How to Make A Necklace. Procedural Text Investigation Provocation

Procedural Text Investigation Provocation

This term in Grade One we are exploring Procedural Texts. The children will be writing a simple procedural text as their assessment piece. To help them explore the structure of Procedural Texts, we have many of our Investigation Areas set up with procedures for the children to read and follow.

Grade One Assessment. Creating a Procedural Text

Links to the Curriculum

One of the most popular Investigation Areas has been the Art and Craft provocation – How to Make a Necklace. When designing a provocation many curriculum objectives are considered. This provocation reinforces many learning intentions:

Literacy

  • Read and comprehend a procedural text.
  • Explore the structure of a procedural text.

Numeracy

  • Create, record and continue a repeating pattern.
  • Counting to 30.
  • One-to-one correspondence.
  • Sorting by size, shape and colour.
  • Functional problem solving.

Science

  • Investigate materials and their properties.

Fine Motor

  • Developing the pincer grip.
  • Translation, shift and rotation refinement.
  • Visual Perception and Discrimination skills.
  • Hand – Eye coordination.

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Sharing, turn taking and cooperation
  • Feeling of success which boosts self-esteem.
Beading Provocation. How to Make a Necklace
Provocation - How to Make a Necklace
Beading promotes fine motor skills
Beading promotes fine motor skills.

Setting Up the Procedural Text Investigation Area

This Investigation Area has been designed to be used by up to 4 children. Many more than 4 children request to work here each day, but it was limited to only 4 at any time. Allowing only a smaller number of children to work in this area encourages the children to take turns and negotiate conflicts. This number is also the perfect size for socialising and encouraging the children to help each other. Designing smaller spaces and limiting the number of children in any Investigation Area helps with engagement, oral language and noise levels.

Resources

A selection of beads in small dishes

Provide acrylic, glass and wooden beads in a variety of sizes, colours and shapes. Present the beads in small clear dishes if possible as this allows the children to visually discriminate between the beads.

A piece of white fabric or card

Placing the small dishes of beads on a piece of white fabric or card is visually appealing and allows the true colours of the beads to be seen. It also encourages the children to keep the space orderly as the bead dishes have an obvious organisational place.

Acrylic beading string

Our strings were purchased pre-cut but it would have been preferable to have the children measure and cut the string length themselves. The acrylic Scoubi string is ideal for beading projects with young children. It doesn’t fray. The string is strong enough that no threading needle is necessary and yet flexible enough to easily knot. This durable string won’t break and the completed necklace hangs nicely around the child’s neck.

4 pieces of felt

The felt makes a great beading work mat. The beads won’t roll off the table and end up in the cleaner’s vacuum cleaner. The children can easily plan their necklace pattern by laying the beads on the felt without the frustration of having their beads roll away. An alternative to felt would be pieces of grip mat.

How to Make a Necklace Procedure

This could be one large poster text on the wall or small individual texts on the table. If you choose to have the smaller texts, ensure you have at least 2 laminated copies. Laminating the procedure or placing it in a plastic sleeve will ensure it stands up to the wear and tear of continued use.

Printed planning sheets

Children will record their planned pattern on these planning sheets. Place them in a tray or basket off to the side. The children will need to access them easily but they should not intrude on the work space. Having them in a tray or basket keeps them confined and again encourages the children to keep the space orderly.

Tin of colouring pencils or crayons

Children record their necklace pattern by colouring the beads on their planning sheet. Ensure the beads you offer have a matching colour pencil or crayon in the tin.

Teaching procedural texts with this play based provocation
How to Make a Necklace. Investigation Area
Scoubi string is perfect for little hands to bead with
Scoubi string is perfect for little fingers to bead with
Felt makes a great mat for beading projects.
A felt mat will stop your beads from rolling away
Free printable planning sheet and procedural text for teaching children procedural texts
Planning Sheet and Procedural text

Download and print your FREE Procedure and Planning Sheet straight away to have this Investigation Area up and running in your classroom today!

