Everything you Need to Supplement your IRLA Instruction in Early Elementary

That moment when you're reading instruction comes together... Your kids are engaged... and goals are being reached... sounds amazing, right? Read on to see how I accomplished all three of those things and make sure you also check out my post on reading goals to really bring it all home!


Hi friends! If you know me already, you know I put a whole lot of effort into perfecting my IRLA reading routine with my kids. IRLA was a great reading curriculum with many different components that could sometimes feel overwhelming to juggle. Especially when you're working across grade levels like I was.


A little background for anyone who does not know... I was an academic interventionist for grades K - 5 in a charter school. My time with my small groups consisted of math intervention for grades 1 - 5 and reading intervention for grades K - 3. My block of time for reading with my students was much more significant so I had a lot more wiggle room to create what I believe to be an effective routine for reading.


As far as IRLA goes, you're probably only reading here if you're already familiar with the program. If not, and you'd like to understand a bit more, keep reading. The IRLA is trademarked by the American Reading Company. It is a reading assessment curriculum for grades PreK all the way to 12th. Its reading levels are broken down and color coded, for example Kindergarten standards signify that Kindergartners work within the Yellow and Green level. Of course, your students level will vary based on their reading abilities. Because I was an interventionist, many of my students were working on a level or two lower than expected. Toolkits, libraries, and supplemental materials are all part of their IRLA curriculum.


Now to my why for creating these resources. I sometimes found myself needing something very specific to help my students with their Power Goals. Whether it be a beginning sound resource for my Kindergarteners, a sight word activity for my First Graders, words for my Second Graders to practice chunking in a fun way, or specific logs and graphic organizers for my Third Graders.. I was really dying to have individual or group activities that would directly align with their exact Power Goal on the ready. As I conferenced with my kids I took notes as to what would be helpful to them in our reading conferences, and ended up creating bundles worth of activities for IRLA levels Yellow through White.


I followed along with Tool Kit lessons during small group, but when we had extra time at the end I would introduce new activities from them to practice and ultimately reach their Power Goal. It was so nice because they would have their exactly Power Goal Card handy, while doing the actual work to reach it. Everything was so tailored to their needs, which, as a teacher, is all you can ask for.


Each of the level's bundles + recommendations for use can be broken down below.


Feel free to scroll past any given level that does not pertain to your classroom (keep in mind; some levels explanations will refer you back to previous levels.)


It is also important to note that some resources are only available within the bundle, such as flash cards, worksheets, and comprehension spinners.



The Emergent Reader Activities Bundle


Aligned with the IRLA's yellow level, this is a more simplistic and center based bundle. Its activities, though they can be used as worksheets, are more effective inside of the classroom and used as centers. Now, for most of my resources within this bundle, I still print them as worksheets and place them in communicators for the students to practice. Here is a breakdown of what comes with this bundle and how you can use them! The parentheses indicate how many pages come with that activity.


Word or Letter Sort (3)


Word or Letter Worksheet (3)


There are 3 worksheets available for students to practice distinguishing words from letters. This can be cut into small pieces and sorted onto the given place mats, or our friends can color letters one color and words another (this may be a more complex, multi step activity.) I also love to see my fellow educators get creative so it can be fit to your class' engagement needs. Maybe use dabs of PlayDoh to make this super exciting?! PlayDoh is always the answer!



Read the Pattern (7)


Write the Pattern + Two Different Writing Templates for Students (7)


Learning how to read patterns is so important for emergent readers, so it's so important to get books with patterns into their possession. This part of the bundle is also so important because each four piece pattern is a chance for them to practice reading the pattern, as well as writing their own pattern. I print each read/write the pattern out, front to back, and place it in a communicator. There are two templates for writing. After using it with my Kinder and First grade friends I HIGHLY suggest the template for writing one pattern since their writing is large and in charge.



One to One Correspondence (5)

Another chance to get fun and creative for your students, all the while helping them practice an important skill. Touching each word while reading and recognizing it as a word, helps students in their reading journey. Again, I place these sheets in communicators, but it could also be a good idea to cut them out into sentence strips and laminate them. Students put an object on each black dot and push it up to its matching word as they read. What you use as an object is where the fun comes in...PlayDoh, pompoms, pennies?! I'd love to see what you choose!



