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Showing posts with label comprehension. Show all posts
Showing posts with label comprehension. Show all posts

My Favorite Holiday Activity

Ever have one of those activities that's a win-win?  It's something that works so well, you keep bringing it back year after year. 




That's how I feel about this Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker.  I've done this activity with second graders for about 15 years now.
 
My Favorite Holiday Activity: Ever have one of those activities that are a "win-win"? It's fun, it's easy, and it's also educational? This is my favorite freebie

I've always loved the music from The Nutcracker. When my daughter was 5, I figured she was old enough to go into Boston to see the Boston Ballet perform the classic. We read a few versions of the story so she'd know what to expect, put on our very best holiday dresses, and drove into the city.


Since I knew the story so well, I brought the CD into school, and shared the story with my students. I wrote this summary of the classic story, and played the music while the children visualized what it must look like, then illustrated the different parts of the story.


Every year, the children loved the activity, and it practiced some valuable skills: visualizing, summarizing, and sequencing. Plus, it gives them some exposure to classic holiday literature and classical music. Of course, you can't miss when the setting is called, The Kingdom of Sweets!


A couple of years after seeing the production in Boston, my daughter had the opportunity to audition for a production of The Nutcracker. She was in the youngest group, and the little ones had a very small part, but it was priceless. She went on to perform in the Nutcracker 3 years in a row before life just got too busy with other performances. However, the story of The Nutcracker will always be near and dear to my heart.

Enjoy this freebie: The Nutcracker story for Visualizing, Summarizing, and Illustration! It's one of my favorites!



My Favorite Holiday Activity: Ever have one of those activities that are a "win-win"? It's fun, it's easy, and it's also educational? This is my favorite freebie

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Syllables... and Then Some

Did you know there were 6 kinds of syllables?

Some: This post discusses the 6 syllable types and why these are important in learning to read. It includes a multi-syllable freebie!


Knowing the different kinds of syllables will help the children move as readers from reading basic single syllable words to multi-syllabic words like watermelon and helicopter.


However, children shouldn't be trying to decode multi syllabic words until they have mastered single syllable words with blends, digraphs, short vowels, long vowel patterns, r controlled vowels,  diphthongs and other vowel pairs, prefixes and suffixes.


In my second grade class, I'm still working on fluency with short vowels with several of my students, but my top readers are very much able to decode multi syllabic words, as well as spell them!



Here are the six kinds of syllables:

  • Closed Syllable - These are short vowels followed by a consonant, such as  num in number, or vel in velvet
  • Vowel Consonant e Syllable - This is your classic long vowel/ silent e pattern such as ade in parade or cide in decide.
 
  • Open Syllable - These are long vowel syllables that end with the vowel such as ta in table and spi in spider.
 
  • Consonant l e Syllable - These are at the ends of words like ble in table and tle in little.
 
  • R- Controlled Syllable - These have an r controlled vowel such as gar in garden and der in under
 
  • Vowel Digraph/ Diphthong "D" Syllable - These contain a diphthong or a vowel diagraph. (Sometimes called "vowel teams") Examples are thou as in thousand and poi as in poison.
Why is it important to teach syllables?  When readers break unfamiliar words into syllables, the words become easier to decode. Learning about syllables also help students remember spelling patterns. Knowing how to decode syllables will help children become more fluent readers, and studies show that fluency helps comprehension. And that's our goal, isn't it?  

Many teachers teach syllables by having the children clap the beat of the syllables. This works for most children. 

A more tactile way is to teach the children to place their hand under their jaw as they say the words. As the mouth will open for every vowel sound (and each syllable represents a vowel sound) the jaw will tap the hand for each syllable.  

Want to read more about syllables?


  • Six Syllable Types on Reading Rockets was co-written by my instructor of the LETRS training, so it's got to be quality information!  (And interesting, too!)
  • Vocabulary.co.il has a couple of syllable games and videos for the kids.

I've put together a freebie with a couple of lists that can be used for practicing with syllables. There are a few options for using my syllables lists. They could be used simply as lists for children to practice reading. They could also be cut out and shuffled, for the kids to sort. They could sort by syllable type, or simply how many syllables are in the words. Find your freebie here: Reading 2 and 3 Syllable Words.

Enjoy your freebie and your 6 kinds of syllables!
 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-Two-and-Three-Syllable-Words-245510?utm_source=blog%20post%2046b&utm_campaign=multisyllable%20words


Want some more work on syllables? 

Check out Buggy Syllables 

and 


Plus, here's a blog post that explains more about why children should practice nonsense words:

 https://www.elementarymatters.com/2013/09/why-do-we-practice-nonsense-words_25.html 



Some: This post discusses the 6 syllable types and why these are important in learning to read. It includes a multi-syllable freebie!

A Few Thoughts About Fluency and a Freebie

Fluency is a big buzz word these days. I've seen it used for reading stories, decoding, and even math facts!

A Few Thoughts About Fluency and a Freebie: After extensive training on helping children read, we've narrowed fluency down to these 4 parts.

Since I attended my second session of the LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) training a few weeks ago, I've thought a lot about reading fluency.

A Few Thoughts About Fluency and a Freebie: After extensive training on helping children read, we've narrowed fluency down to these 4 parts.
LETRS training was one of the best PD training ever!







Studies indicate a direct relation between fluency and comprehension.



No surprises there, it makes sense that struggling readers would struggle with comprehension.  If they have a hard time figuring out the words, it's not very likely they will put together the meaning easily.

The experts define reading fluency with 4 phrases:

1. automaticity in word recognition
2. accurate word recognition
3. rate (speed) of reading
4. prosody, or expression

So, how do we build fluency?


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0KBPcFG6hwLVEVYYWJ2eXRYUk0/view?usp=sharing
  • Practice both phonetic patterns as well as sight words. Feel free to download my short a/ long a practice freebie by clicking the graphic above or click here: Vowel Word Work Freebie

  • Practice reading phrases and sentences a few words at a time. (Phrasing)

  • Practice reading simple paragraphs with expression.  

  • Oral Reading with a partner.  (using text of appropriate difficulty... "just right" text! 95 - 100% accuracy) 

  • Monitored Independent Reading
 

This full resource has all 5 vowels patterns: long and short vowels, with real words as well as nonsense words. Vowel Word Work: Word Sort and Fluency Practice


What do you do to build fluency?
A Few Thoughts About Fluency and a Freebie: After extensive training on helping children read, we've narrowed fluency down to these 4 parts.
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