Monday, October 23, 2017

THUH OR THEE?

"Thuh" or "thee"? That is the question. But it doesn’t really matter if you spell it 
“t – h – e.”

“The” Book
Fold two sheets of paper in half and staple. Children write the word “The” at the top of each page and then draw a picture. What a simple way for beginning readers to feel successful.
     
                                  
*Advanced children could write a sentence using the word “the."

*You could also make an “a” book.

THE Song
(Tune: “Shortnin’ Bread”)
You can say the
Or you can say the,
But you always have to spell it
T – H – E.

“The” Flip Book
Fold one sheet of paper into eighths. Open and cut up three creased lines to the middle. Fold in half to make flips. Write “the” on the front of each flip and then have children draw pictures or cut out pictures to put under each flip.
     
                                         

Anybody in Springfield, IL, want a free concert on November 1st?  I'm going to be doing a workshop there on 11/2 and my flight gets in early enough to sing with some Title 1 children on the 1st.  I mentioned this several weeks ago and I have concerts lined up in San Antonio and Oklahoma City, but nobody's emailed (drjean@drjean.org) yet from Springfield.  Just give me a shout if you want to sing, dance, and have some fun!!!

                             

Sunday, October 22, 2017

READ AND WIN!

Several years ago while visiting a school I saw two shiny new bikes on display in the library. Every time a child read a book they got to put their name on a ticket to win the bike. What a great way to motivate children to read! These ideas aren’t quite as big as a bike, but I bet you might spark a little interest with them.
                                                    
Book Drawing

You will need a roll of tickets (purchase at an office supply store) or make your own. Each time a child reads a book she gets to write her name on a ticket. Collect these in a sack during the week. On Friday, draw a name out of the sack and that child WINS a book!

*It could be a book that you purchased or a book that the class has made.

Stay Up Late and Read 
To reward children make copies of “Extra 15 Minutes” coupons similar to the one shown. Children who earn the ticket get to stay up an extra 15 minutes at bedtime and read to their parents.
                                                                             
Book Bucks
Run off "reading-bucks."  (Free if you do a google search.)  When children read a book they earn a "buck."  They can save these to buy a book or other prize.
                                 
Popcorn Party 
Get a large jar and write “Popcorn Party” on it. Every time any student reads a book she gets to add a cotton ball to the jar. When the jar is full the whole class gets a popcorn party.

Reading Incentives
I asked Mr. Google about "reading incentives" and he gave me lots of great links.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

GOT A MINUTE?

If you've got 2 or 3 minutes after you've read a story or taught a lesson, these are some quick ways to assess learning and recall information. These ideas can be adapted for fiction or non-fiction literature, math, science, or social studies. All your students will be engaged and can reflect on what they've learned. That's a win/win!!

Sign Language
Teach children sign language for “yes” (make a fist and nod it up and down) and “no” (extend middle and index finger from thumb and open and close. As you ask questions, children respond with the appropriate sign.

                                                         
Schema
Teach sign language for "connection" (thumbs make circles with index fingers and join like a chain). Discuss that when they connect what is in the book with what is in their brain they make a "schema." If they've made a "schema" they can show you with their hands. Call on random students to explain how they connected personally with the book.
                
Show Me
You will need two index cards. Write “yes” on one and “no” on the other. Children place these on the surface in front of them. As the teacher asks questions, the children hold up the appropriate word.

                     
Envelope
Seal an envelope and cut it in half. Write “yes” on one side and “no” on the other side.

Stump the Teacher
Explain to the children that they get to be the teacher and ask you questions. Remind them to think about what they want to ask you before raising their hand. They must also know the answer to the question they are going to ask.

Friday, October 20, 2017

PINCH, ZIP, AND HOLD UP!

I've got some quick strategies to practice skills when you have a few extra minutes.

Pinch Cards
Cut construction paper or heavy paper into 8 ½ “ x 5 ½” rectangles. Down the left side write the numerals 0-10. Write the very same numerals on the reverse side. As the teacher calls out math problems the children pinch the correct answer and hold up their cards. The teacher can quickly glance around the room to check responses. 
*Make pinch cards for words, numeral recognition 10-20, phonics, etc. 



                                                      
Zip It
Write letters, words, numbers, etc. on the left side of a sheet of paper as shown and insert the paper in a zip bag. Call out a question, and children “zip” to the correct answer and then hold up their bag. 
               
*If you write numerals horizontally you can use it like a number line. 
                                                                        
Hold Up!
Each child will need a wipe off board or magic slate. They could also write on their desk with a dry erase marker. The children calls out a word and children write down the beginning, middle, or ending sound. After several seconds the teacher says, “Hold up!” and the children hold up their answers. 
                                     
*Adapt this for spelling words, math number stories, review questions, etc. 
*Tell the children to “draw what you know” and then share with a friend.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

WANT AN OREO?

I was cleaning out my closet, and look at this great idea some teachers from Nebraska shared with me years ago. You know how those two letter words are difficult for children to learn because they don’t always follow the rules (phonics rules, that is!). Well, here’s a yummy idea to help them taste better. 
                                      
First, have the children brainstorm all the two letter words they can think of and write them on the board. Encourage them to look in books, look at classroom print, and so forth. 

