logo

SchoolFamily Voices

Join our bloggers as they share their experiences on the challenges and joys of helping children succeed in school.

Create Word Rainbows To Help Young Spellers

This year in my 1st grade class, I have been using a terrific new concept passed along to me by my colleague, Kathy. This idea greatly helps our students master their weekly spelling assignments. In both of our 1st grade classes, we have a reading station called “Rainbow Words,” which is a colorful, hands-on way for students to practice and remember vocabulary. I noticed that students who were having difficulty recognizing letters, or hearing sounds in the words, had much better success when they used this concept of color-coded individual letters in words. This would be a simple activity to help your young student practice words at home, as well.

You’ll need:

  • A small package of markers or crayons, in the basic eight colors of red, blue, yellow, brown, orange, green, purple, and black
  • Lined paper


Here’s how:

  • You should start very simply. For example, if your child is learning short vowel “a” words such as at, cat, fan, ran, cap, have her use the red marker to print all the “a” vowels in the words. The beginning and final consonants can be any different color of her choice. This way she will easily recognize the vowel in the words, when printing is complete.
  • Have him practice his weekly spelling or sight words by using a different color to print each letter in the word, creating a “rainbow word.” 
  • If your child is more advanced, have her use one specific color to identify digraphs (th, sh, ch, wh), blends (st, sl, pl, cr, etc.,,) or endings in words (ed, ing, ly, etc.) with the other letters in the word.


Children are naturally creative. Using a different color to print each letter in a word helps a child easily recognize those letters and parts of words. This is a great way to improve reading fluency and increase comprehension…while creating word “rainbows”!

Continue reading
1781 Hits
0 Comments

New Words To Add to Your Child’s Word Bank

Last month I provided a list of 30 common sight words, along with directions on how to build a word bank. As promised, here is a new word list. These words are called “word family words,” or phonograms, formed with one short vowel word chunk, and different beginning sounds.

Adding words like these to the bank will help your child hear and see patterns in words, and hear rhymes. Seeing patterns in words and recognizing rhymes directly correlates to the Common Core State Standards for Phonological Awareness.

To review directions:

  • All you need is some small cards that you have handy, like index cards, blank recipe cards, the back of old business cards, etc.
  • Choose a new word each day, and write it on a card.
  • Show it to your child, say it, spell it, and say it again. Have your child do the same.
  • Keep the cards together in a baggie, envelope, or small container.
  • Review words in the “bank” at random, whenever possible.

 

The new words, with the vowel chunk in bold:

 

all
ball
call
fall
tall

an
can
fan
man
ran

at
bat
cat
hat
sat
that

en
hen
men
pen
ten
then

in
bin
fin
tin
win

it
bit
lit
sit
wit

op
mop
pop
top
stop

 

Practice often so he can easily recognize these words when reading sentences and stories!

Continue reading
2817 Hits
2 Comments

Start a “Word a Day” Bank in Your Family

Here’s a simple and fun way to help your child become an awesome reader: Build a family “word of the day” bank.

Halfway through the school year is a perfect time to start this because it builds on skills early elementary students have already learned.

Below is a list of 30 words, one for each day in March. These can be used in any order. The faster your child can recognize and understand these words in a sentence, the more fluently he will read.

  • All you need is some small cards that you have handy, like index cards, blank recipe cards, the back of old business cards, etc.
  • Choose a new word each day, and write it on a card.
  • Show it to your child, say it, spell it, and say it again. Have your child do the same.
  • Keep the cards together in a baggie, envelope, or small container.
  • Review words in the “bank” at random, whenever possible.

 

the
can
said
can’t
need
has
as
ask
look
see

black
like
on
no
to
too
good
don’t
was
saw

has
and
will
won’t
of
get
off
have
two
moon

 

Acquiring vocabulary and using it properly is an integral part of becoming a good reader. It’s also a very big part of the Common Core State Standards for education.

Look for a new list of words in April to add to your child’s word bank.

> Printables To Build Vocabulary Skills

> Spelling and Vocabulary Article Archive

Continue reading
4594 Hits
1 Comment
Advertisement

Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?