So I mean, I guess when it comes down to it, it's time for another post about short vowels. Because as it turns out, that's pretty much all you teach first graders for the first month or so of school.
I recently posted a synonym and antonym game to help reinforce a new concept in a fun way, but unfortunately I can't use the game with all of my students. Some of them are barely sounding out CVC words and can't read the words in the game, so I came up with a matching game on their level.
In this short vowel game the students match the short vowels with the CVC picture. I tested it on the kids and fine-tuned it a bit, and this is how I would recommend introducing and playing the game. Playing one way can make it a mindless game where they don't really learn anything, and playing it this way will turn it into a game that reinforces phonemic awareness and helps them learn to identify and isolate sounds and replace middle sounds in words. You'll hit a couple of the common core standards:
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.2c Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.2e Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
1) Print & Cut Cards
Easy enough. But make sure you print the letters on one color of paper and the pictures on another color, or it will make for confusion later.
Free download here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Free-Short-Vowel-Memory-Game-1072228
2) Set Up Memory Game
Lay cards flat in rows. Make sure to mix up the two colors.
3) Pick Picture Card First
After the child had chosen a picture card (whichever color your picture cards are), Ask the child the following questions:
- "What sound is in the middle?"
- "What letter makes that sound?"
4) Pick Letter Card
After a child has chosen a letter card ask them
- Is that the right sound?
- (if answer is no) What would the word be if it had this sound in the middle? (example: if they chose a picture of a cat and flipped over the letter "u" the new word would be "cut"
It's simple, but adding those questions will REALLY help with their phonological awareness. This also benefits kids who have an especially hard time remembering and differentiating vowel sounds. I've seen it help a lot with a few struggling students who innocently think they are just playing a game. But they should know by now that I'm always sneaking in some learning. The sneakier, the better.