Second, give them a double stuffed Oreo cookie and show them how to open it. Hold one half in each hand. Lick the left side as you say the first letter in a word. Lick the right side as you say the second letter in the word. Then say the word. Continue with all the two letter words on the board.
*If you are in a s
chool where food is not allowed, just pretend you have a cookie in each hand.


Third, follow up with a class book. Write individual letters on 3” circles as shown. Write the two letter word on a 4 ½” circle. Read through the book as you demonstrate how to lick your left hand and say one letter. Lick the right hand and say the other letter. Clap hands and say the word.
Hint! Remind the children that they don’t want to really lick their dirty hand. Just pretend!!!
           

You can also sing two letter words to the tune from “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
If you want to spell me, say M –E.
If you want to spell me, say M –E.
It’s easy as can be when you sing and spell with me.
If you want to spell me, say M –E.

Duplo Letters and Words
Here is a photo a teacher sent demonstrating how she integrates blocks with phonics and sight words. She said she asked the parents to donate the Duplo blocks and the children thought they were "playing" instead of "learning."
                                  

And you get an "oreo" cheer for visiting my blog today. Pretend to lick your right hand. Pretend to lick your left hand. Clap them together! And that's an "oreo" cheer!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

THE VOWEL FAMILY

First, I have a song that introduces the long and short sounds for the vowels.  Making manual signs for the letters or holding up letters will help add the visual connection as you sing.

The Vowel Song  (Tune: “Are You Sleeping?” Is Everybody Happy CD)
A makes two sounds. (Echo each line.)
/A/ and /a/.
/A/ for apron, /a/ for apple.
/A/ and /a/.
/E/ and /e/ - eagle and elephant…
/I/ and /i/ - ice cream and inchworm…
/O/ and /o/ - open and octopus…
/U/ and /u/ - ukulele and uncle…
                              

The long vowel sounds are easier for children to remember because "they just say their name." Here's a song that will help put those short vowel sounds in the brain. Of course, the letter U will be their favorite!

The Vowel Family (Tune: "BINGO" - Just for Fun CD)
Aunt Aggie had an allergy
and she would always sneeze-o (Pretend to sneeze.)
/a/a/a/a/a/ /a/a/a/a/a/ /a/a/a/a/a/
And she would always sneeze-o.

Grandpa Eddie stayed in shape
and he would exercise-o (Pretend to lift weights.)
/e/e/e/e/e/ /e/e/e/e/e/ /e/e/e/e/e/
He liked to exercise-o.

Baby Izzi had chicken pox
and she would always itch-o. (Scratch body.)
/i/i/i/i/i/ /i/i/i/i/i/ /i/i/i/i/i/
And she would always itch-o.

Cousin Otto’s throat was sore
And this is what he’d say-o. (Put hand on throat.)
/o/o/o/o/o/ /o/o/o/o/o/ /o/o/o/o/o/
And this is what he’d say-o.

Uncle Unk wore underwear
and it did stink-o. (Hold nose.)
/u/u/u/u/u/ /u/u/u/u/u/ /u/u/u/u/u/
And it did stink-o.

Let the children use the attached sheet to make vowel puppets. Tape the letters to craft sticks or glue to an envelope that's been cut in half.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1SnEagA4jljRjhzN3oxNFliSEU/view?usp=sharing

Five Little Vowels  (Adapted from "Monkeys and the Alligator")
Five little vowels swinging from a tree (Hold up 5 fingers.)
Teasing Mr. Alligator, “Can’t catch me! (Point finger.)
You can’t catch me!”
Along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be (Open and close arms.)
And snatched that A right out of the tree.
/a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/ (Make sign language A with hand.)

E…I…O…U

*Draw a tree on a magnetic board and remove magnetic letters as you say the chant.
                                                 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

CVC WORDS

The ability to blend simple three letter words is a big step in learning to read.  Here are some hands-on activities where children can identify initial, medial vowel, and final sounds.

Body Touch  

Blend words touching parts of the body. Touch the head as you say the beginning sound in the word. Touch the stomach as you say the middle sound. Touch the feet as you say the final sound. Quickly move from head to feet and blend the sounds. Next, challenge children to isolate where they hear the sound.
For example: Where do you hear the /p/ in cap? (Children touch toes.)

Park the Car
Make a parking lot with three spaces. As you say a word children park the car according to where they hear the sound (beginning, middle, end) of the word.

                                                           
Letter Tin 
Place magnetic letters inside a cookie tin. On the inside cover make three lines with a permanent marker. Have the children take out the letters and place them around the lid. Call out a sound and have the children select that letter and place it on the first line in the lid. Call out a second sound. Call out a third sound. Blend the sounds and read the word.
                      
Hint! Adapt the number of letters to the ability of the students.
*Store small magnetic letters in a breath mint tin.
*Let children use magnetic letters on a cookie sheet.

Unifix Cubes 
Place dot stickers on unifix cubes. Write letters on the dots.  Children can use these for constructing words.
                                             
Donut Words

Cut donut shapes out of construction paper. Write consonants on either side of the donut as shown. Write vowels on small circles. Children place the donut “holes” between the consonants and blend the sounds.
         
Phonics Fingers 
You will need 3 pairs of white cloth garden gloves for this project. Cut the fingers off the gloves. Write a letter on each finger with markers. (Write consonants in blue and vowels in red.) Children insert glove fingers on their own fingers to make CVC words. Have them substitute letters to make new words.