Monday, September 8, 2014

Decodable Duty: A Fabulous FREE Resource

Teachers love FREE stuff, and I am definitely one of those teachers.  Don't get me wrong, I have a gazillion things I have bought that I can't imagine teaching without, but sometimes, you come across an amazing resource that is FREE!

The skies open & the birds begin to sing. Am I right? 

We all love free stuff, especially when that stuff is exactly what you need in the classroom.

Today, I wanted to share a fabulous website with you.... Sound City Reading!

This site has so many resources that I can't even begin to tell you about them all, but one of my favorites is the decodable sentences focused on specific letter sounds.

In guided reading, some of my littles are really working on the short vowel a sound. I mean, we are digging in to some serious Decodable Duty!!! 

I decided to do some decoding activities using the sentences I found on Sound City Reading.

First, I gave each child a copy of the sentences.  We worked through the decoding practice together, and then I pulled them individually to have them sound out & read all the sentences using the short a.
They are just simple sentences using CVC & sight words. 
They really set the kids up for success, which I love!

After reading from the sheet, I divided up the sentences so that each child received two that I had written on a sentence strip.  

The children read their sentences and identified short a words, as well as the sight words "a" and "was".
Then, we traded a few times until everyone had the opportunity to read each sentence multiple times.

We've also been working on word order to make a complete sentence, so we cut apart our strips, and put them back together to make the sentences.

 We also mixed them all up to see if we could put them back together to match the sentences on our sheet.

When everyone had their sentences put together on the table, we practiced...yet again.. on our decoding and reading.  Having the kids rearrange the sentences allowed me to check for understanding of word order and if a sentence makes sense (versus just reading words in isolation).

The next step was all about ownership!  
My first graders always love to read the class books we make, so I wanted this little group to make a book showing off their short a skills.

They each took one sentence & glued it to large manila paper.

The next step was illustrating.  This part of the activity reinforced our word order study, and was also a great way to show comprehension.  I wanted to see if the kids were really understanding what they were reading.

This guy really does look sad!  Success! 

I loved how well these turned out & I MOST loved how proud the kids were! 
They couldn't wait to show them off, which just made me so happy.
Tomorrow, we will work with the other four sentences & then put them all together into a book.

The kids can then take turns bringing them home to share and READ with their parents.
They are SO excited about this part.

I then put it in our classroom library, and in years past, these books have been some of the most popular. 
The kids always want to read the books they have made, and I know that it is on their level! :)

Now, this might not be the "cutest" activity you've ever seen, but friends, my sweet babies absolutely LOVED this activity, and they were reading... really reading!

Y'all know me - I absolutely adore the cutesy, but when something really clicks with the kids, and gets them excited about reading, I call that a win!!

If you would like to get these sheets (94 pages of decodable sentences), click {here}.

The sequence is based on the Reading Street series, which works perfect for me since we use that program, but you can browse through all of them to find what you are looking for.  

I should also note that I don't even know this amazing person who put all this together, so this is a completely unbiased plug for the website. I just love sharing amazing things I find with all of you!

I hope you love it as much as I do.
  As always, thanks for stopping by!! :)

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  1. Thanks for sharing this resource. I'm going to check it out!

    An Apple a Day in First Grade


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