Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Polar Region and S Blends...

Well, wouldn't you know it, the timing worked out great...

Just as Big Bro has been very curious about Polar Animals, and countries that touch the Arctic Circle, and just as he is in need of a little work about s blend words, the two managed to come together.

Big Bro's curiosity about the Arctic Circle has grown over the last few days, as they have mentioned it here and there during the coverage of the Winter Olympics.
Then, his homeschool co-op recently discussed hibernation, migration, and adaptation, and he became curious about Polar Bears and Arctic Foxes.

Well, lo and behold, we happen to have two books that are just at his reading level, along with some extensions to tie on with these. And luckily, they are all works that managed to look interesting to Big Bro. He chose to do them back to back today and seemed to enjoy every minute of it.

The first book is called Polar Bears.
It is from the Learn to Read - Planet Earth Phonics Program. We ordered this set of little books from Scholastic and they have been very interesting, enjoyable books for him to read.

Polar Bears happens to go over S blends: skin, slide, slip, slope, snow, snug, snuggle, stay, steer, and swim.

What is nice about these books is that they are not as contrived as some phonics readers tend to be. They are also quite challenging and have lovely photos on each page.

As an extension to this book for spelling, I made up cards for Big Bro to complete.
He had to first, find the word in the text.
Next, he had to spell the word with letter tiles.
Then, he had to write out the word.
He then had to turn the card over, close his eyes, and spell the word with his finger in the air as he spelled the word aloud. He then opened his eyes and checked his spelling.
As a control of error, the words were all spelled out on the back side of each card.
He had to check off each step as he completed them, to make it more of an independent work and to help him keep track of where he is at with respect to each word.

After this part of the work, he then got out the second book called Polar Bears.
It is part of the North American Biomes Readers from Waseca.

For this book, he first read the text cards for the book and matched them to the picture cards.
For the first go around, the text cards and picture cards were all in story order.

Then, he read the Polar Bears little book that just has the text of the story in picture clues.

The next steps for these include drawing a picture to go with the story, then mixing up the picture cards and text cards and putting them back in story order.

We are getting ready to send some packages out to some friends so I will most likely let him choose his favorite drawings about the books he is reading to go in the package.

As a follow up / additional practice for S blends, I happened to have a file folder game that is back from my more traditional teaching days.
The game is called Space Race.
Big Bro and I played the game together. The game covered some of the same words from the Polar Bears books, but then, it had a few others. We made up some new rules and some challenges to go with all of the start spaces on the game board.
Instead of just having to give an S blend word, he had to read the clue, figure out an appropriate s blend word to answer the clue, etc.
What was interesting is that he came up with some s blends that worked as the answers, even though they weren't what I initially had thought of for the answer. For example, one clue was "cookies, cake, and candy are all this"
I was thinking "sweet" but big bro suggested that "swell" could also work for that clue.
For another, the clue was "you may need this if you are tired." My answer was "sleep" but Big Bro said, "Well, snack could also work because sometimes if you are tired, if you eat a snack, it gives you energy and you wake up."

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