What material can you create in just a few minutes that your learner will love to read, that will help generalize vocabulary, and that does not need a computer or printer?

Personal Pages. You’ll only need a sheet of paper and colored markers. That’s it.

[If you prefer to see a video of me explaining this, go here: Personal Pages Video] 

For those who’d rather read:

Personal pages are simple stories, neatly handprinted by the teacher, about whatever is going on in the child’s life. This includes bad moods, boo-boos, happy times, whatever. Nothing is off topic: validating the child’s experience helps the child, whether happy or not so happy.

The child picks a marker color. Then you handwrite the story in large print, with extra spacing between words, and at the learner’s current reading level. Keep in mind that you’re teaching language and grammar with these pages, so you don’t take dictation from the child. You rewrite, and you write at the literacy level of the child.

To actually teach that Personal Page, you create large flash cards and teach with the Fast Flash method, and you teach Sandwich Style: flash/read/flash. (Not to worry; these methods are detailed in my book Whole Child Reading.)

Then you collect those stories and keep them in a binder. Presto! You’ve got a vocabulary review collection that will be useful for months and will always be of interest to your reader because it’s about him/her!

No topic is off limits as long as it’s about the child. 

  • How much he loves pizza.
  • How she can’t wait to go swimming.
  • How mad he is at his sister.
  • How she fell down and scraped her knee.

I have seen personal pages work miracles, getting cooperation where there was only opposition, interest where there was boredom.

Try it! You’ll love it.

And here’s a link to download detailed instructions on “how to”: Personal Pages Handout

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