Initial Consonants (6)

This is different from "beginning sounds" because as the title states, it is only consonant sounds. I also loved using IRLA's initial consonant sound flash cards. These can be cut out as task cards, and students use paper clips, clothes pins, etc. to choose the initial consonant sound, or you can keep it on the worksheet and they can use chips, counters, PlayDoh, etc.






Uppercase Alphabet Assessment Sheet

Lowercase Alphabet Assessment Sheet

Alphabet Assessment Sheet


These are for your use! A hard copy file of which letters and/or letter sounds your littles are struggling with.


Comprehension Spinner


This worksheet makes the comprehension end of conferences a little more fun. Use a spinner (a pencil + a paper clip) and ask the students in your small group the question that is landed on.


60 Sight Word Flash Cards

These were used as my personal set of flash cards for the students. Sometimes we used it as a warm up at the beginning of our reading conference, or we would play games with them, like Go Fish (I had printed them 2X.) Of course, make sure they are reading the words as they play.




26 Alphabet Beginning Sound Flash Cards

Again, these were for my personal use, but I was a little more lenient with allowing the students to work with these in partners without me. We would use these similarly. Sometimes we used them to quickly warm up before our reading conference. Sometimes we used them as a game, like memory (I had printed this 2X as well.) Make sure students are saying the letter/sound as they play. I gave my kids a little more independence with these as well, sometimes the students tested each other using their flash cards. Another center suggestion; Place these in a task card box and have students pull out letters. Whichever letter they pull, they write it X amount of times and draw a picture of something that stuarts with that letter!



The Emergent/Early Reader Activities Bundle




Beginning Blends (20 blends)

Four pieces per blend at twenty blends! Students are given the blend in one side of the puzzle piece, and the rest of the word in the other side + clip art to help them read words. The important part of this is that they are relating and reading the blend in front of them to the picture/word. I use this in communicators for students to trace the words, but cutting them into puzzle pieces would be an extra challenge to help students really hone in on, and master, this skill.



Blends and Digraphs Flash Cards

One of my favorite ways to use these flash cards was to "play detective" and pretend that the blends were our "missing pieces" that helped us to create/figure out new words. For example, I would make an anchor chart of word chunks with missing blends. Students would each get a small handful of blends and digraphs and would have to place their flash card at the beginning and end of the word to see if they had the missing piece! For one on one activities or conferences, I wrote the remainder of the word on an index card in order to help students master this skill.


Category Word Sort (number, day, family, contraction, color, shape, and direction words)

Help your students gain familiarity with these category words. There is a worksheet sort where students can write in the words, or a physical sort where students place small pieces with the category word onto the appropriate place mat. Typically, if I give my students the written portion, I only highlight sets of words from two categories so that I do not overwhelm them. Also, the physical sort is differentiated in that some pieces have clip art to assist students, and some do not.



Sight Word Flash Cards (120 Words)

Similar to the yellow flash cards, these were used as my personal set of flash cards for the students. Sometimes we used it as a warm up at the beginning of our reading conference, or we would play games with them, like War (each student pulls a card, whoever can read theirs first gets to keep both, ties result in pulling another card.) Of course, make sure they are reading the words as they play, and helping each other if one student does not know their word.



Roll & Read Sight Word Game (5)

One of my favorite warm ups and/or close outs for reading conferences is this sight word game. Students get into partners, roll the clip art die and read the matching clip art's sight words! Simple, fun, effective!










Comprehension Spinner


This worksheet makes the comprehension end of conferences a little more fun. Use a spinner (a pencil + a paper clip) and ask the students in your small group the question that is landed on. There are more questions on this spinner compared to the emergent reader spinner.



Early Reader Activities Bundle



Chunking Worksheets (5)

Chunking Center Work (Match the Word to Picture)

This resource works to put students in the habit of chunking their words. I had so many students who would relent when they came across a word they didn't know while reading, even though they knew what chunking a word was. This gives them the opportunity to practice that skill and get more comfortable with it. Now, when they open up a book and come across and unknown word, they will be much more comfortable chunking to decode. The Worksheets are a draw a line to match type, while the puzzle pieces are a more hands on activity.



