Thursday, February 14, 2013

Making the Resources Work for You

As a curriculum resource designer, I often have a set idea in my mind of how my resource should be used.  I create the resource from the perspective of how I would use it in class. This will be a center.  This is a whole group activity.

But I often wonder how often a teacher uses that resource exactly as I have envisioned it.  Based on my own experience with resources I've bought or downloaded free, I'd say not every time.

Many of you probably picked up this fabulous resource during the 14 Days of Love blog hop we recently hosted.

Danielle from Crayonbox Learning designed this as a learning center activity.  I really wanted to use it, but felt my first graders weren't quite ready to read the long vowel combinations independently, and I wanted to do a lesson about how different vowel combinations make long vowel sounds, so I decided to use it a whole group activity.

We sat on the floor in a circle, and I put the header cards out on the floor.  Each child received a word.  We went around the circle, and the child read their word, decided which long vowel it had, and put the word under the correct header.

sorting by long vowel sound

After we sorted out all the words, the kids wrote them on the recording sheet under the correct vowel.

long a highlighted

After they recorded the word, we got out a yellow marker, crayon, or highlighter, and I had them study the words in each column to figure out which vowels worked together to make the vowel sounds long.  We then highlighted those vowel combinations in each word.


Since we had been working with silent e, my kids easily recognized that vowel combination.  Some of the others were more challenging, but working together,  the children did identify and highlight all the different vowel combinations that made long vowel sounds on the paper.

highlighting vowel combos

This lesson wound up being a wonderful way to introduce these long vowel combinations to the children.  They were engaged the whole lesson, and they really liked Danielle's cute graphics and Cupig.  I know this is not quite how Danielle envisioned this resource being used, but I think it's wonderful that we have all these resources at our fingertips to use in the way that best suits the needs of our children at a particular moment in time.

I wonder how many of you have used any of my creations in a way not quite like I intended but still loved the outcome?  I'd love to hear about it if you have.
Have a good evening.

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