Saturday, January 26, 2013

Phonemic Awareness Activities

 Phonemic Awareness Activities


Syllable Challenge Ball Game


When students comprehend the concept of syllables, they can better understand how they can break up the sounds that make up a single word. Allow students to participate in an interactive ball game to improve their syllable understanding.

To play the game, ask students to stand in a circle. Start the game by saying a number between one and four, then tossing the ball to a student. The student must then say a word that contains the number of syllables that you announced. If the student answers correctly, he has the opportunity to pass the ball. If not, he must keep the ball until he correctly states a word containing the specified number of syllables.
Once the student gives a correct answer, allow him to announce another number between one and four and toss the ball to a classmate, who must then provide the group with a word containing that number of syllables. Continue play in this fashion until every child has had the opportunity to participate in the game.

Classroom Rhyming Dictionary

Study the concept of rhyming as an extension to a poetry activity. Each day, present the students with a rhyming challenge. Write a word on the board before students enter the class. As students enter, ask them to write a word that rhymes with the provided word on the board. Discuss the rhymes once class begins. Ask a classroom recorder to create a dictionary page, placing the word at the top of the page, and all of the rhyming matches below it. Combine the daily pages into a classroom rhyming dictionary that students can consult as they use their phonemic skills to compose poems for class.


  • Make it a regular activity. While vocabulary instruction is a regular part of the curriculum in most elementary schools, it tends to tail off in the upper grades. However, students continue to need help throughout grades K-12, especially if they're trying to make up for limited vocabulary learning in the pre-school years. That's not to say that vocabulary lessons should take up entire class periods, though — regular, 10-15 minute activities will be far more effective than a handful of hour-long sessions.
  • Teach more by teaching less. Not only is it ineffective to make students memorize random words, but it's counter-productive to give them too many words at one time.  In the long run, teachers can have a greater impact on vocabulary by giving students repeated exposures to 5-10 useful new words every week, rather than by drilling them on 20 or more words at a time (most of which will be forgotten within a couple of months).
  • Use new vocabulary in the classroom. Researchers have found that it usually takes 10-15 exposures for new words to stick in people's minds, and those words stick better when used in the flow of conversation, rather than studied as part of a list. When choosing new terms for study, teachers should look ahead to see what students will be reading about and discussing in the coming weeks, and after teaching the words' meanings, they should reinforce the new vocabulary by using it often and encouraging students to use it themselves.
  • Teach synonyms, antonyms, and alternate meanings of words. Students will have more success learning and remembering words if they study them along with clusters of related terms. Further, teachers should point out those words that mean different things in different contexts (e.g, the use of the term reaction in chemistry and its use in everyday conversation), helping students to appreciate the nuances of the language.
  • Show students what to do when they come across new words. Reading teachers often advise students to look for "context cues" to help them make sense of new words. In other words, students are supposed to figure out what the rest of the sentence or paragraph means and then make an educated guess as to the term in question. But students may need more specific guidance than that — teachers may want to show them exactly how to look up the word in a dictionary, for example, or to search for the term on the Web, in order to find a few more examples in which the word is used in a sentence.
  • Teach specialized vocabulary in the content areas. Teachers in the content areas have a responsibility to teach the specialized terms (e.g., mitosis), or specialized meanings of common words (e.g., mathematicians' understanding of the words square and root), that students are about to encounter in class. Periodically, they ought look ahead in the textbook or syllabus to see what terms will be used, check to see whether students know those terms already, and explain those as needed.


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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fiction Tic Tac Toe FREEBIE!!!!

Herringbone Strategy

Purpose:to help students summarize and synthesize what they have read; to provide a supportive framework
for students to sort through the information provided in expository text and make their own decisions about
what is important; to help students think about the main idea, significant details, and the relationships among
Materials:fiction, nonfiction, and expository text
1. Students read and then work with partners to complete the chart.
2. Together they must decide on answers to each of the detail questions on the chart (Who, What,
When, Why, Where, How). This frequently involves rereading and always involves discussion as
students identify potential answers and settle on the most important.
3. Students combine these details to develop a main-idea summary statement for the entire passage.

Think-Pair-Share Strategy


Purpose: to provide students with the opportunity to talk about what they read as they read it
Materials: fiction, nonfiction, and expository text
1. Students find or are given partners.
2. The teacher identifies stopping points for discussion and shares these with students.
3. Students read to the first stopping point and then pause to think about the reading. Students are instructed to ask a question while reading and write the question down.
4. The pairs will then talk with one another using their questions/notes and discuss the reading.
5. The large group shares, focusing on interesting issues that arose during the paired discussions.
Length will depend on students need and interest.
6. This completes the first Think-Pair-Share cycle. Students can read the next portion of the story and
begin the cycle again. This can be used with paired reading or guided reading.

Effective Reading Instruction

The Six "T's" of Reading Instruction

Based on 10 years of research conducted by Dr. R. Allington.

Time: Spend at least half the class actually reading and or writing.

Text: Using multilevel authentic texts in which students can successfully read independently and with accuracy and comprehension. (Differentiation)

Teach: Use explicit, active and direct teaching of "What good readers do" (visualize, infer, predict, connect). This includes think aloud and modeling of effective reading strategies.

Talk:  Classroom discussions where students and teachers hold conversation about literature. This effective talk uses more open ended discussion questions, instead of closed one answer questions.

Task: Read whole books, complete individual and small group research projects, and working on talks that intergrate several content areas (reading, writing, science, social studies). Project based vs. worksheet based tasks are most effective.

Test: Rubric based assessment, based on effort and growth.

My First Post!

Hey everyone! This is my first blog post and I am very excited! I am a literacy coach at at PreK-8 school. I plan to use this blog to communicate the best literacy resources to my readers.