If you would like these free resources, you might like to join My Teaching Cupboard’s Email Group. I don’t send out emails very often though. You will get access to my FREE Resource Library when you sign up. In the FREE Resource LIbrary, you’ll find the Necklace Planning Sheets and the Procedure for How To Make a Necklace along with some other resources I know you’ll find useful.

Free printable planning sheet and procedural text for teaching children procedural texts
Alphabet play dough mats in Queensland Beginners Font

How to Teach Phonics with Play dough

Playdough is always a favourite in my classroom. It’s ideal to use that interest for reinforcing educational skills and concepts. That’s the beauty of a play-based classroom. You can teach phonics and consolidate phonemic skills through the provocations and learning invitations you provide.

Playdough is a wonderful sensory experience. When you stimulate any of the 5 senses (seeing, touching, smelling, tasting or hearing) you are helping the brain to develop. When you ignite the senses of children, neural pathways are created in the brain. Current brain research suggests that sensory learning experiences will help children to LEARN more and RETAIN more too.

How to teach phonics with playdough?

Play dough by itself stimulates the sense of touch. Adding an essential oil to play dough will ignite the sense of smell.  Now 2 senses are being stimulated and those neural pathways in the brain are being created. If you want to teach or reinforce a phonics concept, add a phonics stimulus to the mix. The first phonics stimulus I always add is an alphabet play dough mat. This is how I teach alphabet letter symbols with playdough. Allow the children to feel the letters as they squeeze, roll and bend the playdough. They will be creating and accessing brain pathways through their sense of touch, smell and sight. When they form letters with the playdough you will be teaching phonic concepts they will remember.

koala play dough mat

The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge. Our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key to guide his explorations of the world, they cast a light upon it which makes visible to him more things in greater detail than he could see in the dark, or uneducated state. (Maria Montessori: The Absorbent Mind)

I like to add props to my playdough table. This enhances the sensory learning experience even further. I use the props to teach and reinforces our focus letter sound. This is how to teach phonics with playdough.

For some information on phonological awareness or phonemic awareness, and how they relate to the teaching of phonics, please read this blog post.

Adding props to the play dough also develops more creative and critical thinking. The children will experiment and problem solve with the play dough and the props. Adding some well-planned and thoughtful props transforms a simple play dough experience into a learning provocation. You will also have the bonus of extending their oral language as they discuss the new props.

Choose props to match your phonics focus

As i already mentioned, the first prop I add to the play dough is one of my phonics playdough mats. I carefully designed each mat with a phonics theme in mind. For instance, when I use the /Hh/ mat with the beautiful image of herbs as the background, I also add either a vase of cut herbs or a small herb plant to the play dough provocation. The children’s fine motor skills can be further developed by adding scissors to cut some of the herbs. These cut herbs can be added to their playdough. Their sense of smell is awakened as they smell the cut and crushed herbs.

This learning provocation now encourages

  • open ended creative play
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • extensive vocabulary development
  • added sensory stimulation
  • further development of fine motor skills

We all know how important revision and practice is in learning. You can’t teach a child once and expect them to have learnt the new letter and its corresponding sound. A new phonics concept needs to have exposure numerous times. It needs to be included in many diverse sensory experiences. The greater the number of opportunities, the stronger the brain and memory can connect, learn and remember. The more varied the opportunities, the stronger the brain and memory can connect, learn and remember.

Herb play dough alphabet mat for sensory play
play dough provocation props

How I teach phonics in my classroom

At my school, we teach phonics using The Jolly Phonics Program. At the beginning of the Prep year we focus on 3 sounds over 2 weeks. I explicitly teach each letter, sound and action. Then the children practice and revise these concepts during our investigation time. The play dough table is just one place in my room where they can do this.

Using my play dough phonics mats and related phonemic props to teach phonics means I need to change the play dough table around quite regularly.  It’s very easy to create a new learning experience with little effort. To introduce a brand-new provocation, all I need to do is swap the mat and a few props. The new props bring new learning opportunities. Oh, and the minute you add something new to an area, I can guarantee they’ll be lining up to get there.

