Thursday, April 14, 2016

Read it, Build it, Write it!---A Engaging Hands-on Freebie!

As you may know by now, from Facebook posts or last night's blog post, I was kind of unprepared for my week.  I didn't know how my week would look with state assessing going on....I knew Monday would be normal, so I was good there.  Then Tuesday, I thought I wouldn't have kids--but I did.  So I just went with the flow...I thought I may not have kids Wednesday, but I did--so I just rolled with it.
I made it to today--winging it--so what's the point in having plans with just one day left to go! :)

I mean I have ideas of what I'm doing--
next week will be different.  I got this. 
Back on track, no assessing...normal routine
(Now watch them pull me for make up assessing or monitoring lol)

ANYWAY---
I shared this on FB a few nights ago and I had people message me and ask for a copy.




I thought since I was focusing on their vowel sounds for their spelling patterns this week, 
I would make it a quick little activity to make it more engaging and hands on.

I also have some kiddos that need to work on sentence structure, and handwriting-
so this is a quick way to incorporate those skills as well.

I'm sharing our activity for the oa/ow sound.
Here's how to use it.
Picture cards seen below will need to be cut apart and laminated for durabilty.
*Note the word is also on the picture card. 
 The cards will be placed in the center of the table face down during table time or place in a basket if doing workstations.  Students will each draw a picture card. 

They will place the picture card in the corresponding box on their workmat seen below.
*NOTE:  Laminate the workmats  prior or place them into a sheet protector. 

 They will read the word and spell it aloud. 
Then using magnetic letters, letter tiles, letter beads, pipe cleaner (whatever you use for building words)
students will build their word.  Then they will practice writing their picture word.  You may even choose to have them circle or underline their phonics sound. After they have written their word, students will create a sentence with their picture card.  Repeat this activity with a different card. 

Students will love this activity, and it's great for groups because you can easily assist students one-on-one as the others are working.  You can also use this activity as a game for students.  Students can partner up and one can draw the card and name the word, while the other tries to write it on their own (without seeing it).  

If you would like to try this activity in your classroom, 
click here! :)  

If this is an activity you think you could use in your classroom on a regular basis, comment below! :)






Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Quick and Engaging Guided Group Activities

Do you ever have a change of plans right in the middle of a lesson? 
 Or even worse, your students BEG  you to make a game and you tell them you will, but you forgot?  
That was me last Friday.  
My kids know I make the majority of our games/activities.
Last week they asked me to make them a new game.
I think that between school, gym, housework, baseball and softball life for my own children---
I forgot.  It wasn't on my weekly plans--they asked me on Thursday, and life just happened.
I felt SOOO bad.  
BUT--you know, we teachers can make a game out of anything!
Plus, if you act like it's exciting and the best thing yet--your kiddos will love it!

SOO--when my kiddos entered my room Friday and asked about our game for the day, I quickly looked around the room, thought real hard about what we could do, and said, 
"Well, of course we are going to play our game today.  We are playing Tic-Tac-Toe."
They looked confused.  I hear "Mrs. Davis, that's not a learning game."
Apparently they know me so well--heaven forbid we not have learnin' goin' on! ;)

I said okay--well let me just put some of your spelling words and phonics words in the grid.
I used counters for our game pieces.
Students  had to read the word before placing their counter on the board.
Play continued like normal Tic-Tac-Toe.
We played a few rounds, with a variety of game boards.  Students switched partners and played again.
Then they wanted to challenge me.  
Who am I to argue with them reading words? :)


Later in the day, I had another group that was working on the same skill.
They, too, played the game for a few rounds and enjoyed it.
But they said, what other games do you have to play?
UGH--uhm, hold on---let me see what I can grab.
*quick glance around my room and I see this little set of words that are used for sentence making*
Thinking off the top of my head--oh we can play this game.
(Never let them see you sweat--I just act like I know what I'm doing)
They ask, "What game is this?"
Me:  "Ohh, a sight word game" 
Them: "Well, how do you play?"
Me: "Well, uhm, we have to flip all the words over."
(I knew that would buy me a second to figure out what we were doing..lol)
 They quickly flipped them all over.
Then I told them the rules.
Here's how to play:  
Roll the die.
That's how many words you have to select and read.
If you read them correctly, you keep them.
Then it's the next person's turn.
The person with the most words at the end, is the winner.

