making words question

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by AngelM, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jun 6, 2008

    I am curious how you all organize your letter tiles for making words. Last year was my first year teaching. I used the reproducible making words lessons often (students cut out letter tiles). I also have the tiles organized in plastic bins by letter. Next year I want to do some of the lessons out of the SF series. I'm wondering . . . if I create a baggie of letter tiles (one tile for each letter of alphabet) for each student, will this work? That way, students could keep their bags in their desks and whip them out when needed.

    Thoughts?? Thanks :)
     
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  3. KIF

    KIF Companion

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    Jun 7, 2008

    I have seen (and am thinking about getting myself) a fishing tackle type box with little drawers that slide out. You just pull out the letters that you need for the lesson and they pass the drawer around. Seems easy enough. The individual bags didn't work for me b/c no matter how hard you try they ALWAYS get mixed up.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 7, 2008

    We have our group sets of letters organized in the plastic boxes used to hold embroidery floss.

    Individual sets are a good idea, but you often need more than one of a certain letter; you would need to do some pre-planning to be sure they have everything they need in their bags.
     
  5. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jun 7, 2008

    Thanks for your replies. I do like the tackle box idea . . . especially having them just pass the drawers around and get what they need!

    MrsC, you've got a good point . . . I had not thought about them needing more than one of the same letter.
     
  6. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jun 7, 2008

    My system is definitely time consuming! I have tubs of scrabble tiles and tubs of letters I printed out and laminated.

    I used Big Words for Big Kids this year, so the words were often 10-15 letters long. I would then put them into plastic bags. The way I did it though, I would work with small groups as a center activity where I was the center with the rest of the kids doing other things. I only usually made 6 bags. OR I would make enough bags for half the class, and they would do a different mystery word with a partner and a specific word sort worksheet that I made for that word.

    I never did a whole class lesson where everyone had the same word and I guided the whole class through it. So my method wasn't bad, since I only ever made 6-7 baggies (I had 13 students this year.) Also, since I do it as a center, it was actually taking me two weeks to get through a word. I only pulled out new words twice a month. I did not do making words as often as I could have.

    Next year with second graders, I will probably need to do more whole class lessons. I may get a drawer system.
     
  7. TeachnRox

    TeachnRox Companion

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    Jun 7, 2008

    Word Work Folder

    Each student has a word work folder (pocket folder with brads, nothing fancy). I buy a pack of baseball organizer sleeves (30 sleeve sheets per pack at walmart is about $5 or something). Each student gets three sleeve sheets, there are 9 pockets on each sleeve. They put their a's in one pocket, b's in the second, and so forth. I give them 3 of each letter (I use the Systematic Sequential Phonics by Cuttingham she has the letter tiles to use in the back of the book). You end up with three empty pockets at the end, one pocket is used for blank paper tiles (in case they lose a letter, they can just write it on the blank tile). In the morning I put the letters they need in a large pocket chart on the board, they take out their letters and put them in a ziploc baggy that is kept in the pocket of their word work folder. I love this, there is no passing out or cutting it is all ready to go!

    When they put their letters back into the sleeves they do a "Shimmy Shake Tap tap" They only tap the folder twice on their desk and the letters fall to the bottom of the sleeve, that way they don't come out.

    Letters do find their way to the floor, so students just put them in our "lost and found" tray.

    Helpful hint: Have a parent cut out the letters and organize them into a bag for each student. I laminate mine, and then a parent cuts them out. They last longer :) One of my parents did it for this years kids and then did it for my kids next year, too :)

    Word of caution: I give the kids a baggie at the beginning of the year which contains all (three sets of the alphabet) of their letters. It is very overwhelming to some (I have first graders), I have them organize the letters into their folder. It is easy to see by doing this who has their letters and alphabet down versus the ones that are still struggling. The kids who finish help the ones that need it. It takes about all day to get it organized. But, well worth it!

    Let me know if this doesn't make sense. Hope this helps! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jun 7, 2008

    Teachnrox,

    That is an AWESOME idea. I will do that next year!!! Yay!
     
  9. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jun 7, 2008

    I love the folder idea, too. I never would have thought of that :).

    I already have tons of the letter tiles, both laminated and magnetic. (I inherited them from a former teacher). It will just be a matter of getting them organized. I would have done more making words last year if I had had a simple/easy system in place like this. Thanks for the idea!
     
  10. TeachnRox

    TeachnRox Companion

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    Jun 7, 2008

    one more thing...

    Glad you like it! It makes it really easy, we do making words EVERY DAY! The whole thing, getting out the letters and the lesson take about 20 minutes. I know it seems like a lot, cutting letters out, having the kids sort them...I can't tell you how great it is! It was a lifesaver for me!