Chunking with Rhymes Center (Spin to Create a New Word)

Recognizing rhyming words is such an important tool for early readers to have in their tool belt. Practice with these rhyming chunks will help improve their fluency tremendously! In this activity, student receive a task card with the "rhyme" or "chunk" in the far right corner, and then spin to create a work using beginning consonants, blends, or digraphs. In order to aid in their mastery, I always encourage my friends to write the word in a sentence for some writing practice as well.



Magic "e" Worksheets (6)

Magic "e" Center (Add "e" to task cards to create a new word)

I love teaching the Vowel Consonant E Rule as the Magic "e" rule. So much more fun and exciting. Not to mention I might have an abundance of magic wands in my classroom that work way too well with these activities. So, the worksheets I use an independent practice AFTER whole group activities on an anchor chart (we use the cute and fancy magic e's included in the resource to the right...also in the bundle.) As for the task cards, students simply velcro on a magic "e" and use their new rule to sound out the word. And of course they get their own magic wand to assist them!!!


Silent Letters Worksheet (1)


In class or at home, a quick, simplistic way for students to recognize that some words have silent letters/letter combos and what that might look like (this practice will occur with use of the sound cards, as well.)


"R" Controlled Vowels Worksheet (1 for each "r" controlled vowel)


While you can definitely print this and go, per student, as always I suggest a communicator. This way you can reuse these worksheets over and over. It has 9 clip art pieces + an "r" controlled vowel word per "r" controlled vowel!


Sound Cards (Includes blends, vowel teams, digraphs, magic e, etc.)

Tricky Words Flash Cards

Keyword Flash Cards

Just like my flash cards in my previous bundle, they are my personal set. I think of fun anchor chart activities and games to help get them into the kids' hands! For the sound cards, I do the detective game, mapped out in the Early/Emergent reader portion of this post. For tricky words and keywords, Go Fish, War, Memory, or Where is the ____? are all great games. For Where is the ____? I print out a tiny clip art picture, like a lion and hide it behind tricky words. If they want to guess a hiding spot, they have to know the tricky word or keyword!


Inflectional Endings Worksheets (ed, ing, es/s, y, er)

Compound Words Worksheet (1)

Two Syllable Words Worksheet (1)

Single/Double Consonant Rule Worksheet (2)


All of these worksheets are clip art less and are an effective way for students to put what they've learned to use! These are all included in the bundle only and do not have a separate link.


Comprehension Spinner


This worksheet makes the comprehension end of conferences a little more fun. Use a spinner (a pencil + a paper clip) and ask the students in your small group the question that is landed on.


Early/Early Fluent Reader Activities Bundle


Worksheets:


Venn Diagram worksheet for comparing books by the same author, Venn Diagram worksheet for comparing books with the same character, Three syllable words, Word endings, Suffixes (able, ful, tion,)& Prefixes (un, re, mis,) and Flexible letter sounds.


I know, I know, this is just a long list of the worksheets made available in the resource. But, they are all very straight forward in addressing specific skills related to your student's Power Goals.


Often times, with this level, I model for students how to complete the worksheet in a one on one conference, and then expect them complete it during the last five minutes of their silent reading (this applies mostly to any story maps.) I love the Three Syllable Words Worksheet because they can go on a hunt for three syllable words within their story. If a student and I worked on a specific skill in a group or one on one conference, I would send certain worksheets home for homework.


Flash Cards:


Vowel teams, three letter blends, silent letters, flexible sounds, and tricky words.

See above levels for flash card recommendations!


Three Syllable Words

Word Endings (ed, er, ing, es, y, ier, iest, ly, est)

Prefixes (un, re, mis) and Suffixes (able, ful, tion)


Each of these are activity/center based, but follow a similar concept - which I love because my kids loved them but also weren't surprised when I explained what was expected of them. The centers are fun puzzle pieces that will help students with both flexibility (yes!) and perseverance (double yes!) in creating and reading word.


I place these in separate task card boxes with the title page taped on top and the directions taped inside of the top (I could go into a whole thing about my idea for organizing if I was still teaching this curriculum...a whole task card container...each container color coded with a sticker...ugh heart eyes...)

Anyhow the purpose of these centers are for students to match together puzzle pieces until a word "clicks" or makes sense. For the suffixes and prefixes, students are to write down what they THINK the word could mean based on what they know about the base word and suffix/prefix. They are also expected to write it in a sentence. The three syllable word activity is a little less complex. In my experience students grasp this Power Goal pretty quickly. They are expected to place three syllables together until it is a recognizable word, and use it in a sentence. Lastly, the word endings are a great opportunity to not only add on the word endings, but to solidify any ending rules they have learned.


