Sunday, March 25, 2012

Learning the Vowels and Common Core

Teaching those pesky vowel sounds in the early childhood classroom can be challenging. Students must learn the difference between a consonant and vowel, the sounds for each vowel, and that every word must have a vowel.  These concepts can be abstract for our little learners.  So why not make it fun by making vowel flags, singing a song, marching around the room, and ending the activity with a vowel hunt.  


Today's post will show how I teach the short vowel sounds in my classroom, and at the end of this post, I will show the correlation and connection to the Common Core Standards. I first play the song "I Know My Vowels" from my CD "Growing Dendrites with Kathy Griffin" (c) Copyright 2011.  Sometimes we watch the multimedia file on our interactive whiteboard or Smart Board, and sometimes I just play the song on the CD player depending on the objective.  Here is a sample of the multimedia file:
video
Interested in purchasing the multimedia file for your Smart Board, Interactive Whiteboard, or student computers for $3.00?  Click here for a link to it on my TpT store.
Want to purchase the mp3 version of this song for $1.00?  Click here for a link to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

We decorate our "vowel flags."  The children personalize their flag for next activity.
I hot glue a Popsicle stick to the back of the flag.  We turn the song on again and use our flags for marching around the room to the song.  The children love to wave their flags while they sing.  This is a picture of one of my students with her flag.  
We keep our flags in our desks and use them for several activities over a few weeks and then bring them back for review.  I have three different recording sheets that go with the song/flag activity.  I differentiate the activity depending on the needs of my students.  The recording sheets look like this:
The focus is to locate words, write them in the appropriate column, and highlight the vowel.

Differentiating for students who are ready to find words with blends.  The focus is to locate the words, write them in the appropriate column, and highlight the vowel.

Differentiating for students who are ready to add word endings which is part of the Common Core Standards. Students locate words with vowels that have the word endings listed on the recording sheet and write them in the appropriate column.  Students may also locate words and then add the word endings too.
We use our flags frequently as we learn, practice, and review our vowel sounds.  On the last time through, I have the students record the words they find that contain the vowels directly on their flag.  When they are finished, they take their vowel flags home for a home-school connection. Here is a sample of one of my flags along with the directions. Click here to download a copy of the vowel flags and recording sheets.

Cut the sheet into 2 flags, hot glue or tape (packaging tape works best) to the back of the flag.
The pictures below show how I differentiate the activity to meet the needs of my students.  Sometimes we make vowel flags for the short vowel sound, and other times we focus on finding words that make the long vowel sound or they "say their name."

Do you like this vowel activity?  It is part of the "I Know My Vowels Activity Pack" from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.   Click here to view it on Teachers Pay Teachers. Click Download Preview at the top of the TpT page to see more activities from the packet.


You can also purchase the book set for guided reading or use as a "Just Right Book" for book boxes. Click here for a link to the book set on my TpT store.


Common Core
So exactly how and where does "learning the vowels" fall within the Common Core Standards?
For Kindergarten:
English Language Arts Standards: Language
Conventions of Standard English
L.K.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
*Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).
*Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.
Reading: Foundational Skills
Phonological Awareness
RF.K.2. Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
*Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable words.
*Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.
Phonics and Word Recognition
*Demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant.
*Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.
For 1st Grade:
English Language Arts Standards: Language
Conventions of Standard English
L.1.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
*Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.
Phonological Awareness
RF.1.2 Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
*Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
*Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
*Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence on individual sounds (phonemes).
Phonics and Word Recognition
RF. 1.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
*Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.



4 comments:

  1. Very cute idea for teaching vowel sounds! I'm now follower #10!

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    1. Yay! I am so glad you visited my blog and for becoming a follower. Have fun marching to the vowels.

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  2. These are so cute Kathy!! I will be posting them on Pinterest :)

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    1. Thanks Katie! We love making vowel flags and singing our vowel song. Thanks for stopping by my blog and most definitely - pin away :-)

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