Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Classic Post: Guided Reading Activities with Phonics—with FREE Download!

Posted by Brian Hopkins on Aug 12, 2014 8:00:00 AM

This is a guest post by Brian Hopkins that was originally published in October 2013. If you like what you see here, click here to read his other posts, or check out his blog, Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings, which has a Common Core focus and posts with topics as diverse as phonics, science, and math.

Guided Reading Activities with Phonics

Last time, I discussed tying in informational texts and their text features with learning about animals. Today, I am excited to share with you some guided reading activities that focus on phonics.

The first thing you need to do is find out at what level your students are reading and what phonics skills they lack. Then you can pick out some books on an instructional level (where the child reads 90–94% of the words correctly) that have a few of those sounds. There are some terrific books in The Joy Cowley Collection that do just that for children who are past the phase of reading books with repetition. 

Here is a list of a few books and the phonics sounds that could be targeted in each:

joy cowley booksHairy Bear and the Door: aw/au – saw, paw, sausage; ow – growled, howled, yowled 

Hairy Bear on the Roof : o-e – rose, hose, nose

Fix-It Bear: short vowels – sad, glad, box, pup, up, fix, it, not, will, is, this; ay – play, away 

Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Farm Fair – ea/ee: clean, neat, sweet.  oa/o-e: rose, hose, soap, moans, groans; est – cleanest, neatest, tidiest, sweetest

Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Tub: ea/ee – seats, beach, sea, seen

Now that you have come up with a phonics skill to work on and a book that includes it, you can give the students some word work activities. Elkonin Boxes are small boxes split up with lines. Have the children push up a counter for every sound (not letter) in the word. So if the word is elkoninboxes5"fix," they would say the sounds one at a time as they pushed them into each part of the box /f/ goes into the first part, /i/ into the second, and x into the third. If the sound is oa and the word is "soap," they would push the first sound /s/ into the first box, the next sound oa /o/ into the second box, and the /p/ into the third box. 

Another fun activity children love is sorting words. Pick two phonics sounds that are similar or one that has more than one way to spell the same sound, such as ea and ee. Give the children a page of words to cut out and place into the correct category, ea or ee, etc. Have the children highlight the target sounds. Then they can practice reading the words to a partner or a teacher. To download a a FREE PDF of 2 word sorts, scroll to the bottom of the page! It's from one of my best sellers, which includes 41 word sorts.

One more activity that children love doing is looking in the book for a specific sound (word hunt) and when they find it, they use highlighter tape by placing the tape (which comes off easily) on the word they are searching for. 

After doing some of these fun activities, you can have the students in your group read the book you chose with those target sounds. You have now helped set them up for success! I hope you enjoyed these fun activities and find them useful for your students.

~~~

My name is Brian Hopkins and I am from Brevard County, Florida. I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education K–6. I also have my ESOL endorsement and am CET certified to mentor teachers and have student interns. I taught Kindergarten for three years, 2nd grade for five years, and completed a short term in 5th grade. I also subbed in a 3rd/4th grade class for a month. Currently, I am a substitute teacher as I try to seek a new teaching assignment, which I hope is right around the corner! In my spare time, I enjoy listening to country music, reading, and making teaching materials.

~~~

For more information on The Joy Cowley Collection, which includes the books featured in today's post, you can click here to visit our website, or click the image below on the left to download an information sheet with key features! To download Brian's word sort PDF, click the image on the right, and ENJOY!

New Call-to-Action   Hopkins Word Sort

Read More

Topics: Joy Cowley Collection, K-2 Literacy, Brian Hopkins, Guided Reading, Phonics

Using Mrs. Wishy-Washy to Teach Digraphs—with FREE Download!

Posted by Laureen on Feb 19, 2014 8:00:00 AM

This is a guest post by blogger Laureen. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Teach with Laughter, for more of her writing.

Hello Everyone! It’s Laureen visiting again from Teach With Laughter to share with you one of the word work activities that I use in my classroom. Just saying the name Mrs. Wishy-Washy makes me think of the digraph ‘sh’. I would begin by reading a Mrs. Wishy-Washy book and having students point out all the ‘sh’ words. If your students are anything like mine you probably have a few who mix up the sounds of ‘sh’ and ‘ch’ so I created this sorting center.

