I teach word families one chunk at a time! Mastering reading includes mastering word recognition and having the ability to chunk words. Word families are an important tool in word level literacy and essential for fluent reading. Students struggle with them all of the time so I have to make them fun and engaging through interactive activities and games. Word Families are one of the best ways to strengthen your students reading skills so we are always spending time working on them. I wanted to share with you some of the best resources that I use daily in my classes.
I keep everything in the nice little word family kit. You can use a case or binders. All activities for each word family are included. This kit comes with all of the resources you need to teach word families!! All you need is one of those accordion cases from Target or Walmart and then add the tabs and then add all of these resources to each pocket. Laminate the games and put them in baggies and slip them in the pockets! You are done all of your resources for teaching word families are neatly organized and sorted. Just choose which printables and activities you want to use for each lesson. Print out your assessment and progress monitoring sheet that is included and you are done! I keep the progress monitoring sheet in the front of each pocket so that I can grab it easily as I am observing or assessing students.
We do all sorts of different activities in small groups, whole group and one on one settings. The games above are not included in the kit but we use them to reinforce the lessons. Most of the time we start our lesson by making a word family chart and discussing the pattern in the words and identifying the rhyming words. I explain how “chunking” words helps us decode new words. We make a list of all of the words we know in that particular word family. I sometimes write those words on index cards and pin them to each students shirt. I call out a word family and everyone in that family has to stand up. If you have a a child that does not stand you know that he or she may need some practice with that particular family. While we are doing this group activity, I am using this as kind of a pre-assessment to gauge where everyone is and who knows what. So then I know exactly what needs to be taught and how much.
Next, I will share with you some of the word work resources I love best. We read words, we identify words, manipulate words, match them to sentences, and so much more! One of my favorite resources is the real photo picture sorting cards and the Using My Schema writing prompts provided for every word family. The kids LOVE these.There is an interactive notebook page for each word family. We add those to our reading journals every time we begin a new lesson. The kids can easily refer back to it for help as they do their work or as a reference. We pull out our word family posters and do partner talks about what we see and observe about these words. I usually project these on the board/mimio and we observe and discuss the patterns we see.
I use a lot of our word work activities in centers during reading time. The students also love these word family flip books. They have to match the correct chunk to the first letter. Then they match the picture to the word and staple it all together. They can use this to refer back to at any time or to take home and study.
The students use ink and stamp out the spelling of each word or they use letter tiles to form the word in this word work activity. I use the word family buttons for more practice. Students color and glue on the little round picture buttons or you can have them cut it out and glue the letters to construction paper. They have to figure out which buttons have the correct sound. My kids love these word family task cards where they can explore books and magazines to find words.We use tons of activities that help deepen their understanding of each word work family. These can be done independently, in small groups or whole group.
It is important to assess the students at the end of your lesson to make sure they have mastered the skills. There is also a progress monitoring tool included to keep track of who has mastered which word family and who still needs more work.
We also use the reading rods and the the picture puzzles during our center time to reinforce what we have learned. We use the reading comprehension sheets in small groups to read and practice using our words in text. We spend about a week on each word family and build on more as we go so we are always doing different activities. I hope that some of these activities inspire you to use them in your classroom also. Every one of my students master word families through repetition and practice using purposeful activities.
We have so many word family activities that we use, it us hard to cover them all, so these are just a few.
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