Can your students blend and segment?
Sorry that I have not been blogging lately but with report cards and conferences I was busy with school 24/7. As I created assessments and checked off the skills my students were suppose to have mastered I realized that many of my students were not picking up on many phonemic awareness skills. They are all English language learners and they are just not ready to blend or segment.They were unable to hear subtle differences in sounds. What does a teacher do? We are assessing our students on these skills earlier than ever and often they struggle with these demanding skills.
So how do I help them achieve these goals? I knew I needed to create some materials that would help to scaffold their learning. I want to share some of these ideas with you.
First, I needed to stay organized and pull students who needed additional support. My middle group needed to refine these skills so I needed good materials to build on their understandings.
I found the perfect box at Target that had 2 drawers that snap together and hold so many games and cards. I labeled each game and placed them in slider bags that I purchase at a fantastic store called Daiso where all items are $1.50. They have gorgeous, brightly colored containers that I have trouble resisting. Check it out!
Here is what the contents of my box looks like. Cards can be quickly turned into a fishing game with self adhesive magnets and a couple of magnetic rods. Students love all variations of this game. Check out my FB page for pictures of this. Each activity is in its own slider bag.
GREAT TEACHER TIP: I created a small set of cards that I keep in my box to use as a quick reference. I love this resource and find myself grabbing it all the time. I have lists of words sorted by vowels, or the number of phonemes in a word. I can add to these cards easily as my kids acquire skills and make it increasingly more difficult. Maybe I will actually get to blends and digraphs. I'll keep you posted.
This is an idea that has been around forever but if you have never seen these sliders then you might like this concrete idea for segmenting a word. As students make each individual sound they slide one bead to the right. Each bead is a different color. This is similar to moving small tiles but it is all contained and easy to store. I have a class set of these and students stay far more engaged using them.
The little, laminated book is for recording words when doing basic cvc words. Students use a dry erase marker that has an eraser on the back
During my assessments it became clear to me that often my ELL's did not hear the difference between vowels and needed far more practice with this. I started out with the OCR letter- sound cards under each vowel to scaffold their learning. It worked like a charm and they got so much better with this skill, over time. You can have them clip the medial vowel with a small clothespin or use those glass gems. Students are far more interested in practicing this skill when they have materials to interact with!
I also created cards that had pictures and we went through the same process, listening to each sound and placing a gem on the medial sound we heard. The more we practiced the better their listening skills got. They felt so proud of their successes and this greatly impacted on their spelling and writing. Wowza! I was on a roll and spending big bucks on printer ink. Sometimes you gotta have color!
You knew I was going to pull out spinner games... right? These are glossy and brightly colored but I sorted them by vowel so they would be much more successful with lots of repetition. I also created a response sheet to give them practice writing cvc words. They loved these games and I just had them use a pencil and paper clip to create a spinner. Easy-peasy...
What is it about mystery words that create some much enthusiasm? This is a game we did collaboratively in groups of 4. Students share a mat and each child has their own "riddle" to solve by using letters that match the sound cards. Once the children in the group agree that the word has been done correctly, it is recorded on a response sheet. This was a huge hit in my classroom. Remember to allow your students to work collaboratively to co-construct their knowledge.
These are flip books that I created to reinforce those cvc words and have more practice writing these words as the children listen carefully to individual sounds. I ran these on both sides and let my students color them in.