Here’s a little peek:

digraph preview 287 digraph sorting pic 287

To use this activity, you will need to download the two clothesline sorting mats and the twelve t-shirts cards at the bottom of the page, and print them in your choice of color or black & white. On each t-shirt is a picture which begins with either the ‘sh’ or ‘ch’ sound. Students will sort the twelve cards onto the mats then there is a recording sheet to check for understanding.

digraph recording page 287

In my literacy stations I always include a student instruction card to help keep them on task and to decrease the number of times they interrupt me to ask what to do.

digraph I can card 287

This activity could be used with any Wishy-Washy book, but the inspiration for the clothesline came from the cover of Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Wash.

mwwwash 287

If you use this in your classroom or have other ideas of how you would use Mrs. Wishy-Washy to teach digraphs please leave a comment on this post.

~~~

Laureen is a grade one teacher in Canada. She has been teaching kindergarten and grade one for 22 years, has two children, and enjoys creating hands-on learning activities for her classroom.  You can read about more of her activities at her blog Teach With Laughter.

~~~

To learn more about the Joy Cowley Collection, click here to visit our website, or click the series highlights image below to download an information sheet with key features. To get today's free activity download (12 pages), click the digraph unit image below!

New Call-to-Action Wishy-Washy Digraph Unit Download

Read More

Topics: Mrs. Wishy-Washy, Joy Cowley, Phonics, Digraphs, Laureen

Using Literacy Frames to Aid Guided Reading

Posted by Richard Giso on Feb 14, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Richard Giso 200This is a guest post by Richard Giso, an occasional contributor to our blog. Click here to see his earlier posts, and check back here on our Classroom Literacy blog frequently to see if he's got a new post up! You could also check out his blog, called Mr. Giso's Room to Read, in which he writes about fun classroom activities, behavior management, and classroom management.

Using Literacy Frames

In one of my favorite professional books (Linda Hoyt's book Revisit, Reflect, Retell) the author suggests using "literacy frames" to serve as a visual for children to really look closely at a word that happens to give them trouble.

We often tell children to "sound it out" when they come across a new or troublesome word, as long as it's not a sight word with irregular spellings. Many times we instruct readers to look for patterns in words such as "chunks" and "word families." We may even see if the children can find what I call a "baby alert"; this is a smaller, "baby" word found in a larger word such as seeing the word "cat-" in the larger word "catcher." Also, it's always a great idea to encourage children to use what they know about phonics. Can they find a blend (cl-), digraph (-th), ending (-ing), etc.?

The literacy frames let readers interact with unknown words by first framing the word in its entirety, then honing in on the parts of the word that the children can decode. It works because it's concrete! As they sound it out, they maneuver the frame.

In the classroom, I call these valuable tools our "word framers." I have a box of dozens of them in my guided reading supply shelf. Each time we read in guided reading, students take one. Also, students know they can get up and get a word framer whenever they wish throughout the day. I have sent these home with parents to use with at-home reading, and I have used them in reading clinics, tutoring, teacher training and in interventions. They work really well! I have a large-sized word framer [see top photograph] for me to use when modeling how to use the word framers by reading a big book or a chart.

giso 6 1 300

Let's look at an example. Say a student comes to the word "away" in the text and is unfamiliar with the word. To help the student be successful in reading it, we must show the student how to dissect this word. The literacy frame works by framing perhaps the "-ay." The student may say "I know this says /ay/ because I know the word 'day,'" and would frame the "-ay.” A child may also frame the first letter "a" and note that it either has a long or short sound. In addition, the child may frame the word-part "way" and read that first, thus verbalizing that placing an "a" in front of "way" results in "away." By maneuvering the frame, the child fully understands word attack strategies in a much more hands-on manner.

