Friday, November 30, 2012

Blending Practice

Alright, we have made it through the introduction of the first 26 phonograms!  Wahoo!  Now we also finished our phonogram review and have started to dig deeper into segmenting and blending to read.
I love this time of year.

There are many different ways we teach blending in Kindergarten.  Each teacher has his/her own unique way (or a way your basal tells you ;) ) to intro blending.  If your like me, you probably sneak some blending into each lesson LONG before you explicitly teach it.  Sneaky sneaky!  I love giving my kids an opportunity to hear something being used while I am thinking aloud - even if I have not explicitly taught it yet.
We do TONS of blending activities as a class. We do TONS of blending with to sound words.  We do TONS of blending with simple CVC words as a group before I 'release' them!

The way I introduce it in independent practice is with our Underwater Words station.  This station is a great transition from sounds to words.

I break the cards into groups. (I use six groups in my room).  I introduce a new group of cards as the kids get more comfortable with the phonograms we have been learning in class.  Most of the groups include a few phonograms and some simple words using those phonograms. 
At this station, the kids can pull a card down and say either the sound or blend to read.  If he/she can read it, he/she can keep it.  If the card cannot be read, it goes back onto the board.  The kiddo with the most cards at the end is the winner!

I just attach some magnet tape and stick them to a magnetic surface.  My students LOVE this station.  They espcially love when I change out the set of cards.  Challenge time!

I also created a couple other blending games.  In Alien Words, the kids are practicing blending simple CVC words.  Some are real words and some are nonsense words.

The cards can be placed face down.  Each player will take a turn to grab a card.  If the card is read/blended correctly, the student can keep the card in his/her stack. If the card was not read correctly the player puts it back in the pile to be read another time.  If you are playing with your students, you can read/blend it correctly and then put it back in the pile.  If a player pulls our an ALIEN all of his/her cards must be read and placed back into the pile.  BUMMER!

The words in this pack sequence from simple to complex to fit the needs of all my learners.

We also use a game called Bubble Gum Words.

Students will get a chance to decode words and decide if they are real or nonsense by sorting them into the appropriate squares.
Also included in the pack is an accountability worksheet – a great way for you to manage student participation while you are working with another group.

I love blending.  I hope you love this activities and kind find a use for then in your classroom.

What is your favorite way to have your kiddos work independently with blending?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving FREEBIE!

I hope you have been following the I Do, We Do, You Do! FB page during my 30 days of Project Gratitude!
This is a special time of year when should take a few extra minutes to remember all of the things we have to be thankful for.  It is so easy to get busy/distracted, but try and take a step back each day and be thankful for all that you have around you.

Our smallest learners tend to be thankful for people rather than things.  I love to read this poem with my kiddos each year and make a hand-print turkey!  Get your copy of this FREEBIE here!

They love their mom and dad (and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and...) so we send this home so that parents are reminded of these tiny little blessings in their lives.

I just print this poem on construction paper (free at my school) and have then write their names on the bottom.  I call them up and paint their hands.  They love it!  I paint the palm and the thumb brown for the body and the fingers fall colors for colorful turkey feathers.

After they are dry, I take a sharpie and draw feet and a beak. 

sorry it is up-side down, I can't get them to flip

I hope you and your kiddos love this poem as much as we do!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Workstation Time!

Wahoo!  I so pumped - we are working independently!

We have been working towards 'real' workstations for a while now.  We started building stamina by working as a class [independently] for 10 mins, then moved to working in smaller tables groups, then to small groups and finally to our workstation buddy groups!  Yay!
It was wonderful walking around the room and observing the kiddos working in their small groups.  I loved it.  I am hoping to pull small groups starting Monday!

I use a pocket chart to manage my stations.  The kids rotate twice each day and work there way through eight stations each week. *We have a 1/2 day on Wednesdays, so no time for stations! 
It was kind of crazy when I was trying to figure out how to rotate them, so I created this chart that helped me.  Now, I don't use the chart.  I am able to just gather the cards in my hand and move them around.

I created these station cards to go in the pocket chart for easy management and rotation.  They have the station title and a corresponding picture.

I just LOVE using these!  I have included over 20 different types of cards - library, poetry, big books, housekeeping, writing, etc.  I have also included a few blank cards so that you can add special stations for your room!

If you are looking for station ideas and ways to keep your kids accountable during station time, you should check out my Workstation Pack!  I created station posters and accountability sheets to help manage my kids while I am working with a small group.

Also, it drives me insane when you ask a kid what he/she did at a station and he/she says, "nothing" or "played"... Ahh!  Come on, I did not create all of these wonderful learning experiences just for you to say, "nothing"!

The station posters and worksheets include:
-write the room (primary line and bottom line)
-nonsense word
-pocket chart
-word quilt (word wall)

Not only can the worksheets be used to manage accountability, but they can also be used as an assignment (for a grade), an assessment or as a checklist for workstation incentive.

I hope you can use these!

Don't forget to check out the I Do, We Do, You Do! FB page and follow my 30 days of Project Gratitude!