Sunday, September 16, 2012

Making Words

Hello and happy Sunday!!!

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!
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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... :)
  4. 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!
  5. It touches on vocabulary if they give you some weird words to make!
  6. 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!


  1. I have nothing to say, other than I'm back to blog reading! And as always your post makes me smile...denim jumper..."whateves"
    Mrs. Castro's Class

  2. I recently bought a making words book for second grade. It definitely has a more updated cover on the front. I am doing the first lesson tomorrow with the whole class. I think we'll do it that way for a bit until my kiddos are ready to do it at their seats. I would like to be able to post about how it's going sometime this week.
    Stories by Storie


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