We hit the classroom floor running at the beginning of the school year to help our students master their letter sounds. One of our favorite year long activities (No, that's not a typo...This lasts pretty much the entire school year for our class) for practicing our phonics skills is My Letter Sound Dictionary. We recently pulled it out to prep for the coming school year and noticed it needed a major metamorphosis. We are so excited about what emerged!
This unit got a major overhaul. The biggest change is that we've added mini word walls WITH pictures for all of the consonants and vowels. We love them!
Our first grade friend Stephanie over at Falling into First has a great tutorial on how to DIY this little anchor chart stand that we made to hold all of the mini word walls in one place. So, the kids will just flip to the one they need and get to work independently. We love the "I" word!
We make each of our students their own Letter Sound Dictionary and bind the pages together, but we have also had years where book binding combs are not in our budget, and a good old fashioned stapler (heavy duty) works just fine.
At the beginning of the school year, this is a whole group activity so we can teach procedure and expectations. But, as soon as they've got the hang of it, we incorporate this activity into our daily Workshop (centers) time. They use the Letter Sound Dictionary directions card to follow directions independently.
Our beginning readers need a lot of picture support, so the mini word walls are perfect for them. They choose 5 words to read, draw and write in their own student dictionaries.
For our fluent readers, we give them word rings...Same words as the mini word walls, but without picture support. Differentiation is a must in our classroom, and between the mini word walls and the word rings, we've got all our learners covered. We make 4 word ring sets so there are plenty for each student to use their own. They just flip to the letter they are working on, read the words and chose 5 to draw and write in their books. To extend their sound skills, we have them go back and rainbow write (choose 3 different colors and trace on top of their pencil writing) the targeted sound anywhere they find it on their page. They love this part!
At the bottom of each page, we ask them to choose one of their words from above and write it in a complete sentence. This takes them some time, but in the beginning we work whole group to teach expectations and super sentence writing. For more support, we'd give them a patterned sentence such as, "I see the _____".
This unit went from just under 70 pages to over 100. It's got everything we need for sound success and independence.
If you've already got this one, please be sure to update your download on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Exciting news! Our Cali Pal Hadar over at Miss Kindergarten is hosting an amazing Try it Free Tuesday on her blog all summer long and today's "try it" is us!
You can give this activity a try by heading over to her blog and downloading our Try it Free Tuesday sampler. Enjoy!