Studying word families is a logical and friendly way to study letter-sound correspondence and vowel patterns. Here we are studying the word family -at, -ap, -am; however, this tool could be used for any word families. This is an activity for small group time so that you can watch the student interact with the materials and you are able to hear their responses.
Earlier today, after reading "Rat-a-Tat Cat", we were building new words from words we already knew. We took a word like cat, took off the c and replaced it with a b. What new word did we make? And when we replaced the b with an f, what did we get? When you have a list of new words that end with the same sound, what might we call these lists? Yes, they are rhyming words, but I am looking for a different name--word family. When we go to our station time, some of you will work in a small group with me, and make a tool that will help you learn and read word families. The tool is called a Paint Chip Slider.
My stations are set up in a rotation. I have eight stations:
Technology Station which includes computer or I-Pad time;
Word Work Station which includes working with reading foundational skills like words sorts, forming letters with Play-doh, magnetic letter activities;
Writing Station which includes handwriting and story writing activities;
Creation Station which has rebus directions to follow to complete a project;
Exploration Station which includes informational text reading and exploring the world around us;
Big Book Station which includes using highlighting tape to mark words and for story retelling activities;
Poetry Station which includes putting weekly poems in order and then writing high frequency words in the poem. The children have binders for these.;
Listening Station which includes listening to stories on the CD player, but also, doing phonics lessons that are directed through an audio tape.
While children are at these stations, I will do a mini-lesson like "paint chip sliders", with small groups of children. I try to see twelve children a day so that I can do two mini lessons a week with my class.
We will be making paint chip sliders at the station so that the children can have it to practice with at home. I take my examples and put them in a basket for the children to continue to use at school. The materials are free from home improvement stores, and I love it when I can find the paint chips that have the holes cut out of them already.
Boys and girls, sometimes the activities that we do together are done in small groups. This way, everyone can have a chance to work with materials and we can hear each other better as we discuss what we are doing. Today, we are going to make paint chip sliders. What I like about these reading tools is that I can pick up the materials we need at Lowe's or Home Depot. Who has been to one of these stores? Do you remember seeing the wall of colors in the paint department? The materials we need are from that section and they are free! I look especially for the paint chips that already have the holes cut into them, so it saves me time and work.
The first thing that we need to do in order to make this tool is to write your name on the back, turn it over to the colored side, and put the holes on the left side. Working carefully so that you stay on the top color, write the letters: at. On the middle color, write ap, and on the last color write an. We will be practicing word families that have the short a sound. Let's read what we have written so far: at, ap, an. This is all we need to do to on the front of the slider.
On the back of the slider, we are going to tape a piece of cardstock to help hold the letter slider in place. Now turn your slider over so that you can see the words that you are making. The first time through, you will be reading the slider words to me, but the second time, you will write the words down on a Paint Chip Slider recording sheet.
Once the children have finished their slider and recording sheet, I will sit down with them one-on-one to have them read through the slider words again. On the recording sheet, I will highlight the words that the children struggled with so that these can be practiced more during the week. The children will put the slider and recording sheet inside their book boxes, so that if there is an available volunteer, they can provide the students with additional practice. The recording sheet and slider will go home on Friday for the child to keep and to receive extra practice.