Making Words

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With a house full of children, we see a wide range of questions. At this point, we have a reader, a beginner reader and a non-reader. I hear a lot of questions like “how do you say this word?” and “Is this even a real word?”. The most popular question is “Mom, how do you spell this word?” That’s why any activity where kids are making words is so important.

Nonsense Words?

You laugh, but YES, we work on creating nonsense words in the classroom. But why?

Building nonsense words is just as important as building real words. For one, it’s so much fun! When I have this activity in my literacy centers, I hear so much giggling and laughing. And that sure does make this teacher heart happy.

Another reason why building these words is so important is that it teaches our young readers how to decode them using the sounds they know. And when they can decode them like that, decoding real words is also practiced.

But on top of making nonsense words, building real ones in this activity is also important. Building a word builds fluency and accuracy while developing the understanding that a word must carry meaning.

An Easy Literacy Center

Classroom centers should’t take a ton of planning. Even the most simple activity can be so effective. This free activity can be used in a literacy center or at your teacher table for those that need the extra practice.

I found these phonics cubes on Amazon which are perfect for this activity. Pair students up or make it an individual activity.

The start with rolling each dice to find a letter. They next build it in different ways to see if they can come up with a real word or a nonsense word.

Next, they write the word under the correct category and pass the dice to the next partner!

This activity covers the standard that students must use their phonics knowledge to identify and match common sounds that letters represent and using the letter-sound relationship to decode a word.

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progress monitoring in the early elementary classroom for math, literacy and reading

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