Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Learning to Read


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving People Craft

While walking down the halls at school I spotted these Thanksgiving people that the kindergarten children had made. Aren't they cute?

The body of the people is a Zoopal plate. They painted the plates with skin and hair and attached an acorn for the nose. Next came the smiles, hats or head dressing, fingers, and wiggle eyes.

Other ideas you might like:
Thanksgiving place mat
Thanksgiving turkey craft
Thankful tree

Do you have any cute Thanksgiving crafts to share?


Friday, November 12, 2010

Studying Word Families

Learning word families is a great way for kids to learn how to read. Each week at school, we study a new word family. Here are some of the activities we use to help learn the words.

1. Magnet Board - Each week we practice making words using the magnet board. First we put our current family ending at the top and then we put different consonants and consonant blends in front of the word family. Sometimes we make nonsense words too. As you can see, this week our word family is -it.

2. Printable Booklets - Hubbards Cupboard has free printable booklets that you can print out to read with each word family. This week we are reading Fishing because it focuses on the -it word family.

3. Online Activities-

Word Family Games allows you to click and drag the words to the correct word family. This activity is a bit more difficult than the other activities because the student is sorting word families into different categories. This game would work well for small group or whole class lessons. Small groups could sit around the computer and work together while taking turns. For large groups, you could post this on the Active Board.

Starfall has making word activities. For example: The student is given a picture, such as a can, and he has to click and drag the beginning consonant "c" to the word family -an. After entering the Starfall website, click on Learn to Read. Starfall also has lots of other reading activities.

4. Word Wheels - Scholastic has a book of printable word wheels. I copy and color them and then laminate them for durability. (Upon searching tonight, I found a free printable for a word wheel, but it appears that it is just a sample.)

Free printable word wheels: Wordway also has many word wheels/strips but these do not have pictures with the words. There are over 100 pages so you will need to scroll through and print out only the ones you need. Other sources include Super Teacher Worksheets and Enchanted Learning.

5. Other books - The top two books shown in the picture are part of a literacy kit that we have at the school, but there are other places to find books. The pink books shown in the picture came from a yard sale. I got a small stack of them for 25 cents. Check your local library or do some web surfing for books. You can also work with your child to make your own books. Start with a list of words from your word family to help you brainstorm.

6. Worksheets - Inbetween all of the other activities we reinforce the skills with these worksheets from Wordway. We do not do all of the worksheets on the website. I pick 4-5 of them for each week. Some of these include putting the correct word into the sentence, choosing the correct word for the picture, etc.

(I have found Wordway difficult to navigate so here is how I find the sheets: Go to the Wordway website, scroll past the other website links and offer to purchase, click on the letter for the word family you're looking for. For the word family -it, you would click on "I". Then scroll through the list of word families and click on the one you like.)

7. Spelling words - Each week we have a list of spelling words to go along with our word family and there is homework to reinforce these words. Since our word family this week is -it some of our words are bit, fit, sit, mit, hit, kit, etc. In our spelling list, I also include two sight words that we are studying.

8.  File folder games - Recently I was excited to find the website File Folder Fun.  On the website, there phonics word family games called Shamrock Phonics and Space Rhymes. You can print the games in color or black and white.  If you need different word families than the ones shown, you can simply white out the words and make your own.  

I know this is only a few of the ways to teach word families. What are some effective ways that you have found?

Other sources:
Scholastic rhyming words worksheet 1
Rhyming words sheet 2
Rhyming words sheet 3