Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fun with OU and OW, Ideas for learning new sounds

Our focus sound this week is the ou/ow dipthong.  Each Monday, I introduce the new sound and we add it to our "phonics chant".  I made up a little song several years ago that goes with all the sounds we learn in first grade.  My husband is in the Marines, and I was inspired by cadences.   I start with "Oh, we're first graders and we're here to tell you" (they repeat this line) "learning to read is fun to do." (they repeat)  "We know so many sounds, we practice everyday" (they repeat) "We sing a little song and this is what we say:"  (repeat) then we go into all of the sounds.  Every week, we add a new line to it.  We use the the sign language alphabet in the movements that go along with the chant.  For the /ou/ sound, we make an o with one hand and a "u" with the other.  We say "O - U" then crash our hands together and say "/ou/!"  We repeat this with "O - W - /ou/!"  Each week, I lead the new sound and then on Friday I assign the line to a new student.  The kids have to pay attention and do their part on cue.  The rest of the class echoes after them.  It is pretty darn cute!  I will have to record it sometime.

Just a few weeks ago we had long o spelled ow.  I had a few who were really trying to read ow as long o this week even though we had gone over the new sound.  I wanted to drill in the ou sound so I we played HILARIOUS jokes on everybody at our school today. (Okay, so they might have only been hilarious to six year-olds!)  I put band-aids on all of them and wrote ou on one side and ow on the other.  We pretended we were really hurt saying "ou! ou!" and pOUting until someone asked what was wrong.  Then we responded with "I have two /ou/s.  Look o-u /ou/ and o-w /ou/."  They thought this was pretty funny.  Throughout the day I sent them to the office because of their /ou/s.  Our secretary is such a doll that she played along and even kissed somebody's /ou/ better!  LOVE HER!

Just look at that pout!  She got an /ou/! 


While they were at recess, I made a quick worksheet to go with this theme.  I had them work with their group to brainstorm words that contained ou and ow /ou/ sounds to write on band-aids.  I printed on tan paper and they turned out great!  Click here to download my band-aid template.


I also read a Scholastic Phonics Tales story each week.  This week we read Mouse in My House.  You know I love scanning books, so this is totally on the smartboard!  (To read more on scanning books, click here!)  The kids love searching for words and pictures with the sound we are working on.  When we are finished, I give them a mini-book that goes with our Scholastic Phonics Tale story.  Their job is to highlight all of the words with our sound and color ONLY the pictures that have this sound.  They love this and they can take it home to share with their families.




We make phonics crowns that correlate with our focus sound.  Here are the two crowns that correlate with the /ou/ sound.  We did ou spelling on Monday and ow on Thursday.  To read a previous post on phonics crowns, click here.



The kids wear their crowns while they go on a hunt for the sound.  They can look in their reading books, good-fit books, and dictionaries for words.  They can also read the room to find words.  They write words they find in their word work notebooks.  I usually give them about 20 minutes to search then we go over words they found.  We make a  "jail" on the board for words that broke our rule.  For example if somebody wrote "you" because it has ou, it would go to jail because that does not follow the rule we are learning.  I shine a PowerPoint slide on my board and write over it.  I write the focus sound on the yellow badge and words on the lines.  (I also LOVE to have kids come to the board and write for me so that we can talk about handwriting!)  This slide was made using graphics from Krista Wallden at Creative Clips.  LOVE her work!  I am trying to collect it all!  To download my jail/cops PowerPoint slide, click here.
This shows my "rule breakers" slide in action.  



There are no "wrong" answers because every word gives us an opportunity to discuss other rules and spelling patterns.  Students have an opportunity to write more words in their notebooks as we review as a class.  We do this every week and the kids love it.


My school subscribed to United Streaming and I downloaded TONS of videos.  I sorted them into files that correlate with what we are focused on each week.  On Friday, we will watch "Between the Lions -  Out in Outer Space" and eat sOUr gummy worms.  The kids get so excited to see our sound in action!

I love, love, love teaching reading and am so happy  to share some of my weekly routines with you.  Please leave me any questions or comments.  Have a super week!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love your resources and such wonderful enthusiasm! I bet your students love learning with you!!

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