Friday, October 10, 2014

Tricky Words

I am pretty excited to report that my first grade reading groups are making tremendous progress this year. We've spent the past month learning how to say the sounds in words and being able to put those sounds back together! A few days ago they started to realize that some words are trying to "trick" us! We stumbled across the word "away" and it didn't sound right! 

I created two posters (below) in which we've been adding, "Words We Can Sound Out" and "Words We Know by Sight". (Please excuse the font selection on these posters, as I was in a hurry and don't have much to select from on my computer at school!) I spent some time talking to them about how those "tricky" words are going to be the focus of the rest of first grade and that I'd teach them tricks to figure out those words. Every time we come across a new word, they get pretty excited to write it on a Post-It...

Today I wanted to see how they did when we talked about these tricky words a little bit further. I read aloud to them, "The Two Greedy Bears" by Mirra Ginsburg...Which happens to be one of my favorites! I told them there was a "fancy" word in the story that we were going to figure out the meaning. (The word was 'sly').

If you haven't read this story before, two bears argue over how to divide their food into equal parts. A fox comes along and purposely divides the food so that one piece is bigger than the other. In order to make the pieces equal, she takes an unequal bite...until two small tiny pieces are left.

The kids realize that the fox was trying to trick the two bears...she was being sly!

I told my kiddos that many times words we come across are sly. We can't always say each sound in a word...someone decided to make reading tricky!

We took a Post-It off of one of our charts and tried to determine if each letter was saying their sound. If they did say their correct sounds (like in frog /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/) then it is NOT a sly word. If they didn't say their correct sounds like in my, then the word is sly and we determined the letter or letters that were making it tricky.

Next week we will be generating a list of words that contain the sound /oe/ as in home. My goal for them next week is to see that there are many different ways to represent that sound. (If you'd like to see more on how I teach this, head on over to!) I will be posting our progress over the next few months!

The first quarter is almost complete and I couldn't be more proud of my first grade groups!

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