Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wondrous Word Work



If I were a first grader, I think my favorite literacy station would be word work! I try to allow my students a variety of choices for working with words of the week. There are so many possibilities for activties, and I am often making up new ideas as I introduce new phonics patterns. For example, when we learn the digraph ch, I created a "Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie" game, and the kids would put pretend cookies on a pan, then flip them over with a spatula to practice reading and spelling the word found on the other side. The following activties are what you might see in the word work basket from week to week. Usually, I allow 2 or 3 activities in the basket at a time, then rotate them back in every few weeks to keep the kids from getting bored.

Play-Doh letters: use letter cookie cutters to create words! *Voted most popular by my first graders*

Sparkle letters: these are sparkly foam stickers.

Scrabble Words: I have a cute worksheet to go with this activity. It incorporates math by having the kids add up the letters of the words they create.

Mini Magna-Doodles.


Also, the chip board letters pictured at the top of this post are fun for spelling!

Other ideas:

*Mini chalkboards/whiteboards
*Magnet letters
*Fun fonts: cut out letters from magazines to build words.
*Letter stamps
*Sand box: put sand in the lid of a shoebox, and draw words in the sand
*Rainbow spelling: use different colored markers to spell words
*Wikki Stix
*Bottle cap spelling: put letters on the tops of bottle caps

When I do a fun phonics based activity, I will try to post pictures! Any teachers out there with some great new ideas for word work? I'd love to hear them!

30 comments:

Madeline said...

I use the playdough activity as well. The most popular week was when we were reading a variety of Ginderbread stories. They practiced there sight words with Homemade Gingerbread playdough. They loved it!

Sneaker Teacher said...

These are all great ideas! Thanks for sharing... I will definitely be borrowing your ideas for my Kindergarten stations! :0)

KT

Sneaker Teacher said...

I liked your ideas so much, I linked to your post

http://sneakerteacher.blogspot.com/2010/08/bloggy-love.html

Thanks again!

KT

Karen Travels said...

I found some great letter beads a few years back. They string the words onto pip cleaners!! These are all great ideas!

Ginger Snaps said...

I sometimes wish I taught 1st or 2nd grade so I could do stuff like this! My kids are a little too old to do most of this stuff! Thanks for sharing! I can use some of these!

Mrs. Wife said...

Hey I love your containers! Where did you get them from???

Ashley

Sarah Cooley said...

Ashley--I got the containers for $1.00 at Wal-Mart! They are plastic index card holders, I think.

Mrs. Wife said...

Really! They look larger then a index card holder, but I am for sure going to look for them for my classroom! Thanks and I love all of your tips!

Kelly said...

Where did you get the sparkly letters? I love those :) Do the kids make any words they want, or do they have to make certain sight words etc? Great ideas :)

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the ideas! Another activity is to have the kids spell out the targeted words using dried kidney beans. I have a tub for the beans and a 9" x 12" piece of laminated construction paper they use to spell the words on.

Sarah Cooley said...

Kelly, I got the letters at Target, but I think you can find them at any craft store-- and Wal-Mart is selling pretty large bags of them in their craft section!

Janae said...

These are great ideas! I’ve also used alphabet cereal, alphabet pasta, and pretzels/marshmallows to make words. I usually use the food in one time/whole group activities, so I can monitor and then they can eat it afterwards. And of course I love using shaving cream! But that is definitely a teacher-monitored activity! :)

Sarah said...

I love all of these ideas! I'm definitely going to steal them :). I've also heard of kids writing their words on a chalkboard with paintbrushes dipped in water!

Brittany Sizemore said...

I found an activity online called "Scoop and Spell". All you need is an old ice-cream tub (the pint size), letters, and a scooper. The children scoop letters from the tub and spell as many words as possible using only those letters. By the way, I love your blog! Even though I teach third grade, I'm discovering I can adapt some of the ideas you post.

Erin said...

I love all of your ideas! This is such a great blog!
Rocks might be fun if you have a related unit, but I haven't tried them in the classroom. Here's how we used them at home: http://lettersoupblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/letters-rock.html

Hockeybabe3 said...

I am in love with your blog!!! So many WONDERFUL ideas!!! THANK YOU!!!

Elizabeth said...

Great ideas! Any chance you could email me the scrabble sheet? I'd love to use that this year with my first graders! elizabeth(dot)haskin(at)hotmail(dot)com Thank you!!!!

Sarah Cooley said...

Hey Elizabeth--go to Shari Sloane's website! That is where I found the Scrabble page to print! She has lots of other amazing printables too!!!

Erin Eberhart said...

Another great idea for the playdough is:
Buy clear plastic plates and use ellison dicuts to cut out letters...use contact paper to secure them on the bottom...and students can roll the playdough out on top of the plate to form the letter. I made them in both capital and lowercase...they are a HIT in my classroom! :)

Monica said...

Sarah- would you mind sending me a copy of your Scrabble letters worksheet? Sounds like fun!

:) THANKS!
MWeilbacher@marissa40.org

Mrs. Dahl said...

I love the Chip board idea, especially when they are on sale at Hobby Lobby! Thanks!


dahlsdugout.blogspot.com

kukuroo said...

Love the Scrabble "words for points" idea! I also love to spray shaving cream on the table, spread it around, and have kids write letters or words with their fingers. It's messy, but not hard to clean up and the room smells great! Another super easy one is to take paintbrushes outside and let kids write words on the sidewalk with water.

Kelli
www.smartfirstgraders.com

Emily said...

I also found this massive jumbo pipe cleaners at the craft store...There are probably 10x bigger/more fluffy than the regular big ones and are neon colors. My kiddos love to use them! I also have wiki sticks and magnetic letters.

Karen said...

Hair gel in a zip lock (or two) is great for tracing letters!

Karen said...

Hair gel in a zip lock (or two) for tracing letters is pretty fun!

Stacy said...

I know this is late but I found this on a pinterest pin. I use the glass beads from the Dollar Tree and call them "green globs". It is a crowd favorite!

I also have them use fun colored pipe cleaners and string alphabet beads for their words!

Stacy
2nd Grade Paradise

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the worksheet you use to go along with your Scrabble center. Have you posted it anywhere?
Kristi

Anonymous said...

I Love Love all these Great Ideas!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

I use popsicle sticks. I have my students spell out word using the sticks. We talk about how we can't make curved lines so the letter will not exact but they really seem to like this.

Anonymous said...

HELP!!! I couldn't find Shari Sloane's website.

kbellott@yahoo.com

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