This is our new normal. This is my new normal. I used to wake up, get dressed, and drive to work. I now wake up, read a book while drinking coffee, put on yoga pants, a t-shirt, and my old sweater, and come downstairs to my table to start remote teaching. There is no choosing which of my favorite spring dresses I will wear, or which strappy sandals match because the yoga pants I own are on repeat mode. Wear, wash, repeat. And so when I videotaped the long a pattern lesson I wondered if I should perhaps style my hair (hair that needs a major haircut and conditioning treatment). But then I figured, my first graders won’t care what I look like, they’ll probably just be happy to see me because that’s how little kids are. They love their teachers and they love school. And they love being with their friends building, coloring, climbing, running, and in my classroom, rainbow looming.
I videotaped the lesson and noted all the funky wrinkles around my eyes, my chin, and mouth. I wanted to delete the video but then I realized how ridiculous I was being. My students are wanting more teacher time. They also need to learn these essential spelling patterns to better their reading and writing skills. Besides, my hair was dirty and I braided my hair which was a perfect tie in to the teaching of long a patterns. The word braid has the “ai” pattern and makes the long a sound. Fancy that!
I’m sharing some activities in case you as a teacher/parent are looking for ideas. I don’t have any materials here at my house so I’m making them up as I go. Students were directed to read books and be on a word hunt for these long a patterns. Then they write them on a chart. They are also going to be writing sentences using this word list.
Another activity is making words. This is what we are doing this week. Not sure if it will work via zoom but I’m going to give it a try.
Kids cut the letters out and then move them around as the teacher gives directions. After each word, kids finger spell the word and then write it down. We want to make sure students feel successful after an activity. Teacher is to have a white board or sample proving guidance for kids who need the extra support. Remember, there are many ways of learning and “just right” means different things for different learners.
Can you find the letter o and t to make “ot”.
What word do you make if you add the letter “c” in front? (cot)
Now remove the letter “c” and find the letter to make the word “dot”.
What do you notice about these words?
ot, cot, dot
Repeat steps for the following onset and rime:
at, cat, rat
During the third phase of making words kids will add the magic e / non syllabic e to make the long a sound. You can talk about this, finger spelling, and having kids notice how it sounds in their mouth.
ate, rate, crate
Lastly, my favorite part of this activity and the kids love it too! Using all of the letters can you guess the mystery word?
…more think time…
d e c o r a t e
What do you like to decorate? On the other side of your paper, write and tell me all about it.
I hope these activities are helpful in some way. It’s not perfect but it’s a start. You can also change the activity to fit different spelling / phonics patterns based on your own students’ learning needs.
Happy zooming and happy teaching. And in case no one has told you, you are doing an amazing job. KISS YOUR BRAIN!