Professional Development

A. Activity Explanation: Blind Word Sort

A. Activity Explanation: Blind Word Sort

This activity is called a Blind Sort because students are not allowed to see the word card, so they cannot use sight to determine under which category to place the word. We want them to listen and feel to determine under which category to place the word. The student has to listen and compare what is heard with the headers. The teacher says the new word to be categorized next to each of the headers for comparison. The sound being compared such as the short /ĭ/ and short /ă/ sounds may be a sound that causes confusion to students in reading and spelling. This confusion may stem from how close the sounds are produced in the mouth. A T-chart is used to make it clear to students that there are two categories.

B. Activity Demonstration: Blind Word Sort

B. Activity Demonstration: Blind Word Sort

This is a demonstration of a Blind Word Sort with a puppet playing the role of a student. The teacher uses hand motions to reinforce the sounds of the vowels that are being compared. The teacher goes over the headers, which are the key words from the vowel staircase. The student is asked to repeat each word so she will get tactile-kinesthetic feedback. The teacher compares the new word to be categorized with the key word picture pronunciation.

The student gets feedback from the teacher about her participation. After each new word is placed under a category on the chart, the teacher says, “Let’s read all the words.” This allows the students to read the words. Notice the teacher also checks the student’s pronunciation of sounds in the words, so the student gets tactile-kinesthetic feedback. The teacher also uses the words in a sentence to connect to meaning.

Carrier Question: “Does it sound more like the ______(sound) as in _______(keyword) or the ________(sound) as in __________(new word)?”

The teacher models how to use feedback from how the sound feels in the mouth to correct errors.

C. Activity Demonstration: Word Chains with Blends

C. Activity Demonstration: Word Chains with Blends

In this demonstration, the instructor works with the student on vowels and blends. The puppet playing the role of the student has spelled the word “spin” as “pin.” The teacher first reminds the student how the word “spin” was used in the book. The student is asked to read what she spelled, “pin.” Then the instructor guides the student to identify where another sound needs to be added to spell “spin.” The instructor says, “Think about what you hear before the /p/ sound.” After the students answers, the instructor asks, “What letter would spell /s/?” The teacher labels the new spelling of “sp” as a blend. The instructor then guides the student to make a change from “spin” to “spit” and then “spit” to “spat.” The student is prompted about where the change happens, and when she has difficulty, the instructor goes through each sound in the word until the student can identify which sound is different in the new word. Note that the instructor connects vowels in the words to their keyword motion.