Vowels: The Long and Short of It

The Common Core states that in kindergarten, we:
K.RF.3   Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
K.RF.3b Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

Teaching long vowels can be tricky for some learners; especially those who are developing phonemic awareness.  Fortunately, there are some wonderful resources that help support student learning. 

For the past several years, I have used this resource from HeidiSongs with much success. Each day, we practice by saying the letter combinations, sound and motion.  After a few times, students begin to memorize them.  

Within the kit, is a reference sheet which I copy for each student.  Students keep them in their book box where they review the sounds during Independent Reading.  They also use them during guided reading, writing, and other times during the day.

Another favorite is this song. 

Click image for your copy of Two Vowels Together

I love to have my students act it out.  I pair them up and give them letter crowns to wear. We review who will do the talking and who will do the walking.  Then, we march around the classroom; some talking and some walking.  It is always fun.  We conclude the fun by watching this.  

My goal is to help my students develop an understanding about long vowels.  In kindergarten, I introduce the concept through reading and writing but over time (in first and second grades), they will have more opportunities to work with them.

Other related Common Core Standards:
1.RF.1a  Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
1.RF.3    Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
1.RF.3c  Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
2.RF.2b  Know spelling-sound correspondences for additional common vowel teams.

On another note:
Have you heard that Google Reader is "disappearing" July 1st?  Here are some options to keep in touch with me.  You can subscribe by email or follow on Facebook.  If you read lots of blogs, like I do, I recommend Feedly. It work on your PC or mobile device.

Happy Teaching!
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Freebie Fridays

Easter Basket Hat

So, it happened this week.  I looked around and kid watched. What I saw and heard reminded me why I love teaching.

In one corner of my room, I saw two boys looking at an animal magazine.  They were deep in conversation about tigers.  The amazing part was one of the boys at the beginning of the year barely spoke a word of English.  Now, he was leading the conversation.

In another area, I saw a group of girls chatting and giggling while writing.  They were deep in conversation about their work.  Others were busy at Word Work or reading along at the listening center.

I was sitting with a group of students while they completed a spring freebie.  Among the students was a little boy who has had a hard time fitting into our classroom.   Normally, he is a bit withdrawn.  But, not on this day.  He was chatty and I was delighted to see him in a different light.  Then, it happened.  He asked if we could make an Easter basket hat.  Not wanting him to feel as if his thoughts did not matter, I quickly went into action.

Here is what we came up with.  All you need is a sentence strip, construction paper and your imagination.

When I told the class about this little boy's idea.  They applauded and he smiled from ear to ear.  On Friday, when we left for spring break, we all were wearing our hats.  It wouldn't have happened if not for this child.  It helped to reaffirm that listening and letting kids have time to be kids does matter.    Sometimes the best things do come from the unexpected.

Happy Spring!

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Our Learning - In Pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words.  - Albert Einstein

Here are a few things that we've been up to in our classroom.

It's all good when you have a Pete the Cat mask. 
In honor of Read Across America, I was Pete the Cat.  
So, of course, I needed a few friends.  

We celebrated Read Across America by sharing our favorite books.
Then, we wrote about it.

 In social studies, we learned about maps.  We explored how to make a map of our home. 

This Target rug became an inspiration for a math center.
The greedy Leprechaun is known to slide over the rainbow to steal the gold.  

My intervention group has been helping Bob learn to rhyme. 
They found Bob to be so silly and were more than willing to help him learn to rhyme.
We wrote an interactive rhyming book.   

this has been my view lately.  Away from my students; assessing 1-1.  I love the data that it gives me and parents but I dislike not engaging and interacting with my class all day long.

I hope to be back to blogging soon.  In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook where you'll get an almost daily look into my teaching.

Until then,
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