Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Freebie! Not JUST Word Lists for K-5

My kidpeople do all sorts of word making activities in class, as do most beginning readers. We use dice, magnetic letters, letter tiles, cards, and lots more. We practice sight words, word families, science words, and any words we just want to know. It is important that kids have ample opportunities to make words in order to learn them.

Because the kiddos aren't always working on paper, there isn't always "evidence" as to what they worked on when they are done. This is fine most of the time, as the learning comes from that tactile manipulation of the letters, and the "snapshot" their brain takes when they see that word. And it is good because it saves on paper. But it also means there's nothing for me to check on afterwards, nothing for kids to take home to parents, and no clear way they themselves can look over their own progress.

I use two different forms to solve this problem. One version has space for five words and the other has space for ten. Both prompt the student to read over the list three times after they write. The longer list also allows kids to mark their challenge words with a "grown up" asterisk. My guys loved learning about asterisks and how to make them with just four lines—first draw a plus sign, then draw an X on top of it. Challenge words can be ones that they themselves designate as needing extra effort-- I encourage kids to reflect on their own learning whenever possible-- or the challenge words can be ones I give to students to differentiate learning. And you can always write words on the lists before copying, too, which helps differentiate word lists for students. The five word recording list prints four to a sheet of paper, the ten word one prints two to a sheet to make them economical with ink.

I shared them with teacher colleagues and we found the forms useful through fifth grade. Kids can record unknown or difficult words they come across while reading, new vocabulary words in science or social studies, checklists of all sorts– so spread the word with your upper el colleagues that they can download their own as well.

This simple idea which extends learning activities is a lot of bang for the buck– especially when it's free! To jazz it up, there are three different borders to choose from. Click on the cover icon above and it will take you to the TPT download. As ALWAYS, please give feedback and FOLLOW!  Love it, love you!

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