Adventures in Literacy Land: Spelling

Showing posts with label Spelling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spelling. Show all posts

Using Music to Teach Reading Skills

Hi everyone! It's Bex here from Reading and Writing Redhead. You probably know by now but I love finding creative ways to teach reading and I love bringing other types of learning into the classroom beyond the basics that I have to teach. Today I have some ideas to share with you about using music to teach reading skills.

Ask yourself, how many children know the alphabet at a young age- age two  for example? Probably most of them know it because someone thought to set the alphabet to the song "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". The tune, the rhythm, even the rhyme, helps ingrain the letters in kids' brains.

Music can be used to help students learn the alphabet,  the sounds of letters, develop phonemic awareness, build phonics skills and vocabulary and more! There are many songs to teach grammar skills and folks have used nursery rhymes as songs to teach basic spelling patterns and print conventions. Fountas and Pinnell once wrote that our students should "sing songs of such delight that the lyrics remain in the memory forever". What songs do you still remember from school (Hello Conjunction Junction!)?

Besides listening to songs, singing songs, and watching music videos, some teachers have their students rewrite familiar songs as a lesson to learn sounds or rhymes.

I found a great website that is an amazing resource of songs for teachers. It's called Songs for Teaching: Using Music to Reinforce Learning. It is a treasure trove of songs and song lyrics (click on any title to hop over and see the song).  There are songs that teach the alphabet letters such as Fran Avni's Dinosaurs to Dinner.  There are songs specifically for vowels and consonants such as  Get Your Own Goat by Avni and Vowel Sound Hound Dogs 1.  A song I plan to use this week is one for R controlled vowels called Rock and Roll Star by Fun Phonics Songs.

With all the technology out there, maybe you are able to show videos to your class. Here are just a very few on what seems like millions of videos, new and old, that use music to teach reading skills.

Want a new twist on the alphabet? Try Usher's Alphabet Song! (by the way, does Elmo's voice scare anyone else's dog?)

Phonics Songs with 2 Words

Electric Company-  Silent e - I bet you remember this:  "Who can turn a can into a can, who can turn a pan into a pane?"

Schoolhouse Rock - Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here 

Schoolhouse Rock - A Noun is a Person Place or Thing

Schoolhouse Rock Conjunction Junction- the sentimental favorite!

Electric Company's  N Apostrophe T: I personally played this several times this year and my students love it! Who needs fancy technology to enjoy music and a video (and learn while we're at it)?

Beans and Franks TV - Rhymes

Ocoee Middle School's Gotta Keep Reading: A fun, creative take on Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling which is really fun, catchy, and inspires kids to read (great to motivate them for the summer break) !

Finally here are a few music teachers' blogs. They are worth a look, even if you're not a music teacher. Teacher blogs are always full of treasures!

Amy Abbott's Music a la Abbot 
Tanya's Kodaly Inspired Blog 
Lindsay Jervis's Pursuit of Joyfulness
A collaborative music teacher blog: Kodaly Corner 
Mrs. Miracle's Music Room 
Allison's Music Blog

I hope  you have a few new ideas for how to incorporate music in your reading lessons. How do you use music in your teaching? Please comment below and let us know!


Reading Homework Routine

Good Day, Literacy Land Followers!  I'm Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads.  Today's topic is a HOT one!
Did you cringe or smile?  Teachers have definite opinions on homework - some assign homework every night and some see it as a chore.  So, here are my 2 cents.

Personally, I'm not a fan of homework.  I prefer to spend my evenings not grading.  All that said, at my school it is an expectation to send homework (no more than 30 mins. per subject per night).  I prefer to send a homework packet on Monday that is due on Friday.  Here is what I put inside my packet.
Cover Page - spelling words, homework schedule, notes at the bottom. 

On the inside, I include my Spelling Homework Choice Boards. 

I also include a Reading Log

I also include a differentiated fluency passage from our state adoption.  There is usually a short vocabulary worksheet.  If it's testing season, I include a testing style passage that students must use their strategies on. 

My packets are due on Friday.  During bell work, my students put their packets on the corner of their desk, I stamp and collect the packet.  If their spelling choice board is complete, I put a ticket on their desk.  Then, right before our spelling test, I draw 1 ticket out of the hat and that person gets an automatic 100!  The winner goes to my classroom library and reads while I'm giving the test.  I go through and quickly call the parents of students who didn't turn in their homework packets.  This is an expectation from our administration.  Then, I grade while students are testing and return their packets the same day they turned them in.  

How do you do homework in your classroom?


Spelling- what's your take?

Hi everyone!  It's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers!  

This post isn't going to be my normal post where I think maybe I can share a tip to help you in your classroom.  I am actually going to ask the opposite…. I need help:)

In my school (K-4), we are looking into our spelling program and trying to figure out what is best to help our kids.  I would LOVE to hear from you as to what works for you.  Our program now is actually very individualized.  We have 12 words each week.  7 of them are pattern words and the other 5 are sight words (dependent on ability).  
Each week we have parent helpers give our tests because they are individualized.  This is where the problem comes in… it takes the parent about an hour and a half just to give the tests.  So, when she can't show up or we have  delay or cancellation, it just doesn't work out well.  They are extremely time consuming!

We have mixed reviews as a staff as to whether we should even have spelling tests, what types of words we should be giving, and if they are beneficial.  What do you think?  

What spelling programs do you use and do you think they are beneficial?  Thanks for your help!