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Friday, June 27, 2014

An Oldie, but a Goodie

Making's an oldie, but a goodie! One of my favorite activities for building word skills, it self-differentiates based on your kiddos' readiness. I always begin with 2-letter words, then move on up to the mystery word at the end. Some kids need to stick to the CVC words; others are ready for consonant blends, silent e,  and vowel digraphs; still others can put multisyllable words together. There's always at least one kid that figures out the mystery word before the activity's over. I've used the same word lists with both 1st graders and 3rd graders, and they all love it! My daughter likes to play with it at home as well. This edition has 12 different lists with corresponding letter cards. It's been one of my best sellers, so far. Click on the link to see my Making Words product at TpT with word lists, letter cards to cut out, and complete implementation instructions.

Making Words

Friday, June 20, 2014

Comprehension Graphic Organizers

Our school focused on the CCSS informational text standards this year. First graders naturally love nonfiction--they are absolutely fascinated by the world around them! They always have questions, and as a teacher I love telling them to look for the answers in a book. So, I created a set of graphic organizers for both literary and informational comprehension. I designed them to meet the rigor that common core requires without stifling their love of reading. These can be used whole class, in guided reading groups, or for center practice. You can find them on my Teachers pay Teachers account by clicking on the pictures below.

Literary Graphic Organizers for 1st grade   Informational Text Graphic Organizers for 1st Grade

Here are some examples of what you'll find in the packets. Enjoy!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cloze Vocabulary Introduction

After reading the book Word Nerds by Brenda J. Overturf, Leslie H. Montgomery, and Margot Holmes Smith, I thought I'd try one of the strategies they mentioned. I began introducing all my vocabulary units with a cloze activity in the pocket chart. My kids loved it! I started by writing the vocabulary words on colored sentence strips, then asking them to show me what they know with hand signals: hands on head if you know all about the word, hands on ears if you've heard the word, hands on your lap if it's a brand new word. That little formative assessment gives me so much information to guide vocabulary instruction! We have a brief discussion of each word based on the signals they show me. Then I read the sentences written on white sentences strips with a blank where the vocabulary words should go. Together we talk through putting the words in the correct blanks. We complete a lot of other games and activities during the unit, but I began each unit the same way this year. I saw a lot of improvement in my firsties vocabulary compared to previous years. Here is an example of the cloze chart and 2 other activities from my Thanksgiving unit: