Friday, December 30, 2016

Early Literacy Practice Pages

Do you have students who need help with some early literacy skills? Or students who have mastered most of the skills, but have some difficulty following directions, so they often answer questions wrong, even though they understand the concept?

I do! I do!

I needed a way for them to practice general readiness, phonemic awareness, phonics, and structural analysis skills, so they would feel more confident when taking tests and learn to analyze directions so they didn't get questions wrong because they weren't paying attention to the key words in the questions.

So, I came up with these early literacy practice pages.

I've been using them in small groups and they are really helping students to think about what the questions are asking and to look at each answer choice carefully. Many of them contain answer choices that are similar and look correct.

Here are all the skills included...

Most of the skills contain 2 different activity sheets, and there are some that contain more. Blends has 3 different sheets, mixed review has 4, and word families has 5 different sheets.

Here is an example of one of the sheets. See how some of the wrong answers look like they could be right, if you don't pay close attention to the question?
This one is all about rhyming. I came up with quite a few different ways to test the children's understanding of rhyming.

When I complete a sheet with an individual or small group, we go very slowly. I help the children read the questions and identify the pictures with them. These sheets were not created for children to complete independently. So many teachable moments would be missed!

Once an answer has been chosen, we discuss why it is the right (or wrong) answer. It is very interesting, and very telling, to hear the children explain why they chose an answer. It is during this conversation that children usually figure out if they chose the wrong answer. I tell them that they fell for my trickery and to be super careful not to let that happen. They love the challenge!

Answer keys are included for teachers to refer to. I highly suggest using it because it will tell you what each picture depicts, just in case you can't figure it out on your own.

If you are looking for a great way to help students who have difficulty with a few or many early literacy skills, or students who don't read or listen to directions very well, then you may want to check these out. You can find them by clicking here or on the image below.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Building Long Vowel Words Small Group Game

My last blog post was all about building words with blends and digraphs. Now, I'm here to show you a small group game called Building Long Vowel Words. Learning to blend and decode individual sounds in words helps children build strong word attack skills and is crucial to reading success.

Along with all of my word building activity sheets, I also like to have plenty of hands-on games available, to keep my students learning and engaged. Playing games helps build social skills and, as long as you model proper game etiquette, students can play them at stations, while you are meeting with your reading groups. Through the years, my students have chosen to play academic games during free time. Even though I tell them they don't have to! This makes my teacher heart happy!

I start teaching long vowels in kindergarten. I teach all about the magical powers of the silent e at the end of the word (Super e) and then the children continue to learn more and more long vowel word families in first grade. I like using word families to teach long vowels because learning and practicing the rime patterns helps children familiarize themselves with many more words that contain the same rime.

In the game, Building Words With Long Vowels, students combine onsets and rimes, focusing on long vowel word families. The more they play and build words, the more they understand that there are systematic and predictable relationships between letters, their sounds, and the words they make.

Here is the game board. It's cute and colorful, and the children enjoy moving their tokens from start to finish. The game is perfect for 2-6 players.

To play, students take turns choosing an initial consonant card and a word family card. I copy them on two different colors to keep them organized. I made basket labels to hold the cards. (The labels are included with the game.)

They place the cards on their mat. Each player has their own mat. They read the word out loud. If the word is a real word, they write it on the recording sheet (this step is optional) and roll the dice. If the word is a nonsense word, they write it on their recording sheet and then stay on the same space. They only move ahead if they make a real word. Student directions, with and without a recording sheet, are included.

This is the recording sheet. I like to use it for extra practice, but I know that not all teachers like recording sheets. 

Students can check their answers on the answer key, if necessary. Some of the words may be new to them, so I make sure the children know how to look up a word in the dictionary, to find its meaning. They've learned lots of new words playing this game!

And there you have it! Students move around the board, reading and writing and learning long vowel words. There is a separate game for all five vowels, plus, three extra games that contain a mix of all long vowel word families, for a total of eight games. Here are all the word families included. Once students understand that the vowel says its name, they are able to read all the words, even those with vowel teams.

This game can be played all year long because there are so many different words that can be made. Each game played is always different from the last.

It's perfect for stations/centers, small groups, RTI, and FREE TIME!

If you are interested in adding this long vowel game to your classroom, just click here or on the image below.

Grab it while it's on sale for a few days!

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard