Possible Focuses for Phonics Lessons

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1 APPENDIX F Phonics 205

2 206 Making the Most of Small Groups Possible Focuses for Phonics Lessons Initial letter sounds Final letter sounds Short vowel sounds CVC patterns and blending sounds Long vowel sounds Vowel + r patterns Funky chunks Reading long words Applying letters and sounds in writing Teach kids how to identify and apply the first letter sound of words. They can do this in reading and writing. Teach students to read through words from left to right. Look for final sounds to show up in the writing of beginning readers. Once you see them do this, you ll know they can learn to apply these sounds in their reading, too. When teaching kids about vowels, I like to highlight them in a different color, such as red, so children pay attention to them. They should learn that every word has a vowel in it. They should also learn that some letters, including vowels, make more than one sound in English. Many phonics programs teach short vowels first, so kids can blend these into CVC words. CVC words are made up of an initial and final consonant with a short vowel in between (consonant-vowel-consonant pattern). Many kindergarten and early first-grade programs focus on these words words like cat, hog, big, mop, and lap. Once children know approximately ten letters and sounds, including at least one short vowel sound, they can begin to blend these sounds to read CVC words. Long vowel sounds are more complex, because there are multiple ways to represent these in English. These are words containing ar, er, ir, or, ur, and our. Kids need lots of practice with these patterns in one-syllable words at first, and over time in longer words. These patterns found in English words have multiple sounds. They are often referred to as diphthongs and digraphs and are combinations such as oo, oy, oi, ow, ou, ough, augh. I call them funky chunks to help kids have fun learning them. Many students can benefit from explicit teaching of how to decode long words, breaking them apart syllable by syllable. Teach kids how to apply their phonics skills through writing a message related to something they ve read. You are helping them with phonics. Reading and writing are reciprocal processes.

3 Appendix F: Phonics 207 Group: Date: Focus: PHONICS initial letters final letters short vowels blending and CVC long vowels vowel + r funky chunks long words Warm-Up: Today s Book/Writing: Level: BEFORE READING or WRITING Book Intro: DURING READING or WRITING Prompts: Notes: AFTER READING or WRITING Discuss: REFLECTION

4 208 Making the Most of Small Groups Phonics Warm-Ups for Small-Group Lessons Phonics Bingo use short-vowel words, words that begin or end with a certain sound, long-vowel words... teacher calls out B... cup... and then kids search the B column and mark that word, if they have it. Roll the Letter Dice kids take turns rolling the dice and make words and read them. Be sure to include the vowel dice. Word Chain give kids small strips with a letter on each to make a word and put vowels in a different color; or give kids strips and have them write a word on each with the same phonetic pattern and glue these together to make a chain. Word Hunt have kids find words with the phonics element being studied and write this on a grid. These words can be cut apart and used in sorts also. Word Sort prepare word sort cards, using All Sorts of Sorts as a source. Note: Have kids tell how sounds of c and g (and short to long vowels) change based on pattern. Always have kids read the words after sorting! Can choose between different kinds of sorts: closed sort you tell kids how to sort the words open sort kids sort however they d like, and then tell how they sorted their words speed sort kids sort and try to beat the clock write the sort kids set up columns labeled with the phonics patterns they will sort for; teacher tells word and kids write it in the appropriate column; teacher holds up word and kids check it. cat Pam a peg Note: Always have kids read the sort after they sort the words. Phonics Chart with kids, make an anchor chart about the phonics element being studied. Post it and use it with small groups and review it daily or as needed. Guess My Sound put magnetic letters representing sounds being studied into a paper bag. Kids take turns choosing a letter, identifying it by touch, saying its sound, and pulling it out of the bag. All take turns giving words that have that sound in it. Have kids use the word in a sentence if you need to. Write words they re confusing on a whiteboard as needed. Phonics Tic-Tac-Toe see Lakeshore game for ideas. Give Me a Word show a letter card and have kids take turns giving words that start with that sound. Decide on initial, final, or medial sound. Roll the Cube same as above with letter dice. Phonics Concentration play Concentration game with cards containing words with phonics element being studied. Make a match if the phonics element matches (same e initial letter or sound; same vowel sound; short vowel to long vowel, etc.). Be sure to have kids read word cards each time they turn them over. Word Whammer buy from Leap Frog. Good for blending CVC words. Pick It Up each kid has several word (or letter) cards in front of him or her; each kid has same words (or letters); teacher tells kids which word (or letter) to pick up or can name sound and tell kids to pick up word with that sound. Flip It lay out three stacks of letter cards with consonants at beginning and end; vowels in the middle. Kids take turns flipping over cards to make words and decode them. Have them tell if it s a real word or nonsense word. Making Words give kids letter cards, like a, t, c, p, e and have them make certain words with these. Use two letters to make at. Add a letter to make it say cat, etc. Use Patricia Cunningham s Making Words book. Try the Other Sound have letter cards with CVC words that can be changed to long-vowel words: cap, can, hat, pet, rat, sit, mad, man, pan, pin, mop, rip, tap, kit. Have kids read word and then try the other sound and make that word by changing letters. Also, have them come up with CVC words and try the other sound. Look at how to change short vowels to long-vowel patterns. Chunk the Word write long word on dry erase board. Kids take turns circling chunks they know and then read through the word. Also teach them to use their finger to find parts they know and then read through it. Note: Don t use hard words from the book. Use words with similar phonics patterns. Might use Wiley Blevins book. Materials Needed: For Phonics Warm-Ups magnetic letters letter dice sound charts letter cards Word Whammer by Leap Frog All Sorts of Sorts by Sheron Brown Making Words by Patricia Cunningham little dry erase boards and markers with built-in erasers bingo cards word sort cards Phonics Tic-Tac-Toe from Lakeshore Concentration cards For Phonics Reading and Writing subscription for little leveled books desktop file folders to help kids with writing and spelling sound charts from Words Their Way

