I always start off my letter/sound instruction by singing two ABC songs. The first one focuses just on the letters and order of the alphabet. The second one focuses on the sound of each letter. I sing these songs every day of the school year. Even though I have not formally taught every letter and sound at this time of year, the kids quickly learn the songs and they actually recognize many of the letter sounds before I formally teach them. We then review pictures that begin with the sound of M. I use the same pattern for these pictures every day and with every letter. You will see this pattern throughout my lessons. The basic pattern is I say(name of picture), you say(name of picture), we say letter sound three times. For example, I may begin with the picture of 'mouse' with the letter M. I say: Mouse. Students say: Mouse. We all say: /m/ /m/ /m/
If you do not have any picture cards, here is a great video that does the same thing!
There are two parts to the word wheel. The front piece is a mailbox and has a window where the words and pictures show through. The circular piece has the /m/ words and pictures on it and those show in the windows of the front piece. The window that reveals the picture has a flap on it so that the students have to try to read the word before they actually know what it is from the picture support. I love that about these word wheels! I have one that I made and I show the students the finished product. I also show them how to use it.
I precut the windows on the front piece. They are small and tricky, so I do not let students cut them. It is fairly easy to cut 5 or 6 at a time, so it goes pretty quickly!
I model how to color the mailbox so that students see how to color nicely. Depending on time, I may or may not have them color the smaller pictures on the circle. I model how to cut out the mailbox and the circle. The circle, of course, is very easy to cut. But the mailbox can be tricky, so I make sure the kids know where to cut. After they color and cut, the students raise their hands and I come and put a brad in the middle to attach the front and back pieces. Students practice in partners to read the words and then take them home and try to read each of the /m/ words.
These are great vocabulary builders for students. Because Mm is the first letter we teach formally, I do not expect students to know these words. At this point I want them to become accustomed to using picture support to help them figure out words. On the word wheel they have a 1:1 correspondence with one word to one picture. It is a great training tool!
Each day students rotate through centers, going to one per day. I have a centers chart where students find their name and which center they are assigned to for that day. My centers are designed to address skills that students need, be it fine motor, gross motor or academic. Here are my centers for this week.
1. Pocket Chart- Students sort pictures into 2 groups: /m/ and non /m/. I have a basket of pictures (mouse, muffin, cat, car, motorcycle, castle, etc...) and students place the /m/ pictures under the 'M' card on the left side of the pocket chart and the /c/ on the right side of the pocket chart.
2. Writing- Students practice writing the letter Mm on white boards
3. Math- I have picture puzzles that have two pieces per puzzle. One side is a number 1-10 and the other side is a picture with a certain number of objects. Students must match the number to the correct set of objects. For example, they would match the number two with the puzzle piece that shows 2 bicycles.
4. Art M cut/paste-Students distinguish /m/ pictures and glue them in to a larger picture
5. Computer- students can listen to /m/ pictures and a story on starfall.com