It happens everyday. We all have 5 minutes here and there during our day in the classroom that we need to fill. Even more importantly, we want to make the most of those minutes, so it is important to find activities that are both educational and quick. I am here to help!
Today I am going to share with 3 super simple activities you can use in your primary classroom right away, 1 website that is a must and 1 new product that will help you teach foundational Phonemic Awareness skills in just 5 minutes a day!
Stand Up/Sit DownThis listening activity can be used with any topic you choose. In grade 1 I use it to get to know students by asking questions about them, their families and their interests. It gets them moving by they need to listen to be able to play. You can do it with letters in your name or sounds in your name. Make it a math activity and ask survey questions.
There are so many possibilities.
Around the CircleThis is a game we play in our carpet area. My kids giggle when I tell them we are going to play Around the Circle because we actually make a rectangle to play. Around the Rectangle doesn't have the same ring! I have played different variations of this game too. The most popular one is a counting game - as I go around the circle I count each student according to the pattern I have decided. At the beginning I determine a number or numbers that, if you are counted, you will sit down. For instance if we are counting by 1's to 50 I might say that if your number ends in 0 you must sit down when you are counted. We continue counting to 50 until there is only one person left standing. The kids start to predict who will sit down next based on how the pattern has progressed. This is a great way to practice skip counting too.
Categories is another version. We all stand up an I give a category. Each student in the circle has to give a word that fits in that category with the hopes that you can make it all around the circle. If a student doesn't have a word they can sit down or you can start a new category if you don't want anyone to go "out".
Body SpellIn my version of body spell we spell the word wall words. We don't make the actual letters but I use these actions:
Hands in the air for tall letters.
Tap my tummy for what I call tummy letters (letters that sit on the line)
Touch my knees for dangly letters (letters that hang below the line)
I give them a clue before I start - The word start the letter W or it is on the top half of the Word Wall or in the Word Jail. If I was spelling went I would tap my tummy 3 times and the put my hands in the air. I encourage them to count my movements so they can use the clue of how many letters in the word to help them find the word. They become very good at figuring out the word and love to come to the front and body spell for their classmates. It is a great way to get your students to look closely at the letters in words.
Phonemic Awareness in 5 MinutesAs a first grade teacher I start the year assessing my student's phonemic awareness skills with the screener we are provided. Once I have analyzed the data I make a plan for addressing the gaps that most students have and plan to do some whole group work. All of our phonemic awareness resources are in a big binder that is not very teacher friendly while you are teaching whole group at the carpet. I needed a portable resource that I could hold in my hand and be ready to go.
You can also put each skill on it's own binder ring so that you have smaller sets. There are enough words for each skill that you will not need to repeat words, so each student has their own word to show their understanding with.
The cards are set up in such a way to make it easy for a volunteers or parents to use with minimal direction or training.
If you are interested click on any of the images or on this link: