I want to tell you today about a sweet activity I do once a week (on Fridays) in my classroom - Making Words!
I first learned about Making Words when I was doing a clinical in a third grade classroom. My cooperating teacher did the activity once a week and I really loved it so I decided to do it in my own classroom!
If you aren't familiar with this situation, here is the scoop. Every student gets a worksheet with 5-6 letters on the top of it in boxes. They cut out the boxes and then I call out words for them to make with their letters! Typically, each week has one or two word families that they're working with. This week I think it was -an and -ack maybe? Anyway, as you can see in the picture, the words start easy - "an", for example. As you move on, they get a little more complicated - beginning blends, digraphs, what have you.
I love this activity for several reasons, and here they are!
- It gives all of my students a chance to practice decoding, encoding, and reading skills in a low-stress environment. Their affective filter is low, so to speak, because they are doing the activity in a large group and can lean toward a friend if they need a little help.
- The kids LOVE coming in the front of the room to make the words. As you can see in the picture, I have magnetic letters that I use to have the kids demonstrate the correct spelling.
- The activity is differentiated in and of itself. The "easier" words are challenging for my low first graders, and the harder words are just right for my second graders. I can call on lower students to show the first few words and I can call on higher students for the last few. Nobody has any idea that I am handpicking the kids for certain words... :)
- It is great for kinesthetic learners! They get to manipulate the letters on their desks AND on the board if they get called up! It hits visual and auditory as well - the visual learners SEE the letter magnets on the board, and the auditory learners HEAR us spell it together out loud!
- It touches on vocabulary if they give you some weird words to make!
- It gives some of my students some MUCH NEEDED cutting practice. That's all I have to say about that......
I bought a book to just print the pages out of. Here is what I have (except I have the first grade version...).
There is probably a new or updated version without a lady in a denim jumper on the front but whatevs. :)
You can also make your own letters and lists of words if you are focusing on a specific word family or spelling pattern for the week.
Yay for Making Words!