Shwoo..that was a close one!  It sounded like I know what I was doing! :)
Plus side, they LOVED it.

We even threw in a a little math.
We grouped our words into rows of 5 to aide in quicker counting.
Then we compared numbers to see who won, and did some subtraction to see how many more they had. 
Great review of the 100s chart for adding/subtracting sets of 10! 
When they left one student said, "But we didn't do any reading today."
uhm, okay! :)  


Now I don't try to make it a habit to "wing it" or shy away from my lesson plans, 
but some days you will have that in our jobs. 
 If my students are actively engaged, and learning--then I know I have done my job.

Now, some of you know that I get pulled occasionally to sub or to assist/administer our state assessments.
This week, I thought that was what I was doing.  Therefore, I didn't plan on having my students.
THEN--I find out the day of the state assessment--that I'm not being used for assessing 
I wasn't told I wasn't being  used, but no one came to get me---therefore my groups of kiddos show up AND......I have no plans.  This is where I have to get creative and wing it....So I do 
(and I still am--EEK!  Shh!!---Winging it all week so far)

Some of my kiddos are working on the sounds of  long o with oa and ow.

We did a word sort.  This was a fun way to spruce up our sorting activity.


Since this was such a fun, simple way to get my kiddos sorting and engaged, I thought 
let's just do it with the 2nd graders. :)

They are working on Wilson's FUNDations sounds of ew, oo, ue, and ou.  

I happened to have a story that had those phonics sounds in it. 
We read it, highlighted the words that made the long u sound, and then sorted them onto the flowers.
Each flower held its own sound.  We then added other words to complete the flower.
They truly loved this...so simple and effective for them to see the different spelling patterns. 


As our week has progressed, I have yet to have helped with assessing.
Basically, I'm just going with the flow and enjoying my groups of students.
We're taking it easy and working on our phonics patterns.

Another engaging activity for them was the Riddle Me This pack.




What I love about this is I can use it with all of  my students.
It is differentiated to assist with instruction.
Some riddles contain the words and the pictures together as seen here:



And with the same vowel sound--some have the word missing and students match the spelling to the word.

You can see that there is a word bank down at the bottom of the paper.
Then students highlighted the vowel pattern on the page.

The third version only uses pictures and students have to spell the word on their own.
I didn't use that activity with my groups.

You can download a sample of this activity by clicking the image below.
Riddle Me This--Phonics Riddles with Vowel Teams


Stay tuned tomorrow as you see  yet another activity for those
OH NO, I don't have lesson plans--what do I do now...days! :)




Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sight Words, Reading Fluency and Singing To Make It Stick

As we near the end of our school year, I have been given a few new kiddos to some of my reading groups.  Part of me is sad to see the kiddos that I've been working with go--but yet, I'm happy that they "graduated" from me too. Then I get a new feeling like--OH MY GOSH!  I only have a little over 30 days to get this new group of kiddos up to par.  AND---with Spring in the Air, it is so hard for me  my littles to stay focused! 

I decided to go back to old school me, and pull out some of our songs to help us remember our sight words/spelling words.  The songs I used to use as a classroom teacher. 


Let me tell you, I have the best singing voice EVER too! HA!
But it really doesn't matter to my kiddos because they seem to be loving it!
AND--it's working.
Let me tell you what we're doing.... 

I assessed the new groups last week on reading levels, and sight words.
With some of my new groupings, interventions were changed around where 
the really below level kiddos are working with me 1-1.  
(This is where I wished I had been trained in Reading Recovery.
The teacher in Title before me was, and I feel I learned a great deal from her--
and she was AMAZEBALLS!)

I had to get back out the pre-primer sight word stories for the new 1-1 kiddos.

http://firstgradeandfabulous.blogspot.com/2016/01/sight-word-fluency.html

I used the sight word check sheet to see which words were unknown.
I isolated the word and used letter tiles to spell it.
I read it to the student and had the student echo me.
I had the student write the word on the table with their fingerpad. 
 (There is more feeling in the pad than the tip/nail.)

