phonemic awareness

Key to the Code– phoneme blending

Today for Words Wednesday we are going to work on some phonemic awareness, the understanding of how sounds (phonemes) work in words.

The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry– this is the story of a very unique friendship. A baby crow finds itself cold and lost until a kindly scarecrow helps.

Lets use some of the images in this story to work the Key to the Code game. Provide your child with 5-10 keys, real or ones made of paper.

Tell your child that you are going to tell him/her a word in secret code! The key to unlock the code is to blend the sounds together. For example you would say /b/ /ir/ /d/ and your child will say bird. If your child gets the word correctly with little to no support, they get to take a key. When all the keys are collect, switch roles.

Few tips!

Start by play I-spy style… you can use images from the story– bird (/b/ /ir/ /d/), hat (/h/ /a/ /t/), crow (/c/ /r/ /ow/), hay, (/h/ /ay/). The key to this format is having the visual for your child to refer back … so if you do not want to use the pictures from the story, then pick items around you book, apple, etc…

Choose words with two or three phonemes to begin with, then move onto longer words.

Say the sounds with a distinct break to start. They do not get the word, then say the sounds a bit faster to see if they are able to make the connections.

If your child is doing awesome with this skill… then move onto longer words! You can also transition to having your child write the word as they sound it out to make the phonics connection as well! (remember at this age the goal is to get all the sounds but they might miss some and not know the correct phonics skill yet– they may write cro for crow or brd for bird…. this is fine)

phonemic awareness · story · topic

The Forever Tree

As we continue to learn about trees, I wanted to find a story that talked about how what we can give trees and what trees can give us. I could have shared The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, but I figured I did not need to share this as it is such a traditional and well loved story.

Instead, I decided to share The Forever Tree by Donna Lucas and Teressa Surratt. In this story, humans and animals love the tree. A grandpa hung a swing on the tree for his granddaughter and the people and the animals used the the tree in harmony. In the spring the tree did not come back, it was ill. The animals worked with the humans to fix the tree. They created a treehouse for all to use and see. The tree was not the same, but it still was filled with love. — this story is based on a true story that took place in Wisconsin, USA

Take some time to today to appreciate the trees around you. What can you do to help the trees?

Today lets work on a phonemic awareness activity. Phonemic awareness is the understanding of how sounds work in words. It is done without looking at the letters, but focusing on the auditory composition of words.

Today you can teach your child the game “Oddball Out” (or pick a different name if you don’t like that one…) With this game, you will say three words that have something in common.

Start with focusing on beginning sounds such as:

  • clock, man, kite
  • fish, phone, mouse
  • drink, lunch, lady

Once that is mastered, moved onto rimes

  • cat, hat, man
  • book, read, look
  • bill, tap, clap

You then could try out ending sounds:

  • pen, fan, tag
  • rap, rug, tip
  • drum, tank, black

Do not feel like you have to master any or all of these skills in one try. Listening to and recognizing the phonemic differences is a developmental skill. Children who have stronger phonemic awareness become stronger readers… start working with your child on his/her oral understanding of how letter and sounds work… it will pay off!

math · teachers pay teacher · topic

Apple Pie Tree

This week we will talk about all things APPLES! Who doesn’t love this tasty fall fruit?

This week’s story is The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall. Two sisters discuss the life cycle of the apples on the tree in their backyard. The story takes you through the four seasons from the bare tree of winter to picking apples to make apple pie.

After reading this story, lets do some apple tree math! I am going to share two simple math activities that you can easily do at home, and your child will enjoy!

Roll and Draw

  • paper
  • crayons/markers
  • dice

Have your child draw 4-6 apple trees (without apples). Roll the die and write the numeral on the trunk. Draw that many apples on the tree. If your child is ready, you can add in a second die. I would suggest using two different color dice if you have them and then have your child draw two different color apples.

Add and Draw

  • paper
  • markers/crayons
  • number cards (either create your own or use a deck of cards)

Again have your child draw apple trees without apples, I would draw less trees this time because they need more space, or use both sides of the paper. Have your child choose two cards, one card for each addend. They will write the number fact on the trunk and draw the apples on the tree. Again use two different colors for each addend.

In the picture, I show three ways to add to count. The first picture shows the base skill counting each apple from one to seven. The second tree illustrates counting on, I circled the six red apples and started counting up from there 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. The final tree is more of a first grade skill, but one worth looking at or showing your child. It is the concept of making know facts. In this case I made a doubles fact that I know. I found a group of five, and another group of five then added on the 1. I already know that 5+5 is 10 so I can count on from there. (This is also a make a 10… these are math strategies that are taught typically in first grade)

Apple Tree Ten Frames

Looking for more apple math activities? In my Teachers Pay Teachers store, you will find:

Apple Tree Ten Frames: practice using ten frames to practice number sense and addition.

Apples Abound: includes a variety of apple activities for both math and literacy (graphing, patterning, apple parts, Johnny Appleseed extension and more)