giso 6 2 300

To make the frames, fold a long, thin piece of cardstock in half. Cut and save a rectangular strip from the middle. Then staple together the open ends of the large piece. Slip the cut-out piece in and staple the other end as pictured. Enjoy!

~~~

I'm a proud teacher with over 15 years of teaching experience. I began my teaching career as a fourth grade teacher at the Bates Elementary School in Salem, Massachusetts. Since then, I have taught fourth grade for eight years. From there, I moved to a job as a reading coach under the Reading First grant. Having missed my true passion—having a classroom of my own—I returned to teaching as a first grade teacher for the next five years.

Now I've moved to the Carlton Innovation School, also in Salem, Massachusetts, where I am ready to begin my first year as a member of a team of four teachers that teach grades one and two. In addition, I teach undergraduate and graduate students at Salem State University. My courses involve literacy, children's literature, and elementary education. My educational interests include early literacy, effective reading interventions, and positive classroom climates.

Read More

Topics: Richard Giso, K-2 Literacy, Guided Reading, Phonics

Guided Reading Activities with Phonics from Brian Hopkins

Posted by Brian Hopkins on Aug 15, 2013 8:00:00 AM

This is a guest post by Brian Hopkins, a recently featured teacher in our Teacher Spotlight. Brian will be contributing from time to time, so if you like his activities, check back frequently. You could also check out his blog, Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings, which has a Common Core focus and posts with topics as diverse as phonics, science, and math.

Guided Reading Activities with Phonics

Last time, I discussed tying in informational texts and their text features with learning about animals. Today, I am excited to share with you some guided reading activities that focus on phonics.

The first thing you need to do is find out at what level your students are reading and what phonics skills they lack. Then you can pick out some books on an instructional level (where the child reads 90–94% of the words correctly) that have a few of those sounds. There are some terrific books in The Joy Cowley Collection that do just that for children who are past the phase of reading books with repetition. 

Here is a list of a few books and the phonics sounds that could be targeted in each:

joy cowley booksHairy Bear and the Door: aw/au – saw, paw, sausage; ow – growled, howled, yowled 

Hairy Bear on the Roof : o-e – rose, hose, nose

Fix-It Bear: short vowels – sad, glad, box, pup, up, fix, it, not, will, is, this; ay – play, away 

Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Farm Fair – ea/ee: clean, neat, sweet.  oa/o-e: rose, hose, soap, moans, groans; est – cleanest, neatest, tidiest, sweetest

Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Tub: ea/ee – seats, beach, sea, seen

Now that you have come up with a phonics skill to work on and a book that includes it, you can give the students some word work activities. Elkonin Boxes are small boxes split up with lines. Have the children push up a counter for every sound (not letter) in the word. So if the word is elkoninboxes5"fix," they would say the sounds one at a time as they pushed them into each part of the box /f/ goes into the first part, /i/ into the second, and x into the third. If the sound is oa and the word is "soap," they would push the first sound /s/ into the first box, the next sound oa /o/ into the second box, and the /p/ into the third box. 

Another fun activity children love is sorting words. Pick two phonics sounds that are similar or one that has more than one way to spell the same sound, such as ea and ee. Give the children a page of words to cut out and place into the correct category, ea or ee, etc. Have the children highlight the target sounds. Then they can practice reading the words to a partner or a teacher. To download a a FREE PDF of 2 word sorts, scroll to the bottom of the page! It's from one of my best sellers, which includes 41 word sorts.

One more activity that children love doing is looking in the book for a specific sound (word hunt) and when they find it, they use highlighter tape by placing the tape (which comes off easily) on the word they are searching for. 

After doing some of these fun activities, you can have the students in your group read the book you chose with those target sounds. You have now helped set them up for success! I hope you enjoyed these fun activities and find them useful for your students.

~~~

My name is Brian Hopkins and I am from Brevard County, Florida. I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education K–6. I also have my ESOL endorsement and am CET certified to mentor teachers and have student interns. I taught Kindergarten for three years, 2nd grade for five years, and completed a short term in 5th grade. I also subbed in a 3rd/4th grade class for a month. Currently, I am a substitute teacher as I try to seek a new teaching assignment, which I hope is right around the corner! In my spare time, I enjoy listening to country music, reading, and making teaching materials.

~~~

For more information on The Joy Cowley Collection, which includes the books featured in today's post, you can click here to visit our website, or click the image below on the left to download an information sheet with key features! To download Brian's word sort PDF, click the image on the right, and ENJOY!

New Call-to-Action  Hopkins Word Sort

Read More

Topics: Joy Cowley Collection, K-2 Literacy, Brian Hopkins, Guided Reading, Phonics

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all

Follow Me