Monday, June 4, 2012

Fun with word work

In recent years the more and more I read the more I believe that word work, for the most part, needs to happen in the context of reading.  I truly believe that it fits into guided reading (in primary) perfectly.  So the word work piece in my 90 minute reading block consist of word wall, guess the covered work and minimal phonics.  I just don't believe that every kid is ready for the same phonic lesson at the same I introduce but definitely don't go deep with the whole group.  Words Their Way is done in small groups as well working within their needs set. 

All that being said I broke the rules today and did word work centers for 60 whole minutes....woah, that feels good to get off my chest!  I pulled out some old games that I used to use for a bit of review.  The kids grouped themselves but it ended up being nice heterogeneous groups.  The games are really active and my kids were so pleased.

Here's a look at what they did:
1.  Jenga type game with directions written on each piece.  Chanting words from the word wall, reading words from the word wall, rhyming, creating words, moving to words (squatting, kicking, etc.) were just a few of the things they had to do.
2. Creating words with blends and vowel digraphs using egg cartons with ping pong balls in them.  Of the three balls, the first had various consonants, the middle had digraphs and the last had consonants and consonant blends.  The students used circle stickers to show their word in their notebooks.

3. Toss for r-blends had four containers with r-blends labeled on the outside.  The kids said a word using one of the r-blends then had to toss a bean bag into the corresponding container.  After they wrote the word.

4. The last game review diphthongs using water bottles with streamers stuff {jammed} inside.  Then I added laminated words that had various different diphthongs.  The students shook and jiggled the bottles to find words.  The students then wrote them down.

The kids really had a blast and it was a good chance for me to see how successful they had become.  Makes my heart feel a little better about sending them on :)

In other exciting news I had a brand new cart of books delivered in my room today!  Does it get any better than that?  It's like a teacher's lottery!!  The cart of books are to support our new adoption of the Common Core.  I will be sharing with the other first grade teachers...we are lucky ducks.  The cart and books are from Booksource.  They have book sets for each grade level that support the common core.
I am so pumped and as I am unpacking and labeling them my kids are pleading and are crazy to get their hands on them!  Here are two pictures I took at the end of today {please ignore my packing mess!}.  I still have some work on it tomorrow.
For this beautiful set I have made Common Core Book labels.  Build your own Common Core library based off the books you own! 



  1. Oh my goodness I love your book cart and am extremely jealous! You're right, it doesn't get any better for a teacher!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  2. Where did you find the jenga pieces that look like bones?