Do you ever find your best ideas come to you spontaneously? I've always said flexibility is important in a good teacher, but I also think listening to those crazy ideas as you sit with a group that's just not getting it is also important!
I've had a lot of crazy thoughts over the years, and while some work well, others just get me those strange looks that say, "our teacher has LOST it!".
This was one of those great AHA moments! I posted my frustration about some of my reading students just not getting long vowels. I was looking for a different approach, new ideas, etc. This morning when I got to school, I googled long vowel activities. (Yep, "google" is a verb!). I found some great activities and started a new board on Pinterest. You'll have to check out the link. I don't know why, but I always seem to be attracted to ESOL sites...they always have the best activities! I found some great monster cards, went to Florida's reading site and found some centers....but of course, all that requires time, printing, lamination, cutting out....and of course, did I mention TIME time to put it all together?
So, today in group, since my frantic cutting at every possible free moment of the day hadn't been working....that "AHA" moment struck! We took a deep breath and said long "a" as long as we had breath. Then, we tried to do the same thing for short "a" and....it came out ("like a burp" as one of my kids put it) and we couldn't make it last! The kids of course burst into giggles. We talked about how with short vowels, we can't use a lot of breath! OMG! Light bulbs were busting out all over! One child in my second group then theorized..."I guess that's why they call them short vowels, for short breaths, and long vowels, for long breaths!"
Not that it totally sunk in, but after they insisted we test out all the vowels, we hit the ground running....and ran into the brick wall with silent e. I do, however, have some other great ideas we're going to work on tomorrow about words with silent e, including sticky notes (I did "rip" and "ripe" today - each letter on a separate note, and we're going to do some word hunts tomorrow and "make" silent e words) as well as those great monster cards I mentioned!
Thanks once again for all the great suggestions! I'll keep posting the ideas that work, whether they're my own or someone else's. Meanwhile, check out Lanternfish, the ESOL site I got the monster cards from. It's AWESOME! :)