They can... READ!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Tek, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Tek

    Tek Comrade

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    Feb 25, 2013

    As a first year first grade teacher, one of my concerns was I don't think of myself as the best teacher of phonics. I've mostly worked with older students, so I had this great fear that, in their most important, critical reading developmental stage, I might screw them up or impede their progress. I learned the rules of how to read, but forgot about them over time.

    In the beginning of the school year my kids were given a phonics survey. Few knew the silent e rule. Right now, we're going through the silent e rule, and they're getting it! I'm impressed by how quickly they've picked it up.

    Also, in researching the various phonics rules, I'm reminded of lessons from long ago. I feel more confident in this area, even though I know I don't have all the answers, unlike some of my 20+ year teacher friends who seems to know every last sound in every word given.

    It's really neat to see the kids learn how to read more!

    On a side note, how concerned should I be with spelling? Is their ability to read more important at this stage than their ability to spell? Obviously, having both would be nice.

    One of my students keeps spelling "was" as "whus." He thinks he hears the "wh" sound in "was." It's just one of those funky sight words one has to learn/memorize. Ah, English...

    Anyway, it's a relief to know my kids are reading more :)
    It's so cool seeing them get the silent e rule, because that opens up so many more words they can decode.

    I tell them the classic line "when two vowels go walking, the first does the talking and the second goes to sleep." It's a classic for a reason. Kids love the image!
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 26, 2013

    Spelling is always a little behind their reading ability, however, the phonics skills that you are teaching should be transferring to their spelling as well. I would make sure to pair the phonics with the spelling as well as the reading. They should be using inventive spelling (so if they write chrane for train, that's okay), but you should start to see the phonics skills in their writing.

    When students learn to read a sight word, they should also be working on spelling the sight word. Not all students will be able to spell and read them, but it is something that you should work towards.
     
  4. Tek

    Tek Comrade

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    Mar 6, 2013

    Yes, I pair up the spelling words with the phonics we are working on. For example this week we're doing long O vowel sound, silent e, so some of their words are

    Home
    Rose
    Those

    and so forth. We also talk about rulebreakers, like "gone" and "some." English... a tricky language...
     
  5. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Mar 6, 2013

    Seeing children learn to read is one of the greatest perks to teaching grade 1. I love being part of the process!!

    Don't sweat the spelling, it will come as they become better readers.
     
  6. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Mar 6, 2013

    I'm in my first year of teaching also, Tek, and I can completely relate! It is amazing how much they have grown this year!!! I have really seen it lately - it's like there has been an explosion of growth in both their reading and writing. None of it is perfect yet, of course, but I cannot believe how far they've come! I really feel like there are SO many areas I need to improve upon in my Language Arts instruction - it's just such a huge area to tackle with this age group and there is SO much they need to learn - but somehow the kids have learned anyway!

    I absolutely love first grade and do not see myself moving any time soon, and this is part of the reason! The growth is phenomenal! So much is "clicking" in their little brains at this point in the year! It's probably the most exciting thing I've ever been a part of, watching that growth.

    Also, thank you to the veterans for the reassurance about the spelling! I don't think I ever truly understood how complicated English is until I started teaching first grade.
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Mar 6, 2013

    Interesting. I've gotten a lot of kids who've spelled it "wuz."
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 6, 2013

    It is wonderful to see to see. I am always worried too but the kids are reading so I am happy.
     
  9. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2013

    I agree with other posters- don't sweat the spelling. I encourage my kids to stretch out the words and hear as many sounds as they can, but I still have to be very good at decoding things sometimes.

    We actually have a list of 100 words that the kids are expected to be able to read AND spell by the end of first grade. Those are ones that I want to see spelled correctly in their writing, even if the words aren't spelled exactly how they sound (like "was"). The first part of the year is spent making sure kids can read them, and it's around this point in the year that we really start focusing on making sure that they're spelled correctly. (Plus, come on kids, we have a word wall!) :)
     
  10. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Mar 25, 2013

    I have sixteen (I know, I am blessed with a small classroom population!) students, and I spend so much of my time with the lowest 5 (three of which are still totally non-readers) that the other day I took a breath and consciously noticed how well the rest of my kiddos are doing! Of 16, 8 entered 1st not knowing how to spell their own names or recite the complete alphabet. Now, 10 are reading on grade level (at least with me - God help me when it's DIBELs time again!), two are, while low, at the "strategic" level, and my poor three lowest don't seem to make progress despite my best efforts. It's not the scenario I would like to see, but it's still a blessing!
     

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