This blog post outlines how I introduce a new letter, related sound and the follow-up Literacy Centers related to these.
Phonemic Awareness Warm-up
At the beginning of the school year many of my students do not understand the concept of beginning sound nor can they hear it. The activity below really assists in developing this skill.
I use a puppet named Slow Speaking Sam as a base for doing phonemic awareness activities. Slow Speaking Sam says sounds in words very slowly (CVC words). The students must first guess what word he said. After, three students come forward representing the sounds found within the word. We discuss the sound heard at the beginning, middle and end of it. After, I attach letters representing these sounds and the students hold these letters. Since the first phonics lesson focuses on the letter “Ll” and its corresponding sound, I will use words beginning with this sound (lap, leg, lip and log).
Introducing Letter During Shared Reading – Focus Letter “Ll”
I always introduce a letter sound in context of print during shared reading time. I will be using the emergent reader At School to introduce the focus letter “Ll” sound and the reading process (left to right progression and what a word is). I will display the reader on my Smart Board for all students to view as I model the reading process and focus on the sound of “Ll”. If you do not have a Smart Board, copy and cut the pictures and place them in a pocket chart along with the text printed on sentence strips.
The reader is found in the All About Me theme.
Smart Board Activities
I use the Smart Board activities demonstrated in the video as additional practice for students to hear and associate the letter “Ll” to its corresponding sound. If you do not have a Smart Board, practice using the Literacy Activity Centers outlined below as a whole group.
The students touch the spinner board and print the letter that represents the sound it landed on. The other game requires the students to sort the beginning sounds.
Practice Printing the Focus Letter
The students practice printing the focus letter on each others back, in the air and in the palm of their hand.
The Litearcy Centers are meant for the students to practice the skills they were taught in a fun and interactive environment. Most of the games are meant to play with partners which I select in terms of personality and ability. I have the students rotate from station to station (usually ten minutes per station).
Literacy Center One – Printing the Letter
Students practice printing the letter in their printing booklet found in the link below. If the letter is a more difficult one to print, I will have them practice on small dry erase boards first, until they have mastered how to print it.
Litearcy Center Two – Sorting Objects and Picture Cards
I have three sets of partners at the this station (table). I am fortunate to have multiple objects that I hide in rice tubs and the students dig and sort these according to if they begin with the letter “Ll” sound. If you do not have these objects, use the picture cards found in the theme unit. The students will be sorting the objects or picture cards according to if they begin with an “Ll” sound or not. I will only be using picture cards and objects beginning with “Ll and Hh” sounds.
Literacy Center Three – Spinning Top Game
Again, I have three sets of partners playing this game at a table. Each partner takes a turn spinning a top (good quality one) and must determine if they hear the letter “Ll” at the beginning of the picture the top landed on. If they hear the sound, they must print the letter.
Note: I place the board in a pie plate to control the path of the spinner.
Literacy Center Four – Alphabet Ordering FREEBIE
Again, I have three sets of partners playing this game. They draw a letter card, say the letter name (if they know it) and place it on the game board in the correct order. You can access this game from the link below:
Sight Word Practice
At the beginning of the school year I do not focus on sight words but phonemic awareness activities as this is really what my students need. They would learn sight words incidentally through reading the emergent readers during shared and guided reading. However, in the theme unit there is an activity that can be used if you wish to start introducing sight words. The sight words found within the reader At School would be “I and am”. The blank sight word roll the die or spinner board games could be used for this purpose.
Each day my students sing the interactive alphabet song video found in the link below
Letter “Ll” Focus Sound – Leo the Lion on Alpha Tunes Action Download
On the Alpha Tunes Action Songs download the students can sing and act out the song “Leo the Lion”. If you are a member, login, click on the link Song Book to access it.
I will also be pulling small groups of students for guided reading. We will be reading the black and white version of the emergent reader At School. I will be focusing on the left to right progression of print and what a word is. I will have the students circle the words found on each page. They will be taking the reader home to read to their parents.
As always, I hope you find these ideas helpful.
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