Monday, April 7, 2014

Chunky Monkey Helps Us Read!

Have you heard about 'Chunky Monkey?'
He came to our class today!  He's going to be hanging out with us all week!
I have this poster 'front and center' in our room.  It will remain there all week as we practice, review and master this reading strategy!  I will then add this 'card' to an anchor chart that reviews all the strategies!

The kids were so excited to meet him- and embraced him with open arms and an inquisitive mind eager to learn more about him!

So where did he come from?
Click this picture to see the pack (and get a freebie in the preview- the anchor chart mentioned above!)

This is the first year I am teaching the reading strategies with specific 'names!'  I knew once I saw Brenda's pack this was the way to go about it!  Her packs have power point slide shows to introduce and practice the strategy, as well as cute center and independent activities!  They also have certificates for using the strategy!  It is easy to use and super kid friendly!

Today I used the Chunky Monkey file

There is not much prep to do before using it with the kids.  Simply print the monkeys, cut out the rectangles and laminate.  Attach the large monkey to a stick/ruler and you are set to go!

We started with the power point included in the pack and used the large Chunky Monkey to find small words hiding inside the big ones.  The pictures are a bit hard to see because of the way it was projected on the screen, but the kids really enjoyed this!
Here's 'up' in 'puppy'

and 'an' inside 'hand'

After finding a few 'mystery' words we used the power point slides to read sentences and found the small words hiding inside the larger ones.  The kids were AMAZED at how many words were hiding in the words Brenda selected to use...and they especially liked how a picture 'flew in' to match the sentence once they read it correctly!
My favorite moment was when one of my kinders was able to figure out 'morning' by finding 'or,' 'in' and then 'ing' and then when it all came together he said 'WOW!  I read a REALLY BIG word!' with a grin from ear to ear!

Chunky Monkey then 'swung' on over to our poem and found some more words hiding...

Brenda includes monkeys of all sizes to accommodate different size text- poems, big books, readers, etc!
I showed them all the different size monkeys and how each could be used in different ways.

I had them practice with a smaller monkey to find words in a nursery rhyme chart:
Here the smaller monkey helped us find 'she' in 'sheep'!

But it was time to move onto some independent practice!
I put the kids in small groups and had them work together with the smallest monkeys from the pack to find words hiding inside the larger word on the picture cards included in the pack:
'pen' in 'pencil'

'cup' in 'cupcake'

'win' in 'window'

'he' in 'heroes'

After a few minutes of practice I then told them that they had their own set of 'built in' chunky monkeys...their fingers!  We talked about how sometimes we may be reading and not have a monkey to use, but need to find 'chunks' or 'parts' of words we know to help us.

So I had them practice 'framing' the small words with their fingers:

To wrap it up and review, I introduced them to Chunky Monkey's song that I wrote to help them remember this reading strategy:
(Tune: Yankee Doodle)
You won't find this song in the pack, but feel free to use it if you think it is something your kids will benefit from to help them remember the strategy, what to do and how to do it!
I always find songs work best for my kinders- and if they get stuck while reading I can start to hum this song and I bet they will remember quite quickly what they should do!

The rest of the week we will sing the song and practice with the large Chunky Monkey on our poem and with our own Chunky Monkeys during Readers Workshop and Guided Reading!

Their excitement today was 'over the top!'  It was definitely a successful reading strategy introduction!

Want to try Chunky Monkey in your class?
Head over to Brenda's TPT store and pick it up- you can purchase it on its own, or as part of her bundles!
Try your luck by entering this rafflecopter to win it for free!
Brenda is graciously donating a copy to 1 lucky winner!
The Rafflecopter will accept entries for 1 week!  A winner will be announced next Tuesday April 15th!

On the topic of good deals, did you see this one over at Educents?

454 pages of 'egg'-cellent activities for only $19.99 (valued at $46.50)
My Non-Fiction Foldable Emergent Readers are part of the pack!
You could use the Chunky Monkey printables (small monkeys) for reading some of the 'tricky words' from the readers!
Be sure to check it out- the deal ends on April 20th!

Be sure to check back again next week to see which reading strategy we are focusing on!
Until next post,
post signature


  1. I haven't taught them this way before but I am planning for next year already and really would love to try it out!

  2. I use the specific names with my reading strategies. I think it helps the students remember them better. I usually introduce them and go over them with my guided reading groups. However I love how you introduce it whole group and have the anchor chart. I especially love your little song. We will be using that! My kinders love anything that has a song to go with it. Thanks for much for sharing this great post.

    Luv My Kinders

  3. Admittedly, teaching decoding strategies is new to me, as I just moved down to the primary division this year! I am beyond intrigued with Brenda's bundle; however, as it looks absolutely adorable and completely engaging for the kidlettes!! This can be pretty dry!!! Lol. I also just LOVE the lesson that you just featured!! Will you be doing the same for the others, Jenn? I would really, really, really like to see them <3.

    1. Yes! I am spending about a week on each. Some I will really go into detail (like Chinky Monkey) and others I will simply introduce to them (like Flippy Dolphin) because of where my kids are and the developmental appropriateness. I plan to blog about each that we do! Definitely check out her bundle! It's great!

  4. Such a wonderful idea! This is something I struggle with being only a half day program. Never thought of using anchor chart to introduce and practice!

  5. Love using these strategies. This pack will be a fabulous addition! Thanks for the chance to win it. I have a class with over half ELL students, therefore, I must use a variety of strategies. Lots of language and vocabulary coupled with lots of letter and sound activities at first. It is amazing to see how much their little minds accomplish in one year. To see a little one learn the language and learn to read and write it is truly mind boggling!

  6. Hi, Jenn! Thanks so much for spotlighting my product on your blog- it's so exciting to see it being used in other classrooms! I'm glad your students loved it as much as mine did. I just LOVE your added song, too. So cute! You are the master of jingles and ditties, lol!
    I agree that Flippy Dolphin may be a bit advanced for Kindergarten, so I have two bundles- one includes Flippy Dolphin and the other just includes 5 decoding strategies (Eagle Eye, Chunky Monkey, Lips the Fish, Skippy Frog, and Stretchy Snake). However, the exposure to the 'Flip the vowel sound' strategy is probably good for those who are ready, so I think your plan to introduce it is a good one. In that pack, I included oral practice as well as 2 differentiated center activities, so it just may work for some kindergartners. Can't wait to send my pack to the winner! Thanks again! =)

  7. I love the idea of decoding words...we work to help them recognize words but with this in place they are building the skills to recognize and see more in the word than what is being presented. Such an effective and super cute idea!

  8. We talk about "Reading Superpowers!" and how they help you solve words...superpowers are, of course, strategies!

  9. I love the set you have. I am going to use the animal reading strategies next year. This set would be awesome as an additional resource!

  10. I have passively taught decoding strategies other than cvc words. I like this idea to help my kiddos who are ready to move on to more.

  11. Decoding strategies, but not as cute is this!! LOVE!


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