Ok... new school year + new school + busy teacher = zero blogging. BUT I decided to check in to share my first fav of the year! We are teaching these new baby firsties how to develop strategies for themselves to help them become more independent. One of those strategies is to sound out words on their own instead of asking for help...and there is a variety of ways they can do that! We made it fun (of course) by tying it to the analogy of blowing a bubble of gum. I began the lesson with 4 balloons blown up and one balloon that was not blown up. I put together my strategy poster as I talked to the kids about the strategies and I explained to them how we stretch out the word by saying it slowly...just like if you were blowing a bubble. Then I gave the kids a word, and had them say it as I blew up my empty balloon. They did a really good job of stretching out the word slowly as I inflated the balloon and stopping the word when I stopped. I tied off the balloon and then said "LISTEN!" and popped the balloon. I explained that we need to listen for the sounds in the word after we stretch it out, then write down the sounds we here. I explained that that is not the ONLY strategy we use though. I had a balloon attached to the word wall and ran over and popped it and said "We can look at the word wall for help spelling words!" Then I had two other balloons (one taped to the white board, one on a random poster) around the room. I ran and popped those and said "We can look around the room for help!" then I went back to the front of the room and popped the last balloon right over the kids heads (sitting at the carpet) and said "You can also use words that are in your brain that you already know!". Of course I elaborated on each of these points - but this was a fun way to help the kids remember the strategies, or at least the lesson, and connect it in a way that makes it interesting to them. (Otherwise it would be a blah,blah,blah fest!) Anyhooo.....this worked for me, so let it work for you too! If I was a really cool teacher I would have given them all gum to chew as they practiced writing down words.....but I don't think we are quite there yet ;).
For an extension activity I had the kiddos draw their faces. Then I gave them each a bubble cut out from pink construction paper and had them write their favorite strategy on the bubble. I had them put this into their writing portfolio to remind them while they are writing that I do not have to be their walking dictionary!
For the download check out my TPT here:
I'm just an Elementary Nerd sharing my excitement for the classroom!
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