Sunday, November 29, 2015

It's All About Those Chunks

It's all about them chunks!  Or at least for some of my reading groups it is!  One important step in reading strategies is being able to see words in chunks and not individual sounds.  So we have a LOT of Chunky Monkey going on!

Chunky Monkey is one of our reading strategy posters that hang in my room to remind students of what they can do to help themselves in a tricky or confusing part when they are reading.

I also have reading strategy bookmarks in each of our small group materials baskets.  These bookmarks come out and sit beside the students when they read to remind them to help themselves.

We've also used Post It notes to record the words we used the Chunky Monkey strategy.  This activity really helps students apply what they have learned and visually show it.

Once students have been taught to read and spell in chunks, they need some practice at it.  This is a picture of Chunk Its Short Vowels.  Students color the picture, glue in the chunks and write the word as a whole part.  That is important that they move across the continuum from individual sounds to chunks, to whole words.  Then they apply this knowledge by reading a sentence and highlighting the chunks.  Students show comprehension by doing a quick sketch of the sentence.

This Chunk Its the short vowel resource in a set of 4 Chunk Its.

Then they are ready to move on to consonant blends and digraphs.  Which is the next set of Chunk Its.

There is a Chunk Its CVCe Long Vowels too!  


One area that students really need to take time to build and strengthen is multisyllabic words.  This Chunk Its does that with short vowel 2 syllable words.  They get practice with compound words, double consonants, and breaking 2 syllable words where at least one of the syllables has a short vowel sound.   I have also bundled all 4 of the Chunk It resources into one bundle to help save you some money.  You can click any of the pictures to be taken to see these resources and how they can help your students practice moving out of individual sounds and into chunks of sound!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Everyone's Got An Opinion!

Making Writing about Opinions Fun!

Everyone has an opinion on just about everything.  Is that not right?  Kids have strong opinions about all kinds of things from storms to lemons to what time to go to bed at night.  And they LOVE telling you their opinions!  So why not take that enthusiasm and apply it to their writing?

Topics for Opinion Writing

These are from my Take It or Leave It pack.  It is an easy, No Prep- Print & Use pack where kids can take their opinions and back them up with reasons.  They choose whether they would Take It or Leave It for the subject at the top, write a couple phrases why, and then write a quick paragraph about it.  These make great morning work, writing center ideas, RTI writing intervention work, and a whole lot of others ways you could use them.  They just make writing fun because they get kids to thinking and give them practice backing up their opinions with reasons why.  And I know my students need all the practice with this skill that they can get!

Topics for Opinion Writing- What's Your Preference?

These are my What's Your Preference? task cards.  They also get kids practicing writing about their opinions while take them through the writing process.  You can place these in a center or use them as a whole group for teaching opinion writing as you teach students during Writer's Workshop.  Either you or the students choose a task card and decide, What's Your Preference?

Topics for Opinion Writing- What's Your Preference?

There are several writing pages included in this pack to help guide students through the writing process.  2 planning guides, a rough draft page and a final copy page are included.  The 2 planning guides give you the choice of differentiating how much scaffolding your students may need to plan out what they will write.

You can click here to find the Take It or Leave It pack and click here to find the What's Your Preference Opinion Writing pack.  Or you can just click on any of the pictures to be taken to them.  

New update!!

Several new packets have been added to this line:

Take It or Leave It Fall Edition
Take It or Leave It Opinion Writing with Evidence

Take It or Leave It Opinion Writing with Evidence

Take It or Leave It November Edition

Take It or Leave It Opinion Writing with Evidence

Take It or Leave It Opinion Writing with Evidence

Take It or Leave it December Edition

Take It or Leave It Opinion Writing with Evidence

Take It or Leave It Opinion Writing with Evidence

using evidence to support your opinions

Using Evidence to support your opinion writing

Let's make writing FUN!!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Break It Up!

Closed Syllable Multisyllabic Word Activities

My reading groups are working on building fluency and part of building fluency is knowing how to break up multisyllabic words.  And being able to do break them up quickly.  Some of my students struggle with being able to do this so they need extra practice.  

                                      Open & Closed Syllable Multisyllabic Word Activities

Part of understanding multisyllabic words is understanding syllables.  An easy visual to use when teaching open and closed syllables to help students understand is writing a word on a card or construction paper and folding the last third over.  You can even add a doorknob to the fold to help them remember.  Whatever it takes to make it novel and new!  Explain how the consonant closed the door on the vowel and makes the vowel say its name.  

