In the last two posts, I wrote extensively about the pre-reading and beginning language materials. Today I will describe what comes next.
After the children have completed the red/yellow/blue work including their sound books AND are at the point where they can blend the sounds to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, they are ready to read words with consonant blends. This work is typically the "blue" work from the pink/blue/green series that is commonly used in Montessori classrooms. As I have said in previous posts, my red/yellow/blue work replaces the "pink" work. To review, the "pink" work consists of CVC words, the "blue" work consists of words with consonant blends and short vowel sounds, and the "green" work consists of words with phonograms which include the long vowel pairs as well as the consonant digraphs (i.e. /sh/, /th/, etc). To give you a complete picture of what work will be on my language shelves, the next photos show some "pink" work I made during my training.
This work consists of four different "boards" with accompanying word cards. Each set of cards is in a separate clear plastic envelope. Since I created these 12 years ago, I don't have any files to share. You can see the work closer in the next two photos. It would be pretty easy to create these with computer clipart. Mine is all hand-colored and pasted, something I won't need to do ever again thanks to technology!! Children should know all the consonant and short vowel sounds to do this work as the words may contain any of the letters, unlike the red/yellow/blue work which is controlled based on the sounds that have been introduced.
On the left is a close-up showing the board and matching cards. On the right you can see a blackline master I made so children can do a cut and paste to take home. For this work, they would leave the picture paper intact and cut out the words to glue beneath each corresponding picture.
This photo shows what I would initially present for the "blue" work. Again, I made these materials as part of my training. This is the "blends" work. Each envelope contains a board with pictures that begin with a consonant blend. The cards have the blends printed on them. I have divided this work by type of blend. For example, there are 3 sets of -r blends, 3 sets of s- blends, etc.
The main thing I want children to gain from this material is the understanding that when there are 2 consonants together, they can blend them instead of pronouncing each individual sound. For example, instead of sounding out "broom" as /b/ /r/ /oo/ /m/, they know they can say it like this: /br/ /oo/ /m/. The teacher jargon for this is "chunking." It is important for beginning readers to learn to look for "chunks" within words instead of relying on the laborious task of sounding out every word letter by letter.
The next thing to introduce after success with the blends matching activity is the blue word drawers. In my system, I have printed these words in light blue to differentiate them from the "blue" sets of CVC words. My blue word drawers are available to download here.
Next up are the phonograms. As I said above, the phonograms include the vowel pairs and digraphs as well as the consonant digraphs (sh, ch, th). I would introduce these very similarly to how I introduced the sounds with the sandpaper letters. I am excited because in the shower I had the brilliant idea to create little phonogram booklets much like my sound books for the red/yellow/blue work. So I stayed up REALLY late last night getting that ready. In the first photo you can see the sandpaper phonogram /ee/ and the phonogram booklet. I put 14 blank pages in my booklet to correspond with the 14 phonograms in my "green series" word drawers. (Those are available for download here.) I wanted to have a keyword for children to use to remember the phonogram sound. That's when another brainstorm led me to create little keyword picture stickers for each phonogram. So when the child learns the phonogram, they can place the picture sticker on the page and the teacher will write the phonogram as well as the word containing the phonogram. You can see the example in the second photo. I am making all my picture sticker files available for you to download below. I formatted them to be printed on standard white mailing labels (1" X 2 5/8"). I used AVERY 18160 to print mine. The format has two pictures per label to conserve paper. You simply cut between the stickers to get two from each label.
This shows the phonogram sandpaper letters. Next to them is a holder with blank phonogram booklets and in the back of the holder are the sticker sheets. I am not sure I will ultimately have them out this way on the shelf, but at least you can see what they look like when printed. Below are the links to download all the stickers. There are 30 each of 2 different phonograms pictured on each page. I've also included the file for the covers of the phonogram booklets. You can get 8 covers from one sheet. Trim them to 4" by 2 3/4" and you will hardly waste any paper. Then just cut apart plain green paper for the back covers.
After a phonogram is introduced and placed in the phonogram booklet, the child is ready to do the corresponding word drawer. In the green series, each word drawer contains only words with that phonogram. This photo shows the /ee/ word drawer.
During my training year, I made the work shown above. This work consists of 5 sets of pictures/word matching sets, each corresponding to a different long vowel sound. Additionally, each long vowel has booklets with words containing that vowel pair. On the right you can see the envelope for long "e" as well as the long "e" booklets.
Inside each long vowel booklet are words corresponding to the vowel sound. As shown, I underlined the vowel pair with red in each word to emphasize it.
Here is a close-up of the long "e" vowel work. As with the pink work shown earlier in this post, there is a corresponding cut and paste paper for each envelope.