Showing posts with label Spelling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spelling. Show all posts

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Word Wall Headers Download

I recently added new Word Wall Headers to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. These are sets of colorful, round alphabet labels to use for your classroom word wall. There are five different styles to choose from to add a splash of color to your room. Click on the links below to download. These sets also match my Content Board and Grade Level Banners.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

First Grade Spelling Bee

The students competed in against "houses" in a spelling bee. Mrs. Guzman called out a word to the first person in the line and if they spelled it correctly, they stayed in the competition. If they did not, they become a part of the audience to cheer their house on. The house that had the most members still standing at the end, won! It was awesome to see how seriously they took spelling their words.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Word Wizard

One of our favorite word work lessons is Making Words. The students use a set of letters to build various words that build up to a mystery word. This helps with reading, writing, and spelling. A fun twist on this can be found online with the interactive Word Wizards. In Word Wizards, students choose a well-known picture book. They are then given a set of letters and a clue. They answer the clue by building it with the letters.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Spelling City

Here is a quick video I made using the App "Explain a Website" to show you how to access the features of Spelling City at home. The video is not perfect but you get the point.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Daily 5: Work on Words

We use the Daily 5 process in our class to help the students learn to read in fun, engaging ways. While I work with small groups on reading, the rest of the students rotate through five student chosen lessons. One of those is Work on Words. The students practice reading, spelling, and writing a word wall and phonics words. They also work on alphabetizing and matching rhyming words. Fellow teachers, you can download my Word Family Buildings and Word Family Train Sort from my store on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Phonics Genius iPad and iPhone App

One of my favorite phonics apps is Phonics Genius. The app has flash cards of short vowels, long vowels, blends, and digraphs. You have the option to have the words read aloud. This is great for introducing the specific sounds. The sound can then be taken off to have the students practice reading the words independently. The app also allows you to add your own phonics words. I plan on using the app for Daily 5, to introduce the weekly phonics focus, and in guided reading.

Monday, March 11, 2013


One of the many ways we practice our weekly word wall and phonics words is through the lessons and games on SpellingCity. The students love playing all of the games and I love that it introduces the spelling of the words to the students as well as their meaning in sentences. We use this site on our Promethean Board as a part of Daily 5: Working on Words. SpellingCity is a fun, free way for your child to practice their words at home.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Word Family Train Sorts

Fellow teachers, I created a set of Word Family Train Sorts to use during Daily 5. If you are looking for word work ideas, stop over at my TPT store to download this file. Students sort word family train cars behind their matching word family train engine. The set includes 59 word families covering all long and short vowels. Students can record their words on the included recording sheet. The trains can also be placed in pocket charts or on a bulletin board for a weekly phonics focus. This set would be a great addition to your Daily 5 lessons, literacy stations, or hands-on tutoring.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Phonics Focus: Sports Pennants

Last week we were studying various sounds including /sl/, /sp/, and /st/. We also were having "college week" in our district. So, the students created sports pennants to help them remember the sound for /sp/.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shape Pets

Since we were studying about both pets and shapes last week, we decided to make shape pets. The students chose from a variety of shapes which they put together to make a shape pet. They then wrote about their pet using our writing program, Write From the Beginning. We are currently working on the Observational Comment Writing level so the students had a concrete object to write about. It was a fun way to combine art, math, and writing! Click below to see all of their shape pets.

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Pet Day - Short E

As we studied short /e/, the students were invited to bring in a picture of their pet. Each week we are trying to have a special phonics focus event on Friday to help the students have an engaging and personal connection the phonics sound. A few students did bring in their pictures but most of the class does not yet have a pet. So, we discussed what pets we would like to have. Below is a picture of one of the students sharing his pet picture.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

A few weeks ago we were reading various stories about school. One of the books we read was Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes - one of my favorites! As a part of the lessons, we talked about how Chrysanthemum was feeling and made connections to how we were feeling about starting school. We then extended the lesson by counting the letters in our names, just as Chrysanthemum's classmates do in the book, and compared how long our names are to hers. We then created a bar-type graph to record our findings. The students then created art with their names by coloring patterns on bubble letters. After they were completed, the students read the names as a group and clapped out the syllables. We then sorted the names according to the number of syllables in the names to create a real-object graph. Their artwork was then added to our classroom helper area as a name word wall.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Refrigerator Phonics