5 Appendix F: Phonics 209 Prompts for Phonics What Child Is Having Trouble With Initial letter sounds Final letter sounds Short vowel sounds CVC patterns and blending sounds Long vowel sounds Vowel + r patterns Funky chunks (oo, oy, oi, ow, ou, ough, augh) Reading long words Applying letters and sounds in writing Possible Teacher Prompts Look at the first letter. What sound does it make? Get your mouth ready. Check the picture and the first letter. Look through the word. Check the last letter, too. Check it. What would you expect to see at the end of that word? Were you right? What sound does that letter make? Use the vowel chart for help. That s like in the word. You know that sound. It s in this word, too. Say the sounds. Put them together fast. Use your finger to blend the sounds. Is that a real word? Does it make sense? Flip it. Try the other sound. Use the vowel chart for help. Look at the long vowels. Long e can be spelled many different ways. That s one way. What sound could those letters make? It s like in the word. Use the (vowel + r or funky chunks) chart. Read a part at a time. Put it all together. Use your finger to cover up the rest of the word, and read it a part at a time. Move your finger across the word, and read the sounds in order. What letters make that sound? Close your eyes. Think about what that word looks like in a book. Say the sounds slowly. Write the sounds that you hear in order. Clap the word parts. Write the sounds you hear.

6 210 Making the Most of Small Groups Whole-Group Lesson for PHONICS Focus: using short vowel sounds in writing Method to maximize student engagement: shared writing, with students helping to write a message and the teacher being the scribe Materials: chart paper, black marker, short vowel sound chart with pictures, six-line white correction tape (for covering up errors) Model: thinking about which short vowel represents the sound needed to write a word Explicit language: What letter makes that sound? Use the vowel chart for help. Lesson: 1. Gather the class near you and decide on a short message with your students. It could be a note to your principal or a request for the custodian or cafeteria. 2. Together decide what you want to say, one sentence at a time. Have kids help you spell words with short vowel sounds. Refer to the chart and help them decide upon the correct vowel. 3. After you write a sentence, go back and reread it. Then add the next sentence. Write a message that s a bit more advanced than you d expect students to write independently. 4. When you re finished writing the message, have students come up to the chart paper and circle or highlight words with short vowel sounds. Have them read these words together. Small-group connection: Review the short vowel sound chart before reading a new book that has lots of short-vowel words. Remind students that they know these sounds and that when they see words with these vowels, they can use the sounds to help them figure out the new words. During the lesson, praise students for using the chart if needed and for reading the correct short vowel sound to problemsolve on new words. After reading, students might go on a word hunt in their new book for short-vowel words to reinforce these patterns. Do writing in response to what they read also. You might share the pen and write together in small group. Note: This same type of lesson could be done with long vowel sounds. Focus on a particular long vowel or two, though.

7 Appendix F: Phonics 211 Whole-Group Lesson for PHONICS Focus: decoding CVC words and blending sounds Method to maximize student engagement: word sorting Materials: pocket chart, large letter cards, word cards (three-by-five-inch) Model: how to blend known sounds to read words; how to change the first letter to make a new word Explicit language: Say the sounds. Put them together fast. Use your finger to blend the sounds. Is that a real word? Does it make sense? Lesson: 1. Seat the children around a large pocket chart. Tell them they are going to help you make words with letters they know. 2. Start with letters they know. Hand each child a letter card. Then say a word, and have those kids bring their letters up to the chart (in order). For example, for mat, the children with m, a, and t come up and place their letters in the pocket chart. Then blend the sounds together to read the word. Place a word card that says mat beside the letters and have the class read it with you again. 3. Then take away the m and ask for the letter that will make this word say hat. Have the child holding h come up to the chart and place the h in front of at. Blend the sounds together and repeat as above. 4. Continue making words, including mat, cat, hat, sat, that, fat, rat, bat, flat, splat. Then make another family of words, such as jam, yam, bam, slam, ram, wham, swam. 5. Put a word card like cat on the top left of the pocket chart and read it together. Put a word card from the other word family, like jam, on the top right of the pocket chart. Hold up the cards, one at a time; have kids read each with you and point to the side it goes with. Sort the words by word family and read them. Small-group connection: Give kids magnetic letters or letter cards and have them build several CVC words with you before reading a book with CVC words in it. Remind them that they know how to blend and to do this as they read today.

8 212 Making the Most of Small Groups Whole-Group Lesson for PHONICS Focus: decoding long words Method to maximize student engagement: shared reading of a poem or nonfiction text Materials: transparency or PowerPoint of a poem or nonfiction text with several multisyllabic words that students might not recognize instantly Model: how to break a word into parts, read each syllable, and blend them together Explicit language: Read a part at a time. Put it all together. Use your finger to cover up the rest of the word, and read it a part at a time. Move your finger across the word, and read the sounds in order. Lesson: 1. Project a poem or short piece of nonfiction text onto the board. 2. Read it with the students. Pause when you get to a long word, such as permission. Show kids how to look at one part of the word at a time, syllable by syllable, read each part, and then blend them together. Then go back and reread the phrase or sentence to be sure it makes sense. 3. Repeat several times, reiterating the process of how to decode a long word. Small-group connection: Review this process by writing several long words on a dry erase board. Have kids take turns circling parts they know, and then blending the sounds together. Remind students to do this as they read by using their finger to look across the word and blending together the parts in order to decode the new word. Also tell them to go back and reread if they ve forgotten what the sentence was about.

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