Valentine's week.  My students needed to work on inferential questions, as evidenced on their CFAs, so I decided to use this text to teach making inferences.  In the story, Mr. Hatch receives a Valentine from a secret admirer.  I started off the week with the same gift for my students.  When we started our lesson, I pointed to this heart-shaped box that I had found with a tag that said, "Somebody Loves You."  I acted like I thought it was from them, and they of course said it wasn't.  I opened the box to a stack of clues and some candy.  We went through the clues and recorded them all.  I taught students about how to make inferences using the clues along with their background knowledge, or schema, to make an inference about who might have left the treats.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

The clues OBVIOUSLY pointed to me, but only one student guessed it.  Ha ha!  They thought it was the librarian which was so funny.  They were shocked when they found out that I had tricked them!  It was such a fun way to kick off making inferences!  

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

I printed this anchor chart and learning poster as posters to refer to and use throughout the week.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

Their daily tasks each day involved inferential questions about the text, except for one day in which they had to make a text-to-self connection.  They wrote about a time when they felt that someone loved them.  This is a really cute bulletin board for February, too.  We attached it to a directed drawing of Mr. Hatch.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

In addition to taking grades on the culminating task, I also give a comprehension test that is included in the pack for the asking and answering questions standard.


February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

Presidents' Day is the week following Valentine's week.  I told you it was a busy month!  I decided to use Looking at Lincoln, because we had read a book by this same author in the previous month.  I absolutely love the illustrations!  It's a book about Abraham Lincoln from a child's perspective, which I feel is more relatable for them.  

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

Our focus standard was RI 2.9, comparing and contrasting the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.  We read two different texts and learned how to identify the most important points, because otherwise they will write everything down.  Our daily tasks involved some fun ways to identify important points, such as using our schema, gathering up points into Abe's hat, listing points, and saying "wow" when we found an important point.  On Friday, they took the important points from throughout the week, and compared and contrasted them on a Venn diagram.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids


I wanted to end February by focusing on Black History Month again.  I think it's important for them to understand how children contributed to the Civil Rights Movement, and how children can make a difference in the world.  

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

We read two different texts, Let the Children March and The Story of Ruby Bridges.  These were great texts for RI 2.6, identifying the author's main purpose for writing a text, including what an author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

I always preplan my questions to ask by printing them on sticky notes.  These are included, along with daily scripted lesson plans.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

I also explain my vocabulary routine and provide these printable cards.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

We spent the first three days on Let the Children March.  I began the week with discussing why this story matters.  Why is it important for the readers to hear about this event.  This is a great scaffolding for building up to identifying author's purpose.  We then dove into the author's perspective on the topic by learning more about her.  This shapes the author's purpose for writing a text.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

We spent the final two days on The Story of Ruby Bridges.  Students wrote again about why this story mattered to them.  They then identified the author's purpose the following day with this checklist.  I also expect them to provide text evidence to support their thinking.

The craft I put together for this story is a schoolhouse with this heart banner of different shades of skin.  I had students write about how children can make a difference in the world.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids

I also have converted all of these read aloud resources to DIGITAL slides for your in person and distance learning instruction.  There are instructional slides for each day, along with assignable daily tasks, exit tickets, self assessments, and a weekly assessment.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids, February Digital Read Aloud Slides

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids, February Digital Read Aloud Slides

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids, February Digital Read Aloud Slides

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids, February Digital Read Aloud Slides

Thanks for stopping by and reading about our February interactive read alouds.  You can click any of the pics above or below to check this resource out!  Within the bundle, you will see links to each of the lessons sold separately.

February Read Alouds for Second Grade, February crafts for kids, February Digital Read Aloud Slides