Comprehension Spinner + Comprehension Log


This worksheet makes the comprehension end of conferences a little more fun. Use a spinner (a pencil + a paper clip) and ask the students in your small group the question that is landed on. This bundle comes with a log for students to write in the answers to their questions!


Early Fluent Reader Activities Bundle



Worksheets:


Literal or Non Literal Meaning worksheet, Chapter Book Log and Comprehension Question Template, Unfamiliar Vocabulary Worksheets (2), Context Clue Worksheets (3), Making Predictions Worksheet, Root Word Worksheet, Prefix Worksheet, Suffix Worksheet, Character Profile Page Worksheet, Compare & Contrast Points of View Worksheet, Compare & Contrast Genres Activity, Illustrations Center/Worksheet, Cause and Effect Worksheet, Sequence of Events Reference Sheet, Sequence of Events, Key Details and Central Message Worksheet


Again, this is just a long list of the worksheets made available in the resource. Same as the red level, they are all very straight forward in addressing specific skills related to your student's Power Goals. Often times, with this level, I model for students how to complete the worksheet in a one on one conference, and then expect them complete it during the last five minutes of their silent reading (this applies mostly to any story maps.) The Making Predictions worksheet is of course flip flopped, and I expect them to finish it in the beginning of their silent reading.


The worksheets like, Context Clues and Unfamiliar Vocabulary is something I usually send home for homework after working on that skill in class. Lastly, for the Compare and Contrast Genres, as well as the Illustrations Center/Worksheet, I like to put my students around the table as a center. I make a die for each student to roll and complete the worksheet. It just makes it a little more fun and engaging. As for the illustrations, I almost make it like a "book tasting" and set younger read alouds out for them to look at and complete the worksheet.


Flash Cards:

Tricky Words

Phonics Rules


See above levels for flash card recommendations!


Prefix Center for "dis, mis, over, re, im, in, ill, ir, under, un" & Suffix Center for "able, tion/sion, en, ent, ant, less, full"

Surprise! More prefixes and suffixes. Not the most fun to teach, I have to tell you. But, I'm hoping these puzzle pieces help with that. Just like in Red, the students have to place together different base words with suffixes or prefixes. In order to make it fun, I always told them to try and come up with something totally ridiculous and funny, a nonsense word if you will. Last tip, I always kept these centers separate in order to keep myself and my classroom best organized.




Shades of Meaning Center (9)

Now this one, I love. Maybe it's the pop of color in this other wise black and white bundle. Just like my earlier bundles, this portion can either be cut out and used as task cards, or be placed in a communicator. If cutting, just cut out the template and all of its little pieces. I would advise against separating vocabulary if you wish to really challenge your students, or if they are struggling with this concept (which they very well might be..hence why it is their Power Goal!) I would separate matching vocabulary into little baggies. Also, if they're struggling that is when you can assign it in a communicator so that the vocabulary words are all still together!


Sequence of Events Center


Time to get scrambled! For this center I color code each of the five stories on a different color Astrobright paper. This way, all of the stories stay organized. Of course, to make it challenging (and help students recognize a main idea) you can print them all on the same paper and scramble them. Students ultimately have to put the stories in the correct order. Some sentences feature time sequence words, some do not!




Cause and Effect Center

Help students understand cause and effect with this simple center. I cut up each of the squares and place them in a task box. Students have to work together, or independently, to determine which cause results in which effect. Easy peasy!








Comprehension Question Spinner


This worksheet makes the comprehension end of conferences a little more fun. Use a spinner (a pencil + a paper clip) and ask the students in your small group the question that is landed on. This bundle comes with a log for students to write in the answers to their questions + more complex questions including main idea, character traits, etc.


Well that's all folks! I hope that this was helpful to you and your students in some way. All of these centers are meant to help them master a Power Goal and move onto their next goal and become a stronger reader. Please comment below and let me know what worked for you, what didn't work, questions you may have, or suggestions! Also, feel free to tag me on Facebook or Instagram @MrsSmithenwithTeaching and let me know how you implemented any one of these activities in your classroom!




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