I found this fun refrigerator magnet game at ABCya! that your children can use to practice spelling their word wall and phonics words. You can also have your child pratice their words in a fun way by buying cheap plastic magnetic letters at your local dollar store. They can practice their words on the refrigerator or on a metal cookie sheet.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Making Words

We use a word activity in class called Making Words by Patricia Cunningham. In this activity the students use a set group of letters to brainstorm and build various words. The set of letters when put all together make a mystery word. Usually the students cut out letters to manipulate but occassionally we do a quick version on the board if we only have a few minutes of time. I write a set of letters on the board and have the students brainstorm as many words as they can. Parents, this would be a great activity for your child to do on a piece of paper in the car for those long road trips or when you are waiting at the doctor, etc.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

First Grade Word Wall PowerPoint

I recently updated our First Grade Word Wall PowerPoint. The slideshow advances every five seconds to reveal a new word. You can help your child build automatic recognition of these words by having them use the PowerPoint at least once per week to read all of the words.If you do not have PowerPoint on your home computer, you can download PowerPoint Viewer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Short Vowel Poetry

Over the last few weeks we have been focusing on short vowel sounds. To help practice reading the sounds fluently, the students practiced the poem "Ted." You can listen to their poetry reading below. The poems were recorded using Audacity software. A link to Audacity is at the side of the page along with many other helpful links. For fluency practice, a highly recommend Dr. Tim Rasinski's poems which can be found in his books Poems for Word Study. There are several different versions of this book for different grade levels.

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You can also hear other examples of their reading at our class podcasting site.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


As I was lesson planning, I came across an interesting site, Scribble, that reminds me of our classroom activity of Making Words by Patricia Cunningham. On this website, you are given a random generation of letters and the goal is to write down as many words as you can think of using only those letters. They can be short words or long words. It is a great way to challenge your students, especially those who enjoy puzzles. This could be a fun game to incorporate into a family game night - see which family member comes up with the most words.  Another great site that we use in class as a part of Making Words is Words in Words. Words in Words allows you to type in a word and it will generate a list of words that can be made from the same letters. Below is an example of just a few of the words found within the word "student."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Gifts that Teach

Several parents have asked if there are any specific items that you can buy to help your child with their reading and math. My best advice is to find games that teach. Below are a few games and toys that I highly recommend:
  • Scrabble Flash - Students make as many words out of the letter combinations as possible. It is very similar to the Making Words activity that we do in class each Friday. Students will start to see patterns in words as they can change only one or two letters to make a new word. The great thing about this game is that it has automatic scoring and can be played independently.
  • Bananagrams - The game is played like Scrabble but does not require the board and is easy to travel with. Through playing with words, students will begin to make more connections between the spelling of words.
  • Bendomino - This is a twist on classic dominoes, which I also love. Dominoes help students with number recognition and can be used as manipulatives in a variety of ways. As you play dominoes with your child, have them add the two numbers of the domino before placing it down.

With those recommendations, I must say that I believe children do need time to just play and be kids. It is great to find teachable moments at home to reinforce what we are learning at school, but it is just as important to let children express themselves in stress-free, unstructured play. For that, I recommend having a supply of crayons, markers, blank paper, Legos and other types of blocks.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Writing

Each week we write using a program called Write From the Beginning. The program uses Thinking Maps to teach the students how to organize their thoughts and sentences. This week we wrote about real pumpkins. The students created a Circle Map followed by a Tree Map to write three sentences describe a pumpkin. After writing their sentences the students received one-on-one feedback on how to edit and improve their writing. They wrote their final drafts on pumpkin paper to add to our hallway pumpkin patch.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Making Words

One of our favorite activities in class is to make words from a combination of set letters. When all the letters are used they make a mystery word. This activity helps with their spelling, reading, and writing. The students are given a set of letters that they cut out and move around to make new words. The letters are color coded so they can easily see that every word needs a vowel. The students take notes on their paper about words they created and then share their lists at group time. Words that are correct are added to the white board for the other students to write down. Words that are not true words we call "Dr. Seuss" made-up words and discuss why they are not correct. The students love to be the first one to come up with the mystery word. We also talk about letters we can add or take away to create new words. Last week we played the game using the word "kitchens" and the students came up with 57 words on their own which set a new class record!

A great way to practice this at home is to give your child plastic letters (can be found in the dollar areas of Wal-Mart or Target) to move around. You can also have your child write down a specific word (longer words work best) and then have them brainstorm a list of words that can be made using on the letters in that word. You can also visit the website Wordle to visit their Words in Words page which will generate a list of words that can be made using specific letters.
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