Have I mentioned how much I love our easels ;) Ryan loves being surprised by special messages! I move the easel throughout the house and let him 'find' his message. This is a great way to show children that print is used for a variety of purposes, and to personalize it to peek their interest.
In the first picture we read the note together and Ryan circled all of the words that he could read on his own in red. Then we counted the a's. Obviously these are a very simple method of doing guided reading and guided writing. I plan to continue focusing on words that Ryan can read and will soon incorporate identifying capital and lowercase letters and punctuation.