    I made each student a word mat. I found a lot of children have spatial difficulties and organizational challenges as far as where the letters go (they are generally scattered all over their desk. So I came up with a word mat. Basically it is a piece of construction paper, I use brown fold it in half (hot dog style), and a blue piece fold in half hot dog style. Cut the blue ones in half, so you have several strips of blue paper. Next glue one of the blue pieces onto half of the brown piece. Now you have your 'sky' and the 'ground'. Laminate them for durability. We put all our letters in a nice row in the sky, and pull them down to the ground to make the word. I have found that the nice definition of space helps them tremendously. I make the mats a little thinner and shorter than a piece of paper so they fit nicely in the pocket.

    :) TeachnRox
     
  11. KIF

    KIF Companion

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    Jun 13, 2008

    By the way, I found the plastic baseball card pages on ebay. 100 for about $10 delivered. I think I'm also going to use them for my math calendar binders. (3 rows for hundreds, tens, and ones with room for tally marks underneath)
     
  12. TeachnRox

    TeachnRox Companion

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    I will be hitting ebay! :) Thanks KIF for the heads up! :)
     
  13. Lysander

    Lysander Companion

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    Jun 16, 2008

    I have used Making Words mostly with my below grade level group. I keep my set of letters in two recipe boxes (one for a-m and one for n-z). Before a making words lesson, it's pretty easy to take out the letters the students will need and put them in zip-lock baggies. Student helpers love sorting letters back into the boxes at the end of the day/week.
     
  14. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Jun 20, 2008

    I used this book and it was a life-saver!

    http://www.amazon.com/Making-Words-Lessons-School-Grade/dp/0887246613

    I didn't deal with having a billion letters that could get lost. I photocopied the page that I needed for a particular sort (although the sorts are pre-determined). Then, the students were taught to cut straight across the top to cut off the strip of letters. Next, they cut out each letter. We'd do the making words, then throw away the letters. We'd do the sort and sentences the following day.

    Disadvantage: Sorts are pre-made, and you need copies.

    Advantage: Everything you need is on one page, and the letters are disposable.


    Another easy method I'm using in summer school is using a big font (like 90) and typing all the letters I need across a sheet of paper, then copying the line down the page. I only need a couple sheets for the whole class. I cut the rows out on the paper cutter, and give a strip to each kid. They cut between letters, do the sort and record in their notebooks, then throw away letters.
     
  15. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jun 20, 2008

    I've not found a successful way to do making words yet. Ugh just thinking about it stresses me out!!!

    The word work folder sounds like a good idea. I will think about that.

    I bought the new Second Grade Making Words book and the one that you posted above, snickydog. I used that book for first grade and the secret words seemed a bit easy for most of my second graders and a few of them figured out the word before we even started. But, the lesson did go fast.

    I also have letters in a tackle box and I hate it! It takes oh so long for me.
     
  16. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2008

    Snickydog - I also used that book last year and loved it. I do wish that more of the lessons in it aligned with our spelling lists/patterns for the week. That would be ideal. I like your idea of just typing letters needed and having them cut them.

    Miss Kirby - what exactly is the new Second Grade Making Words book? Is that the name of it?
     
  17. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jun 20, 2008

  18. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2008

    Thanks for the link! This looks like something I could really use :)
     
  19. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2008

    For those of you who suggested using the baseball trading card organizers, how secure are the pockets to hold small letter cards? I was about to buy a package on Ebay when I thought to myself how awful it would be if the pockets were not secure and the kids would complain that their cards are falling out. Can one of you tell me if you have problems with the letter cards slipping through the slit at the top???
     
  20. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    Aug 2, 2008

    I have been doing it this way: I have baggies of each letter. At the start of each making words activity we will be doing, I call on a student to take the baggie and hand out the correct number of letters to each student. Each letter being used has a different student handing it out. At the end of the activity, the same student goes around and collects the letters he/she handed out at the beginnning. Students like the responsibilty, and it only takes minutes for the set up and set down.
     
  21. TeachnRox

    TeachnRox Companion

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    Aug 5, 2008

    letters on the loose!

    At the end of the lesson, I have the kids tap their folder three times on their desk, this is so all the letters fall to the bottom of the pocket. I haven't had trouble with letters falling out of the pockets, only when students don't put them in the pocket and they slide out of the folder. I think it might depend on what you are making your letters out of. Mine are paper and have been laminated. A teammate of mine, just uses paper w/o lamination, and this is fine too. They keep the folders in their desk, too. hth :)
     

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