But when the consonant goes away, it opens the door to the vowel so the vowel can now say its own long vowel name.  

Closed Syllable Short Vowel Word Activities

An easy fun way to practice fluency with short vowel sounds are using these short vowel strips.

short vowel fluency strips

Students can work their way through the groups of short vowel sentences and practice their fluency.  Some of my little guys need all the extra practice I can fit in.

short vowel fluency activities
The whole point of fluency is comprehension, so a fun way to be sure students are comprehending these fluency strips is to have them do quick comprehension sketches about each sentence.  I don't want to create word callers!  I want students to be able to read and understand what they have read.

Closed Syllable Multisyllabic Word Activities

Students who are ready for multisyllabic words can practice building the words with these fun word puzzles!  You can differentiate the puzzles by printing them on white paper or using different colored paper for first and second syllables.  
Closed Syllable Multisyllabic Word Activities

Another great way to practice is using these task cards where students must match up a syllable from the first pair to a syllable from the second pair.

Closed Syllable Multisyllabic Word Activities

Finally, students are ready to apply these skills by reading stories with multisyllabic words and answering comprehension questions.  Like I said, fluency needs to be about comprehending what you are reading.  

Open Syllable Multisyllabic Word Activities

I have some students in RTI that need some work on open syllable words.  These pirate themed puzzles will work great for that.  Be sure they understand the open syllable first by using the cards to demonstrate open and closed syllables.  It is such a great visual tool!

Open Syllable Multisyllabic Word Activities

I want to stretch my students a bit more, so they can also practice with 3 syllable words.  You can differentiate by giving them the whole word cards first or last.  

Open Syllable Multisyllabic Word Activities

These task cards help give students more practice reading and choosing the correct multisyllablic word that fits the sentence.  Then they move on to the fluency and comprehension stories like were in the closed syllable resource.  

Click on any of the pictures to check out that resources!

I hope these ideas will help your students learn to "break it up" with those multisyllabic words!  If you haven't come by my blog in a while, I would love to have you visit.  The 3am Teacher gave me a fresh, brand new look!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fun Free Snowman Poem and Sequencing Activities

Although the weather outside might be cold and frightful, I have a delightful Free poem about a Snowman and 2 differentiated sequencing activities for you. Here is a sample of the poem:
Here is a sample of the Kindergarten Sequencing Activity
If you would like to download the complete packet just click on the image below. 
Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Winter Writing Activities Freebie Packet

Happy New Year! It's been a long time since I've posted but I have some fun winter writing activities for you to use when you head back to school tomorrow. There are writing activities for the K-2 teachers. There are 2 labeling the pictures and writing sentences like this one below.
Also included are 2 Winter Pictures for writing a story about. There are word banks to help your students. Here is one sample.
If you would like to download this freebie just click on the image below.
You will also find another Winter Writing Activity Freebie pack!
Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

Phonics: Blending Sounds

Using cubes for blending sounds into words

We have given our universal screenings and assessments and have found that there are some students needing more phonics practice.  Time to use that information to drive our instruction and planning now.

Phonics is part of common core, but we don't need common core to tell us how important phonics and being able to blend sounds can be to our young one's reading!  Being able to blend those sounds and word parts easily will help students towards being successful readers.

In thinking about how to improve their blending abilities, I remembered these cubes.  Have you seen them yet?  They are so great!  Bigger size and soft so they are quiet when they are rolled.  No more clanking of plastic dice across the tables!

differentiated instruction cubes

This is what they look like out of the package and filled with phonics cards.  You can pick the sounds to target or put all the cards in the center and students can place sounds into the slots on the sides of the cubes.

blending sounds into words activities for centers

But you don't have to go out and get the cubes.  A pocket chart will work too.  Students can place the cards that are color coded into piles and draw out cards to slip into the pocket chart.  Use what you have and what works for you!

blending long vowel sounds into words

Students roll the cubes and then blend the sounds using a Blend It Mat.  

blending sounds into words centers

Then students decide if the word they blended together is a real or nonsense word and record it on their Write It Read It page.

r-controlled vowel center activity

This fun blending center is for r-controlled vowels.  I have 6 Roll, Blend & Write It Phonics Blending Centers:

blending sounds into words centers

I also bundled these centers together to make it easier to have them all (click here or on the picture).  They can be used in a variety of ways including centers, small groups, and RTI Intervention Groups.

We are going to be doing a lot of blending work in the coming weeks.  I know the students are going to be having fun doing it and not even realize how much learning they are accomplishing!  

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