Tag Archive: word work


Contraction Surgery

IMG_0407I’ve been noticing with my 1st graders we’ve been having a lot of troubles while reading when we come to contractions.  Students say, “it is” when we see “it’s” or “do not” when we see “didn’t”.  Sometimes we’ll even get something a little more wonky like “didn’t not”.  I’ve done some word work with contractions, but it hasn’t really stuck.  I decided to do something with these 1st graders that I did with my 1st graders about 6 years ago–contraction surgery.

IMG_0419Students each got their own surgical mask, gloves, and “scalpel” AKA scissors.  We turned words into contractions by taking out the letters we didn’t need, “stitching them back up” (gluing them to the paper), and giving them a “surgery scar” (AKA the apostrophe).

We did a couple of examples together and then students were able to do 5 of them at their own pace with my support as needed.  They LOVED this and I think it helped because I haven’t noticed as much of the issues when reading as I have previously noticed.

They were extra excited because they got to keep all of their surgical gear AND I called each of them doctor. 🙂

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Nerf Sight Words

IMG_3082I’ve been trying to get a little more creative in ways I can get students applying sight words they need to know along with movement and fun.  I saw on a teacher webpage advertisement the idea to use Nerf to sling darts at sight words.  This has been a HUGE hit.  The kids have been begging to play.  I call out a sight word they are still a little shaky on and they have to use the laser pointer to aim at the sight word and then try and get it.  Only a few darts have bounced off and hit Ms. Acuff! 🙂

Whack-A-Word

img_0371I came across this awesome ipad app called Whack-A-Word and thought it was the cutest thing ever.  I don’t have ipad for all of my kiddos so I tweaked what I saw on the app and created my own using sheets for ABCs, blends and digraphs, and Jolly Phonics.  (If you want any of my materials, let me know!)  My teammate also found some stuff on Teachers Pay Teachers, but we created our own to match with what we wanted.

I took a pool noodle and cut them into about 2 inch wide slices and inserted jumbo craft sticks into a slit I made with scissors.  img_0372

The kids LOVED THIS!!! “Ms. Acuff, why haven’t we played this before?  This game is AWESOME!”  The way it works is you tell them something to find and they have to locate it and “whack the word” or in this case–the sound.  “Whack the sound that says ch-ch-ch.”  This has been a great way to reinforce letter identification and word parts for the Kindergarten kiddos who have needed some extra practice without it being so “skill and drill” with them.img_0373

img_0257In 1st-grade we are still working on Interactive Writing and learning those foundational skills.  Ms. Acuff has us reading books and applying concepts we are working on in the classroom.  In our class, we are working on the beginning, middle, and end of a story.

This day we read a story about a frog that can’t find his red pajamas.  He has to tear his room apart looking everywhere for them.  We started by making -ed words with magnetic letters.  We’re doing a lot of work with “chunks” to help us problem-solve our reading much more efficiently and quickly.

Next, we read the book and then talked about the book.  The next day we wrote about the book after re-reading it.  We wrote the story together.  We got to write the words we knew and Ms. Acuff wrote the words that are still unknown.  We practice those words on the white board so they become known words in the future.

We practice one-to-one matching by using the large pointer and checking Ms. Acuff didn’t forget anything.  (Sometimes she does and we have to fix it for her!)  We’re working really hard on good spacing between our words so it’s not just a string of letters.  It’s hard work, but we’re really proud when we do a good job.

1st Grade Word Work

IMG_0351My first graders continue to work super, super hard for me!  We are doing a lot of work on word parts so when we come to unknown words in our reading and writing we can help ourselves by looking for a part we know, seeing if we know a word that looks like it, and trying it!  1st grade is such a big leap into becoming readers.  We keep plugging away.  You can see we are doing some word work with -ot words.

1st Grade Hybrid

IMG_8056My 1st graders have been doing an Interactive Writing/Guided Reading Plus hybrid.    They aren’t quite ready to transition fully into Guided Reading Plus, but they don’t solely need Interactive Writing…so we’ve been doing both!  We’ve been reading a new book every three days.  We do a lot of building words, word work, etc. to build our reading and writing vocabulary to give the needed boost.

On the 2nd day we write a group message based on the story we read the previous day.  Each student gets to pick a sentence they want added to the group message.  This is the exact same process that Kindergarten does, except we write about the book instead of a labeled picture.  We don’t label a picture in 1st grade.

On the 3rd day we do something that looks a little bit different.  I have 4 students so I have 4 rotations.  The full 30 minutes just proved to be too much time for them all to write so I switched it up since we have multiple needs.  (I wish I had pictures of this, but I am SO busy during this 30 minutes I don’t have time to take any pictures!)

Rotation 1: write an individual message about the story we read.  The student tells me their message before they start so I can write it down. When they are finished writing (about 7 minutes per rotation) I conference with that student about their writing.

Rotation 2:  Rereading the story while Ms. Acuff takes a running record.  This allows me to track individual reading progress and collect data weekly on each student to make sure I’m providing the correct level of instruction.  I also get to talk to students about strategies they are using and provide positive feedback for growth.

Rotation 3: ipad!!  Woo hoo we love the ipad!  We play a word building and writing game on the ipad that incorporates high frequency words they need to know!

Rotation 4: ipad!!  Woo hoo!  We love getting to use the ipad AGAIN!  This time we play a sound sorting game of some kind.  This could either be vowel sounds, rhyming sounds, beginning sounds, or ending sounds. This game changes each time, but sounds are important so we continue to work on them!

My 1st graders are HARD WORKERS and they keep me VERY busy during our 30 minute session.