 By providing students with materials that they can physically manipulate, play with and explore, teachers help them learn more about the world and develop crucial skills that they will utilize later in life. (Caitrin Blake, Concordia University Nebraska)

The letters featured in my mats are in Queensland Beginners Font.  You might like to have these beautiful mats in your classroom to help you teach phonics at your play dough table. The pack contains 40 mats in A4 size. They each have an authentic photograph background reflecting the associated phoneme. Every 26 letters of the alphabet are represented at least once. There are two mats for each vowel, with both the long and short vowel sounds included.  For repeated use, be sure to laminate the mats or slide them into a sheet protector before using them.

Everything we know about the world and ourselves has come through our senses (Bogdashina, Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome)

I tend to make one batch of play dough each term. You will love my favourite play dough recipe. It lasts for ages and doesn’t need refrigeration. You can find it here.

how to teach phonemic awareness and early reading skills

How to Teach Phonemic Awareness

Before you can expect a child to read or write, you need to be teaching phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness can be broken into four main skills. The first of these is the ability to hear and isolate sounds (phonemes) in words.  The next two skills a child needs to master are the blending and segmenting of phonemes. The final skill is phoneme manipulation. I have found this is usually the most difficult of the four phonemic awareness skills.

Isolating Phonemes

This is where children need to be investigating both the producing and hearing of phonemes – sounds. Getting children to listen and watch you produce a sound helps them to isolate phonemes.

Ask them to copy you and make the sound too. They should be noticing the position of their mouth and tongue when they do it. It can be a little easier for some children to have access to a mirror when they are producing different sounds. A mirror helps them see and copy the mouth positions.

Tongue twisters are a fun activity that children always love. Have them repeat or create tongue twisters to reinforce the isolation of phonemes. You can download some tongue twisters here.

Picture and word sorting are fantastic activities for exploring phoneme isolation. I have some picture sorts available in my store. These picture sorts are designed to focus on initial sounds in words. The position of the phoneme in each word has a different level of difficulty. The initial sound in a word is the easiest to hear and isolate.

Blending and Segmenting Phonemes

Before you tackle the blending and segmenting of sounds, it is important that your students have a solid understanding of letter, sound and word concepts. Children need to be able to differentiate between these concepts before you begin any blending and segmenting activities.

Phoneme Bingo is a game to develop phonemic awareness

I designed a phoneme bingo game to build phonemic awareness in beginning readers. I use this phonemic awareness game to teach my students how to blend and segment the sounds/phonemes within words. Some other activities to help teach the blending and segmenting of phonemes are:

  • count the phonemes in words
  • play with a puppet that emphasises initial, medial or final sounds “look at that c-a-a-a-t”
  • use an elastic band to demonstrate segmenting by stretching the band and saying the word slowly at the same time

Manipulating Phonemes

One of the most difficult of the phonemic awareness skills requires children to substitute, delete and add phonemes to words. I have had success with this skill once children have started formal reading and writing. We make words in numerous ways. We use magnetic letters, rock letters (letters written on flat pebbles) and scrabble tiles. I always begin with CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. When the children can make CVC words quite competently, we start swapping letters out to make new words. If you can make cat, you can make mat, fat, sat, pat, bat etc.

Research indicates that phonemic awareness in young students is one part of an effective reading program. The teaching of phonemic awareness is most successful when there is an explicit focus on recognising and manipulating sound units— phonemes.

This Phoneme Bingo game has helped the students in my class recognise and manipulate phonemes. They love playing this game. It has been great to see them gain confidence and experience success with their phonemic awareness skills.

This .pdf file contains a call sheet and 18 bingo cards. Each card has 6 pictures. I have used stock photos for the pictures as I like the authenticity of real life images. Your students will instantly recognise the pictures on each card. Instructions for playing are included along with some information on phonemic awareness.

