Saturday, April 6, 2013

Building Words

So this whole process began when I realized I was throwing away lots of bottle caps. Milk caps, water bottles, you name it and I got to thinking how much that adds up in the landfill. Now, I 'm not one of those people that has a bottled water every day (rarely, as I refill my washable bottle), but occasionally, I would go to the gas station and get a juice or water and have to throw away the lid, while I recycled the bottle. Milk caps, on the other hand, we threw away lots of! We go through about a gallon and a half a week (yes, just me and my husband-he loves his milk), so that really adds up! I started collecting them, not really sure what I would do with them, and this is what I came up with!

Ok, on to the project :) I've been looking for creative ways to build my first grade Adventure Group's phonics sense. My group is 7 students who need help with letter sounds (when more than one letter is combined, like oi as in oil) as well as sight word practice. I have a half hour for my group. We spend te first 10-15 minutes doing Michael Haggerty, focusing on the areas mentioned above. For the rest of the time we do activities that reinforce those concepts, or focus on sight word practice.

So I used my bottle caps to create a word building game to help with these concepts! Now I'm sure there are cute tile squares out there that accomplish the same goals, but this was convenient for me and cheap and it recycled those caps!

You will have to excuse the upside-down pictures. They are correct when I open the file, but blogger flips them when they upload. I tried everything to fix them, but haven't been able to figure it out. I think you will get the idea, regardless of the flipped photos. I used 32 caps in all, most I wrote on both sides. Something to note when you start collecting, the clear lids don't work well for writing on both sides, as you can see through them. The dark blue ones are hard to see (I discarded the black ones). Here is a picture of them all:

I did use the pink ones (milk) do do the vowel blends, but you wouldn't have to color code them. I did the entire alphabet (using fromt and backs, vowel blends, some common beginning sound blends etc. and a couple extra of common letters). Here is a picture of some of the consonant blends (with the exception of the le, not sure how he got in this picture!). This picture shows what the clear caps look like if you write on both sides.
 Ideally, this is what the students will do wit the caps (sorry about it being sideways). I think I will introduce them by building sight words (I have a list) and then expand later on to them building their own (which is the ultimate goal). The trick will be having them spelled correctly. We will probably do this in partners for awhile, so the partners can help monitor the spelling (I can't be everywhere at once!) This will also allow me to work with another group more closely. I love the ability to split up my little group so that I can have more personalized time with the students!