Hi, friends! Ashley here from One Sharp Bunch! I'm back with my next post in my Guided Reading 101 series. If you missed last month's post about scheduling and organizing, you can check it out here. In last month's post, I mentioned that each of my guided reading lessons is much like a workout, containing a warm-up phase, workout phase, and cool down phase. This month's post will be all about the warm-up phase!
During the warm-up phase, the students complete a quick alphabet, phonological awareness, or phonemic awareness activity to warm up the brain. This activity lasts approximately 3-5 minutes. My kiddos especially enjoy this quick activity, as it is always an engaging (or FUN) way to practice the phonological and phonemic awareness skills we have been working on in class. These activities may include...
- Alphabet Bingo
- Alphabet Chart and Chant
- Missing Letter
- Syllable Work
- Rhyme Time
- Stretchy Snake
- Read and Reveal
- Elkonin Boxes
- Sound Lights
- Slinky Stretch
- CVC Sliders
WARNING: Picture overload to follow!
Since we are well into the school year, I will focus this post on some hands-on phoneme segmentation activities. Phoneme segmentation is the process of breaking a word apart into its individual sounds. It is the opposite of blending sounds together to form a word. However, the two often go hand-in-hand. Phoneme segmentation helps build phonemic awareness and is one of the first steps in the reading process. Oftentimes, students have difficulty orally "stretching out" a word... so we may practice this skill during the warm-up phase of our guided reading lesson.
Of course, I'm going to save my most favorite segmenting activity for last... so keep reading for a FREEBIE sample! :)
One warm-up activity that is relatively simple to complete is using Elkonin, or sound boxes. I like to do this with our "Stretch It Out with Stretchy" mats. This idea came from the fabulous Deanna Jump. You can use the mat in a variety of ways, including pushing sound chips. The students will push a chip into the box each time they say a sound in the word.
As the year progresses, we may spell the word with magnetic letters and push a letter each time we say a sound...sorry I do not have a picture of this. To further differentiate, we also use a dry erase marker to record each letter as we segment the word.
Another simple, yet effective, phoneme segmentation activity is what I like to call "sound lights." I originally saw this idea on Pinterest, and then a coworker recently shared a related post on FB. For this activity, you will need one touch light for each phoneme in the word.
I like to use the "sound lights" with a small group. Each child gets a light and a letter card. The first child will start by saying the first sound and push his/her light on. The second child will say the middle sound and push his/her light on. The last child will say the ending sound and push his/her light on. Then, everyone says the word as they push their lights off. Believe me... this is so much fun (and engaging) and memorable!
My kiddos also love to use Slinkys when segmenting words! I read about this idea on Tara West's blog.
We begin with the Slinkys pushed together and on the table. This is important! Otherwise, you will have Slinkys flopping in the air... trust me! Remember to establish these few ground rules. Then, we segment the word as we stretch out the Slinkys. After saying each individual sound in the word, we push the Slinkys back together and say the word.
The last phoneme segmentation activity I am going to share with you involves color coded beads and word cards. CVC Sliders are my most favorite hands-on segmenting activity! The beads and word cards are color coded for directionality. This helps the students read from left to right. Think of this as a stoplight with colors that slide.
Green is for the beginning sound, yellow is for the middle, and red is for the ending sound (since red means stop). First, we touch each colored dot as we say each sound. Then, we slide our finger across the arrow and blend the sounds together to form the word.
We also use our color coded CVC slider as we segment the word. The students will slide one bead for each phoneme in the word. After sliding all three beads and saying all three phonemes, they will push the beads back and say the word. In the beginning of the year, I like to use the cards with pictures to provide extra support.
As the students become better at segmenting and blending, we will use just the color coded word cards. This is a bit more difficult, as the students are not able to rely on the picture support when blending the sounds back together.
To differentiate even further, we often use the CVC Slider picture cards. These cards require oral segmentation of the word, which is a much more difficult skill.
Want to give CVC Sliders a try in your classroom?!? Grab a FREEBIE sample below!
I truly hope you have enjoyed these warm-up activities! I will try my best to pull out some of the activities I use in the beginning of the year and snap a few pictures. Don't forget to check out my first Guided Reading 101 post all about organization and scheduling.
Next month, I will be back with a post all about the workout phase of my guided reading lesson. This is meat, or nitty gritty as I like to say, of the lesson.
Until next time!