Hola! I’m beginning to write this as I listen to Miss Francis, our Spanish teacher, working with the children outside. So hopefully my writing won’t transfer between Spanish and English as I quickly write this!
Last weekend I had the opportunity to listen to Becky from This Reading Mama talk and explain to us how she uses word work as a spelling strategy. We really need some more spelling lessons in our homeschool, because my Princess (8) can struggle a bit with spelling. She hasn’t built up her confidence yet. So after listening and thinking about how Becky teaches spelling in her home, I was excited to get back and implement a few of the strategies she had taught us!
Day 1: Word Sort
My Kindhearted Princess is working with long o words this week. So I typed up a list of words with both short and long o sounds. I also included the word “do” which has a different sound. I did this to get her to think about the three different sounds that o can make.
We began the activity by reading through the 16 words that I created and then I chose one long o word like “boat” and one short “o” word such as “moss”. I then put each word side by side on our pocket chart. I told her to make two groups using the two words I selected as her guide. She quickly put all of the short o words under the word “moss” and the long “o” words under the word “boat”. She had placed the word “do” in the short o column. After reading through each column with her she realized that the word “do” was the odd man out. There was another tricky word in the list, “follow”. It makes both the short o and the long o sound. She put it in the middle.
Day 2: Word Sort and Write
On day two I had her do the activity all on her own. After she had quickly put the words in the correct place I had her write down the words in her Word Work (or Reading) notebook.
Day 3: Build a Word
On day three I pulled some letter cards that I had left over from an old reading curriculum. I asked her to see if she could build a word out of the letters. I thought she was really going to enjoy this activity. She did not. She only wanted to spell one word and then be done with it. However, I’m not going to give up on this activity. I think it’s a great way to challenge and provides a hands-on way to practice multiple word patterns. Here’s how we played it.
I set out various letters so she would have multiply opportunities to build a word. After she built a word such as “shell” I would then ask if she could replace the second consonant with another consonant to make another word. It took her a minute to find an “m” to build the word “smell.”
We were able to review a lot of word patterns, but she found it a bit frustrating when she couldn’t figure out the word I was trying to have her spell. I’m going to try another approach to this activity next time. I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes!
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