Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reading Aerobics

Even though I teach second grade, I often find myself working with students with little understanding of letters and sounds.  At our school, we have adopted a wonderful program called SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phoneme Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) created by reading guru Dr. John Shefelbine.  I love this program, and have seen huge progress from my struggling readers in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency.   This program is essentially, reading aerobics.  Everyday we review sound/letter connections, manipulate phonemes, segment, and blend.  It's quite a workout, but for a teacher, completely manageable. 

Anyway, because of this program, I am always on the lookout for ways to incorporate more phonemic awareness exercises into our day.  It is a bonus if I can make these activities fun for the students.  I stumbled across many "I Have, Who Has" games on TPT.  They all involved reading words, but didn't go any deeper than that.  So, I created my own.  I have created two so far MANY, and a FREEBIE that you can catch at the end of this post.  The first one focuses on segmenting and blending CVC words. The second, on segmenting and blending words with digraphs.  Click the images below to take a closer look:

Ok, so here is where I have to say something about my first experience with "I Have, Who Has".  I absolutely hated it!  Billy didn't pay attention.  Bobby didn't speak loudly enough. Bonnie thought Billy said "rib" instead of "rid".  Oh great!  Now we were off by several cards.  I almost tossed the whole thing into the circular file.  (By the way, I have neither a Bonnie, Billy, nor a Bobby in my class.)

Thankfully, I am a stubborn woman.  I reflected on what had gone wrong.  I started thinking of ways to tweak the activity to solve the obvious problems.  We tried it again the next day.  Oh my goodness!  We LOVED it! They wanted to know when we were going to do it again.  Sigh.  Happiness.  Everything is right in the world once more.

So here are just a couple of tips for any teacher out there who decides to pick up an "I Have, Who Has" game. 

  • First, be patient and persistent.  These things, like most, take time and practice.

  • Second,  spend some time really teaching your students about segmenting and blending.  All of my games have posters, and a sort activity, that teaches  students the difference between "Stop" sounds and "Continuous" sounds.

  • Third, I think having the kids sit in a circle is best.  It allows students to see the reader's mouth when they are segmenting a word, thus reducing  confusion between sounds that are similar (p, d, t, b).

  • Fourth, find/create a game that has a master list of all the words in order.  That way you know if the kids have gotten off track before you reach the end of the game.  What!  Six people didn't get to read their card?  Oh, brother. (Yep, all my games have one!)

  • Lastly,  model and insist that students speak loudly and clearly.

These little lessons have made a huge difference for my students,  and for me.  I think activities like this are fun, and worthwhile, for our students.  I hope you will, too.

Here is a freebie, to get your started. Enjoy!

Looking for more phonemic awareness activities? Follow me on Pinterest!

Happy Wednesday!

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