Long & Short Vowel Sorting with Snakes

by Allison McDonald

early learning literacy activityGetting kids to learn after school can be hard. Bribery, delayed rewards even punishment seems futile because we want them to WANT to learn. Making it a game or using some novel tools for learning are my son’s favorite ways to learn after school.  These little slimy snakes are favorites around here . I find them all over the playroom so I decided to use them for a quick lesson in long and short vowel sounds. Learning to distinguish these sounds is an important skill for reading and spelling.  Have fun with learning after school activities and remember that these aren’t in place of homework they are in addition to. Use them as you see fit . My kindergartner usually does 2-3 a week and they are all pretty quick lasting between 5-15 minutes.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, markers, scissors and plastic snakes you can cut. **If you don’t have access to these try gummy worm candies, ribbon, or yarn.early literacy activity
  2. Start by writing out pages of simple words with long and short vowel sounds . Remember that long vowels say their name (o- open , a-grape, i- bite) . I would work on one letter at a time.early literacy activity 2
  3. Invite your word detective to the table and ask him or her to help you cut some of the snakes into short pieces . My son thought I was joking and was excited to be doing something destructive. Is it a boy thing?early literacy activity 3
  4. Use the short pieces to indicate a short vowel sound and a full snake for the long vowel sounds. He was pretty into it. It was sorta silly but that worked in our favor because he loved it. The combination of a concrete object to show a concept that is not concrete can really help some kids grasp these tasks better than just saying words and having them listen and decide.earlyliteracyactivity4
  5. You can see how he was sounding the words out as he read them. Teach your child to read the words slowly exaggerating the vowel sound. He liked to stretch the sound the same time he stretched the snake. early literacy activity 5Make multiple sheets but don’t worry if they want to work on them one or two at a time. earlyliteracyactivity6
  6. Clearly he was having too much fun to be learning! At least that is what he thought. earlyliteracyactivity9

If this Learning After School activity isn’t exactly what you need but you want to keep learning with your school age kiddo check out our other posts in this series here.

Spin & Rhyme

by Kim

Title Pic

Rhyming is such a crucial part of reading. Not to mention it can be plain out fun and silly at times. Banana-nana-fo-fana (you now have that stuck in your head, sorry). Here is a super easy activity that encourages rhyming, word families, and practices breaking down words to read.

Supplies

Supplies:

  • Paper towel roll
  • Dry cleaner hanger
  • Scissors
  • Marker

Cut your paper towel roll into sections.

Cut tube

Write the ending sound of a word on a section. You can write another word fragment on other sides, too. I wrote “an” and “at” on this one.

Rhyme 2

Rhyme 1

Now write letters or the first sounds of words on another piece of cut tube. You can throw in some weird ones that will not make words to get some giggles, too.

First sound

first sound 2

While I was writing, I had some help. Little sister loved helping out with writing all over her piece. She is actually a lefty, so this is photo is hilarious to me. At least she is interested. ;)

Playing

Pull out one end of the hanger from the bar.

Remove bar

Slide your tube pieces on and replace the hanger end back inside the bar.

make a rhyme 2

Now your child can spin the first letter (or sound) of the word to make different words.

make a rhyme

You can practice rhyming as you go through them. It is fun to sing out the words and maybe dance a bit, too. But we are pretty active around here and I am sure your house is just as wild spirited.

On the go

My favorite thing about this is that it transports so easily. I know we can grab it and take it to another room without messing it up and causing a meltdown. It hangs easily on the toilet paper roll holder so we can play while we take our extra long potty breaks. It keeps my kids engaged while I do things in the kitchen and even can hang on the back of mommy’s seat in the van for playing while we run errands.

I hope you enjoy this activity as much as we do.

 
Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, a first grader and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

Rhyming Peg Board {Learning After School}

Rhyming pegboard literacy activity for kidsMy son is a good student but like most new writers he needs to work on his fine motor skills . He enjoys writing now but I still like to sneak in some fine motors skills in with activities he loves like rhyming. This rhyming activity uses novelty to keep kids interested. The rubber bands and pegs are great because it takes a lot of patience and fine motor skill to carefully place them on the correct pegs. This was just enough novelty for my son to be eager and interested even after a long day at school.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a shoebox or other sturdy box ( we used our Kiwi Crate) , push pins , elastics, a sheet of paper, glue stick or double stick tape and a marker. rhyming activity for kids
  2. *Before doing anything make sure that the push pins are secure when you push them into your box. Test out how far apart you can make the push pins and stretch your elastics so they stretch but aren’t so tight that that pull the push pins out and turn them into projectiles.
  3. Write out a list of words on the right side ( we did Christmas themed words but obviously do what works for your kids). Write a second list on the left of rhyming words. rhyming game with elastics
  4. Tape or glue onto your box.
  5. Add push pins remembering to keep them not too far apart. rhyming activity for kids 2
  6. Add a kiddorhyming activity for kindergarten to start matching these words up. rhyming pegbard match game for kindergatenThis is a fast activity but it’s designed to be. It’s a splash of learning not a long lesson. My son really liked it and I plan on making more with different themes , spelling words etc…Rhyming pegboard

Summer Reading Challenge – Ends Tomorrow

Did you see that people are recognizing all our hard work ? Our Summer Reading Challenge was featured on the blogging news site  ShePosts.com  last week . As you may know we have already passed our 25,000 book goal ( presently at 26058) but our challenge isn’t over yet. You have until tomorrow at 8pm PST to enter your tally of books read and get entered for a chance to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card.

What will the final tally be?

Thank you so much for taking the time away from a busy summer to read with your kids. It’s never wasted even when they bring you the same book for the 500th time that day. I hope you have found some great new favorites this summer and continue reading all year long.

If you have just found us you can still join in. All the details are here including FAQ.

If you know what to do enter your tally here .

Official Rules
This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must fill out this form. 1 winning participator will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Sunday August 26th 2012 at 8:00pm PST. The winner will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift card valued at approximately $50. After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their email address to send the gift card to,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

Listen & Find Word Search

Many moons ago ( OK 2003) I was student teaching the 6th grade ( yes most were taller than me) and I was teaching a unit on the book  Holes by Louis Sachar. I was reading the book to my students and losing their attention . To keep it I created a bingo game of words in each chapter. I’d hand out the sheets, they’d listen for the words and mark ones they heard. It was exactly what they needed to stay engaged and our discussions at the end of the chapters went from 2 kids to most of the class. Today I am sharing how I modified this for my son who is 5 and just starting to read independently.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, a marker, a book and a dot paint marker .
  2. Before calling your child to play flip through the book and choose some words. I only chose each word once, and did one for every two pages so I could read it out loud to him at a normal speed without him having to stop too often to bam the paper. With one kid I just had a sheet to fill, not a bingo format. sight word games
  3. Start reading.
  4. It was a hit from the start . I will be doing this with many other books in the future.
  5. Bam!
  6. When he missed a word I invited him to look for it in the book.
  7. Got it!

Making reading a game has been a big part of my son’s ease into reading. Still even now that he is reading well he doesn’t always want to read books to my husband or I opting to read to his sister or alone. Building confidence is tricky. Instead of forcing them to read aloud  when they don’t want to , play some games and let the fun build the confidence. After their confidence builds they will be much more apt to read aloud .