Video segment about me, by the school district

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Fun With

Good morning, all!  I'm interrupting my Donald Crews author study to talk about  I'm a member of the site, and when I'm too busy to make my own paper, games, or activities, I turn to this website.  I like how when you're looking for something, you can really zero in on what you want by narrowing it down by grade level or type of resource.  A representative of sent me the following game.  Take a look:

Activity: Play the Rounds of Sounds Game

​For early readers, the printed page is so tantalizing. Kids can see words they know, interspersed with ones that have them stumped. It can be a challenge for parents: while you don't want to discourage your child with books that are too hard, you also want to help him stretch his “decoding” skills so that when he does run into new words, he's ready to take them on. Here's a kindergarten activity that teaches this skill, wrapped into a cute take-anywhere game.

What You Need:
Nothing — just a kid who's learning phonics

What You Do:
Remember that old chant, “Concentration!” (snap, snap) “Are you ready?” (snap, snap), “If so…” (snap, snap), Let’s go!” (snap, snap)… This game has a major educational component—it works on beginning sounds, but kids love to play it. Why? Giving games rhythm makes them more fun, not to mention, challenging.

In the game Rounds of Sounds, you’ll clap your hands, snap your fingers, or slap your knees to a slow beat. Then, after you’ve set your rhythm, say these words: I’m thinking of the ______sound/Now let’s try a round/Ready/Set/Go!

You can substitute any blend into the rhyme, whether it be sh, oa, ing, ee, or fr. It’s your pick! Let’s say you chose the sh sound. First, you’d explain to your child that you’re going to go back and forth coming up with sh words. The sh can be any part of the word, beginning, middle, or end. So words like brush, mushy, and shut are all possibilities.

Set your rhythm, and try it. Here’s how a sh round might sound:

I’m thinking of the SH sound/Now let’s try a round./Ready, Set, Go!

(Wait about 4 beats and then point to your child)

CHILD: Shout!
(Wait 4 beats)

(Wait 4 beats)

CHILD: Shampoo!
(Wait 4 beats)

(Wait 4 beats)

CHILD: Bash!
(Wait 4 beats)

PARENT: Pushy!
(Wait 4 beats)

CHILD: Mushy!
(Wait 4 beats)

Keep going with other sounds. You can pick anything you’d like to play this game. Just make sure you set a slow, steady beat when you start, especially when introducing a new sound. Take this game outside, to a party, or on the road. No supplies needed—just your own two hands, and a child that’s game!

I like this game because kindergarten kids love to slap and clap, and no materials are needed. I can picture myself using this as a whole-class activity, small-group activity, or when we're waiting to go to lunch.  I don't know about your kids, but mine are very talkative when we're lined up unless we're playing a game.

One additional feature that I appreciate about is that when kids go to a particular game, everything is read out loud to them.  This is particularly wonderful for ESOL kids.  When they're reading a story on the website, each word is highlighted while it's spoken.  When they answer comprehension questions about the stories, there's a particular sound if they get it right, and a different sound if they get it wrong.  I think this is a good feature because it gives the child immediate feedback about how they're doing, and they can think about it and try again to pick the correct answer.  I also like how the illustrations for the comprehension questions name the character or item when you hover your mouse over it.

The games on this website are interesting, filled with developmentally appropriate activities such as songs, puzzles, matching, and drag-and-drop games.  Finally, it's cool that you can do one-shot activities or a whole series of connected activities for any of your students who need extra help with a particular skill.

Have fun exploring!

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