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.


Total Pageviews