IMG_5840IMG_5841My K, 1, and 2 groups are continuing to work on Interactive Writing.  We’ve been so busy!  Learning about concepts about print to help with foundational building is super important.  We’ve been doing a lot of labeling, word building, letter finding, letter sorting, letter forming, poetry reading, and group and individual writing.  Wow!  What a mouthful, right?

After several weeks of poetry interactive writing and foundational skill building, we are ready to get our hands on some books and transition away from poetry.

We will keep working on letter sounds, formation, concepts about print, and word building.  Check back in with us 🙂

Combo Interactive Writing

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This year one of my groups include a 1st/2nd grade combo and it’s fun having kids from different grade levels.  So if you see me talking about my “combo kids” you’ll know it’s my group with both grade levels in it.

IMG_5182This group is working on Interventions That Work’s Interactive Writing.  We have been working on letter identification, letter sounds, word building, directionality, and word by word matching.  I JUST received another iPad from Donor’s Choose (Thank you!) so some of our word work is able to be done on the iPad since both boys have one to use.  You can see them above working on beginning sounds.  It’s just a nice way to differentiate what we are doing.

We started out with a group poem that helped us work on fluency, directionality, and word by word matching.  Kacie Rogan, one of our 2nd grade teachers, came in to observe us on day 1 since she will also be doing Interactive Writing with some of her groups in her classroom so it was nice to have another teacher in to watch.

After we worked on our poem we wrote a group message and worked on building up some more known words such as has, red, go, we, will, or.  We are wanting to see some rapid acceleration in letter ID and known writing vocabulary.IMG_5176

Once we created our group message we then extended our message by writing individual messages.  Once the kiddos were finished with their individual message then I was able to conference with each child and check the sounds they correctly produced in their words.  We are working hard on stretching the word out and writing all the sounds we hear.  Keep checking back on us and see how we work to be the best readers possible.

IMG_9568I am now the proud “mama bear” to 4 fabulous Kindergarten friends as we are working on an intervention from Linda Dorn’s Interventions that Work called Interactive Writing.

We have a lot of foundational skills we’ve been working on such as letter identification, 1-to-1 word matching, writing our names correctly, writing and reading in the correct direction, and correct path of movement letter formation.

IMG_9291We’ve been listening to Ms. Acuff read poetry and have watched her point to each word to make sure what she says matches what the author wrote.  We’ve also been making group stories.  Students help Ms. Acuff make a story and they help add words they know how to write.

We’ve been having a lot of fun locating known letters in our reading and writing to help us know all of our letters as quickly as possible so we are reading to become strong readers!

In the photo at the top you can see we chose a sentence from a story we wrote as a group.  Ms. Acuff wrote the chosen sentence on a sentence strip for each student and we read the sentence as she cut up the sentence.  From there, Ms. Acuff lined the words up vertically and students had to scan the words left to right to put the sentence back together.  Then they had to read the sentence  while pointing, making sure we were correctly matching what we said to what was written.  This was a little tricky, but the more practice we had with it the better we got.  We then glued our sentence to our paper.  This was good practice for spacing and that when we get to the end of the paper we can’t glue down the side of the paper, but have to return sweep back to the left and start there.

Keep watching as we grow, grow, grow in our knowledge.  We are working VERY hard and Ms. Acuff couldn’t be more proud of us!

 

IMG_7837We can’t believe it, but we’re already 2/3rds of the way through summer school!!  All 3 of us teachers have been impressed with how hard the kiddos have been working and how engaged they are when working with each of us.  We’ve been seeing a lot of good skills, strategies, and ideas coming out.

IMG_7836This week students learned how making a list can help us as writers.  We made a list of things that make summer great.  Students filled their practice page with things that had done over the summer–from visiting family members to taking vacations, going to the pool, spending time with friends, and staying up late/sleeping in late.  It was a challenging transition for the students to NOT write their ideas in full sentences.  It was foreign to just jot down “waterpark” instead of “I went to the waterpark”.   We talked about how this was just the idea stage and didn’t need to be in complete sentences yet.

From there students had to pick several of the things from their list.  This was where they were able to start turning their ideas into complete sentences.  Students needed to write an opening sentence to allow readers to know what they were going to be talking about.

Students had a writing conference with me after they had finished their rough draft and we were able to expand upon ideas and fix up spelling and grammatical errors.  Students were then able to make a final copy and design their heading picture.  I was impressed with the variety of ideas they came up with.

IMG_7834The almost 3rd graders have enjoyed their time with Mrs. Earle and Ms. Alfrey as well.  Mrs. Earle has continued to work on Word Work.  Students have continued to use different literature to help them locate new letter clusters.  They’ve been putting them into unique sentences as well.  Mrs. Earle has been giving students a generic sentence (I.E.–I went to the park) and then students had to add in new vocabulary words to make it more exciting.  Instead of went, students had to incorporate other words.  Most of the students use this sentence as their sharing since they were so proud of the way they made their sentence “better than Mrs. Earle’s.”

Ms. Alfrey has continued to have guided reading groups (also called Guided Reading Plus) where she has been able to monitor student’s oral accuracy, fluency, comprehension, and decoding skills.  The kids have had to read their group book during their independent study time as well.  Students have enjoyed having an individual reading conference with Ms. Alfrey as they work through the book on their own.  Group discussions have really expanded on their comprehension, which is something most of the students had struggled with during the school year.

As we go into our final week of summer school we hope to give the students this final boost so they can spring into 3rd grade and be as successful as possible.  Continue to check back to see what else we’re working on during the week.