We read the word again and spelled it aloud, and repeated this 2x.
I sang it to the student using the songs you will find HERE.
(*Laminate, hole punch, and place on a ring for quick access)
Then the student sang it back with me, and we did mix/fix with the word.
Each 1-1 student was able to do this at this point, but then I wanted to take the word back to text.
I found the read with the word we are practicing (I know them by heart lol)
and asked them how many times that word appeared.  
They counted them up, put rings around the words, etc..and then we read the fluency read.
I did this for 2-3 unknown words each day as our warm-up before working on our story.

Here's what I feel is good news.  I had one student go from knowing 78% to 100% of the preprimer list and another go from knowing 58% of the pre-primer words to 82% since Friday!  SAY WHAT!?
I was PUMPED!


This routine isn't as easy when I have a full group, so I find a few words that the students have in common that they've missed, and we work it the same way in our warm-up.  So far it's working. :)


If you want a copy of the song names, click the image below. :)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3D5Bsh09DJKcmJkT1ZzTXdicjQ

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3D5Bsh09DJKcmJkT1ZzTXdicjQ

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3D5Bsh09DJKcmJkT1ZzTXdicjQ



 

 

 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Making Words--Simple, and Easy Phonics/Spelling Instruction

For those of you that have been following me through the years, you know that I love Making Words lessons.  I used to use these activities to follow our Treasures Basal. (You can click HERE to see a lesson that my son did in Kindergarten with these activities and grab a freebie.)  That basal has since been tossed over the past few years, but I feel that the activities like these need to stay to help support my students. I blogged recently about how important it was for me to continue these activities with the students I serve.  You can click HERE to see that blog post and score another freebie or so.


For phonics instruction, our building purchased Wilson's FUNdations a few years ago. I thought I'd try to arrange some of our Making Words activities to match the lessons/words in these units.  I've struggled with how to best serve my students when I battle with time.  My classes are back to back.  I have 16 reading groups a day...8 first grade groups, and 8 second grade groups.  Each group is roughly 18 minutes to allow transition time from class to class.  I have used our Wilson's boards, but this is all I have.

 I thought putting the digraphs and glued chunks in baggies and then storing them on a shelf by my reading table would help make it quicker when going from 1st to 2nd grade classes.  Yes, that's how my day works.  I have 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd....EEK!!  Actually it's not as bad as it may sound.  

This idea worked okay, but  then I realized that I can't spell words with more than one e or d.  My kiddos are working on past tense words, and vowel pairs, and---well more words than just 3 and 4 letters. Soo...


 When you struggle with resources and need to spell longer words, you improvise.  Here you can see that I added post-its.  This actually worked for a few groups, and then they weren't as sticky.  Lesson learned.   


 I needed to find a way to make it work for my lessons with a shorter time span.
 
I finally figured it out today.
An idea so simple--so easy--and I'm so silly for having this light bulb moment so late in the game.
Yep, little Dollar Tree containers. I was able to tell the difference between my first and 2nd grade letters just by the containers.  Plain white---2nd, colored lids--1st.  
 I pre-cut the letters from their Making Words activities.  (Actually, I just retyped the letters they needed and they can take the unused portion of the paper home with them to practice).  Then I stored them all in my basket on my table for the day with our papers, and pencils.

Most groups were able to finish their activity (and practice handwriting as we recorded) before our time was up.  My making words lessons take about 15-20 minutes to complete, depending on skill level and ability.


Here is a group of students working.  They were having a hard time with the meaning of change TWO letters, so I walked them through it.  These activities are such an eye opener on who can manipulate letters, isolate letters, rearrange letters by a given set of directions.  You may have a student who is reading so well, and then struggles with an activity like this.  I've seen it happen.  I had my coworker tell me that when she did the lesson whole group, she saw the same thing with a student in her home room.  

If you are thinking about trying my Making Words lessons, 
here are samples that follow the Wilson's FUNdations.  
One is a 1st grade lesson using some glued sounds (ang, ing, ong, ung, ank, ink, onk, unk) and the other is a 2nd grade lesson using the sounds of oi/oy.  
Click HERE to  grab a copy.
If you like these activities, I have many more on TpT. (Click HERE)
My students have truly enjoyed these through the years.



 









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