Professional Development

A. Word Chains

A. Word Chains

In this demonstration of a word chain activity, the goal is for students to recognize one sound difference between two words, and identify and replace the letter that needs to change to make the new word. The teacher tells the student that she will change just one sound each time.

Notice how the teacher points to each sound as she says the word to draw the student’s attention to where the sound change has occurred. This is a temporary scaffold for the student. Each time, the teacher repeats the old word and new word. Then she asks, “What sound did I change?” After the student responds, the teacher says,, “Out comes the ________(old sound) in comes the _________(new sound). What letter do I need to spell that sound? I’m going to change _______(old letter or letters) to __________(new letter or letters).”

The teacher models how to give the student feedback on her participation. For example, “I like the way you said the words before you made the change.”

If the student answers incorrectly, backtrack to help the him or her find the sound they need to change. Identify with the student where the change occurs. Then ask, “What did I change it to? Where did I make the change?” Finally, scaffold students to make the change and read the new word.

B. Guiding Students to Use Phoneme-Grapheme Map

B. Guiding Students to Use Phoneme-Grapheme Map

The video explains the value of using a beginner’s phoneme-grapheme map to help students’ transition from listening for sounds in words to spelling the sounds in words. The sound boxes take the place of the sound disks in the Say-It and Move-It side of the board. Each box represents one sound in the word. Students are directed by the teacher to use their knowledge of letter sounds to spell the words that they will need to read in their book. It is emphasized that the purpose of the activity is not testing students, but teaching them to make accurate connections between a sound and its spelling. When a student makes a mistake, it provides an opportunity to help the student listen to and feel how the sound is made, so they can self-correct. Students should read back the words they wrote to gain extra practice for words they will read in text