Thursday, November 24, 2016

Word Building

Word building is a research-based strategy that has been proven to be highly effective in teaching children to decode and blend individual sounds in words. Manipulating sounds enables students to become familiar with the patterns of sounds in words.

Through the years, I have worked very hard, creating activities that my students can use independently, to help them practice this important skill, as often as possible.

My students practice building word family words.
Click here for a FREE activity sheet!

And words with short and long vowels.

And words with blends.

And words with vowel teams.

And with all these word building activities that I have, you'd think I would be satisfied! LOL! But, recently, I had a reason to go back to the drawing board, and create one more building words pack!

I was working with some first graders, who were having difficulty reading words with blends and digraphs. They could read some of them in isolation, but were very unsure of themselves when reading the words in the context of a sentence. They said the words were just too long.

So, we worked on building CVC words with letter tiles and then replacing the first letter with a blend. I sat and came up with some CVC words that could become longer words when you added a blend at the beginning. They built the words with the letter tiles, and then wrote the words, and then read the words, and we repeated this for awhile until they realized that reading words with blends wasn't so hard!

While we were working together, I kept thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice to have some building words activity sheets already made, where you could add blends to CVC words and not only read and write the words in isolation, but read the words in the context of a sentence?"

And, that is how this new pack evolved!

Building Words With Blends and Digraphs enables students to build words, beginning with an easy to read word, so they feel confident and successful from the start. Students build the word in the box,

 then change the first letter, replacing it with a blend (or digraph),

and read and write the new word on the line.

Then, they read a sentence, and highlight both of the words they built. 

Each of the 8 blends activity sheets begins with a CVC word or a word where the final consonant is doubled. 

This systematic, direct approach, really helped these students learn to confidently decode and blend individual sounds in words and become familiar with the patterns of sounds in words.

They are great as a station activity or small group activity. I love to use them during RTI and for homework, as well.

Here's an example of building words with digraphs.
 All of the 8 digraphs activity sheets begin with a CVC, CVCe, or CVCC word. Students change one letter and replace it with a beginning or ending digraph (ch, ph, sh, th, wh, ck, gh, kn, ll, ng, tch, wr, zz) to make a whole new word.

I also included 2 building words with blends and digraphs activity sheets. Each sheet begins with a CVCC, CCVC, or CCVCC word. Students change a blend to a digraph or a digraph to a blend, to make a whole new word.

Each activity sheet includes the exact letter tiles needed to build the words on the page. You can print a set of letters for each student, or print a few sets on different colored copy paper and store them in separate Ziploc baggies. I recommend printing them in different colors so the sets don't get mixed up. You can save the letters to use year after year.

I also included a page with all 26 lower case letters and a page with all 26 capital letters. You can print a few sets on different colored copy paper and store them in Ziploc baggies. This way, you don't need to print a new set of letters for each activity sheet.

If you would prefer not to print any letters, you can use letter tiles instead.

Click here to read a blog post I wrote, which includes visuals of how I store my letters.

If you are interested in these building words activity sheets, you can find them here, or by clicking the image below.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Winter Holiday Center Activities

I can't believe it's already time to start planning winter holiday activities! I like to have plenty of fun and engaging activities for the children to do independently, because we all know that it is extra hard to keep children engaged while visions of sugarplums dance in their heads!

The following holiday language activities for little learners can be found here.

They will surely keep students challenged and on task. 
They won't even realize it's school work!

Labeling Rudolf
I included a colored version that you can put in page protectors and students can label Rudolf with a dry erase marker and a black and white version so each student can have a copy. Two different writing templates are also included, so students can write about Rudolf, using some of the words they used to label him.

Beginning, Middle, and Ending Sounds Activity Sheets
Answer keys are included!

Things I Like...
Students will enjoy drawing pictures of and writing about things they like during the holidays. I also included a template with solid lines, instead of the handwriting lines.

Holiday Honey's
Who will the children see or hope to see during the holidays? 
Students write their names and draw a picture of them.

Scrambled Sentences
Students unscramble six sentences and write them on the recording sheet. I included sentences about Christmas and Hanukkah. A black and white version is included, as is an answer key.

Holiday Shopping List
Students use the 24 colored or black and white picture/word cards to make a list of things they'd like to receive for the holidays. Then, they draw a picture of each item.

Write the Room
You can hang the word cards around the room and have students walk around with their recording sheet on a clipboard. Or, you can place the picture/word cards at a station and students choose words to write. There are two different versions of the recording sheet. The one not pictured has a space for students to illustrate each word. The 18 cards come in color and black and white.

There are also two writing activities included, one for Christmas and one for Hanukkah, which are not shown above. Click on the image below to find these activities in my store!

Here are some great ones...

Click here or on the image below to see these activities in my store.

These activities will really make it easy for you to plan your holiday centers. 
Prep them once and enjoy them year after year!

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