Each day we meet at the classroom rug to begin our literacy block. We talk about books that we have read and those which we will read. In doing this, we can set the mood for the story and build on the children's prior knowledge so that they can glean more meaning from the story itself.
Remember when we were together earlier today hearing a story about St. Patrick's Day, and we were talking about the leprechauns and their pots of gold? Some of you mentioned that leprechauns were lucky because they had all of that gold. Well, Dr. Seuss wrote his own book about being lucky called Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? This book puts a little different spin on being lucky. It takes the terrific advice of the wise old man in the Desert of Drize and reminds us how we should be thankful for our own lives. While we listen to this story, think about some things that make you feel lucky.
I then read the story aloud to the students.
On a piece of chart paper, I have written down the children's names so that they will each have an opportunity to share how they feel lucky. Doing this ahead of time saves on teaching time.
Now that you have heard the story, can you think of one way that you feel that you have been lucky in your life? I know some of you have more than one idea, but I have just enough space on my chart for you to give me one answer.
I go through the list and write down each answer. When Our Lucky List is complete, I reread it back to the class.
Studying word families is a logical and friendly way to study letter-sound correspondence and vowel patterns. Here we are studying the word family -uck.
Although you don't each have a pot of gold, it sounds to me like this is a very lucky class. Now I want you to think about the word luck. Can you help me to sound it out? What is the first sound that you hear? "L" Great! What is the next sound? I will give you a hint--it is a vowel. "U" The third sound is made with two letters together-"ck". Now if we write this out we would have a four-letter word. I would like a volunteer to write the words on the board for me.
If we took the beginning letter off the front, and replaced it with another letter like "t", what would our word become. What is we changed it to "d"? Now what would we have? We can repeat this many times to make new words, but I want to change our ending this time so that we can build words that end in -ot, like pot, in pot of gold.
The process can be repeated several times.
I have “pot of gold” boxes and the children manipulate lettered “gold” coins to form the words that are modeled after Elkonin boxes. Elkonin boxes are an instructional method used in the early elementary grades to build phonological awareness by segmenting words into individual sounds. The "boxes" are squares drawn on a piece of paper or a chalkboard, with one box for each sound or phoneme. To use Elkonin boxes, a child listens to a word and moves a token into a box for each sound or phoneme.
During our center time for this week, you will have an opportunity to build some words using my gold letter coins, because, after all, reading is as good as gold! There are some work mats that have pots of gold on them, and clipped to each pot is a baggie with gold coins inside. If you are building three-letter words, the letters on your coins will be black. If you are building four-letter words, your coins will have blue letters. This will help you keep your coins sorted from other people working at your table. I would like you to build words that end in -uck or -ot, so if you work on the -uck family, you will use the four-letter word building mat. If you are working on the -ot family, you will use the three-letter word building mat. As you build a word, I want you to write it on a list paper. When you are done with your work, you can put your paper in my basket and I can check to see which words you have made.