Category: Word Work

  • How to Teach the Silent E Rule (or Magic E) to your students

    How to Teach the Silent E Rule (or Magic E) to your students

    Whether you call it VCE, Magic E, or Silent E rule, it’s a phonics rule that makes a huge impact on decoding. It opens up SO many more words to decode for students used to reading simple CVC words. It’s also my favorite phonics rule to teach! In this post, I’ll explain what the Silent…

  • How to Teach Digraphs: 8 Ways to Make it Fun!

    How to Teach Digraphs: 8 Ways to Make it Fun!

    I love cheese and I love salsa both on their own. Yum, yum, yum.  BUT… when you put them together and make queso, it’s a match made in heaven! The cheese and the salsa come together to make something even better together than they are on their own! That reminds me of digraphs! You take…

  • Phonics-Based Sight Word Activities

    Phonics-Based Sight Word Activities

    For years, kids have been taught to memorize high-frequency sight words because they don’t follow phonics rules. I’m guilty of having done this, but changed my practices and learned how to really make sight words stick, using phonics. Now that we know that kids need to learn words by orthographically mapping them out (learn the…

  • How to Teach the Chunky Monkey Reading Strategy

    How to Teach the Chunky Monkey Reading Strategy

    By now, I think all educators can agree that phonics instruction is key in teaching kids to read. Decoding strategies should be phonics-based to ensure kids focus on the print first, rather than pictures or context clues. This will help them later on when pictures disappear with more advanced text. I’ve written about decoding strategies…

  • How to Use Guided Reading Warm-ups

    How to Use Guided Reading Warm-ups

    If you teach kindergarten through 2nd grade, you know that guided reading is an essential component of literacy instruction. The way I’ve conducted guided reading has changed over the years and some people aren’t fond of the term guided reading, but small-group reading instruction is essential in order to differentiate and meet your students’ needs…

  • Spelling Strategies for Beginning Writers

    Spelling Strategies for Beginning Writers

    “Teacher, how do you spell (insert any word here)?” If you teach kindergarten or first grade, it’s a question you likely hear all. the. time! I know we wish we could clone ourselves during writing time so we could sit with each student and help them with their spelling, BUT of course we can’t. If…

  • Tricks for Teaching Syllable Types and Division

    Tricks for Teaching Syllable Types and Division

    Do your students give up when they approach a long word? Even if it’s a word they can most likely decode, like rabbit or muffin, some kids get overwhelmed by word length and don’t even try. If they’re not taught how to decode these words, they may even start guessing rather than trying. Of course,…

  • Scrabble Magnetic Letters: Easy Ideas for a Word Work Center

    Scrabble Magnetic Letters: Easy Ideas for a Word Work Center

    It’s been fun and interesting having a kindergartner at home while teaching kindergarten! I especially love when I sing a song or read a book her teacher has read and she thinks I’m a sorcerer because I know it too. One of the best things about teaching the same grade level as your child is…

  • Back-to-School Read-Aloud for Phonemic Awareness

    Back-to-School Read-Aloud for Phonemic Awareness

    Don’t you love when you find a great book to read aloud? I am always looking for amazing read-alouds and when I found The Hungry Thing by Jan Slepian, I hit the jackpot! It’s such a funny story that’s perfect for rhyming and phonemic awareness. If you don’t have the book, I included links in…

  • Word Wall. Not Wallpaper.

    Word Wall. Not Wallpaper.

    Ever read your students’ writing and see words that you’ve already covered misspelled? In fact, those words are on the word wall and students can easily look up to spell them correctly. So why don’t they?? This may be because often a word wall is just (dare I say it?) CLASS DECOR to kids. They…

  • Word Study Strategies

    Word Study Strategies

    Have you ever had a student ace a spelling test, but misspell those same words the very next week? This happens all too frequently, and the reason may be the focus of spelling instruction. In traditional spelling, students are given a list of words to practice throughout the week. They’re tested on those words at the end…