 

This game is easily differentiated to suit the developmental level of your students. Some ideas for differentiation are included.

Check out my blog post on Phonological Awareness if you would like to read more about phonemic awareness and other pre-reading skills.
Play dough Flowers. A sensory number provocation

Play dough Flowers— Number Provocations

I always link the provocations in my play-based investigation areas to our class learning intentions. I designed these play dough flowers for some number provocations I had in mind. They have turned out to be quite a handy resource.

I’ve frequently used them to teach number concepts in a variety of ways. I have been using them in quick transition activities, math warm-ups and also in whole class math games. They have been useful as a resource for my explicit teaching lessons too.  These flowers are ideal for use in quite a few different number provocations. I’ve outlined some number provocations and a few other ideas below.

These number flowers are a great addition to your playdoh table
Number provocation at the play dough table
Play dough provocation with printable flowers

I wanted a hands-on, sensory provocation to teach some number concepts. These flowers were originally designed to be used at the play dough table. The children loved them and before long number provocations started popping up everywhere! It seems I’m grabbing them more often for other areas in my classroom too.

They have come in handy when we study living things (plants) in Science. I always get them out for Spring. Our classroom is full of flowers in Spring.

Here are some of the ways I have used these Number Flowers in my classroom:

As number provocations in our Investigation Areas
  • In sensory tubs with sand, dirt, gravel or rice and a few empty plant pots, some gardening gloves and a couple of gardening trowels.
  • As a stimulus at the play dough table with either plant pots or cups so they can squash the play dough into the cup and plant their flowers.
  • With flower pots in the Dramatic Play space or just in a large vase for rearranging.
  • In a plant pot or vase as a display at the Science Nature table.
  • With counters and a number line at the Math table.
  • With some tins and cups at the Blocks area.
As a game, math warm-up or transition activity—give each child a flower
  • (numerals & words) and ask them to find their matching flower friend.
  • Or find a flower friend one more than you (or one less, before you or after you on the number line).
  • Ask them to put themselves in order (make a number line).
  • Put a large vase (or small bucket) at the front of the room and count forwards, backwards or skip count together. When a child’s flower is said, they put their flower in the bucket.
  • Sit in a circle and give clues to the secret flower eg: I’m the number before 7. The correct flower child stands up.
  • Make 2 sitting lines down each side of the carpet area. Give the children in one line numeral flowers and the other line number word flowers. The lines face each other and the teacher either says a number or a number clue. The children with the correct flower stand up and run across the middle carpet space to swap places. We call this game, Cross the River.

The .pdf file contains 42 number flowers in a variety of colours. They have been made using Queensland Beginner’s Font. Both numerals and words for numbers 0 to 20 are included. They have been designed to be printed on A4 paper or card. There are 6 flowers to each page. If you wanted them to be a smaller size, you could tile the printing to have 12 flowers to a page.

CVC Sentences to develop Decoding Fluency from My Teaching Cupboard

CVC Sentences to Develop Decoding Fluency

Looking for decodable texts that are authentic?

Simple decodable texts from My Teaching Cupboard

Give your beginning reader success and a joy of reading with decodable texts.

Teaching a child to read must be explicit and follow a developmental sequence. In the first stage of reading, a child is learning the relationship between letters and sounds and between print and spoken words.

The texts given to a beginning reader must be simple with a combination of a few sight words and some easy to sound-out words. Decodable texts are just that!

CVC words, consonant – vowel – consonant words, are the easiest to decode or sound-out.

Successful Readers Draw Upon Six Skills When They Are Reading

  1. Phonemic awareness: the ability to hear and identify the separate words in a sentence and the separate syllables and sounds within words.
  2. Letter-sound relationship: knowing the sound that goes with each letter.
  3. Sounding out or decoding words: using their letter-sound relationship knowledge to sound out words.  This is called decoding.
    These two kinds of knowledge (letter-sound correspondence and decoding) are called the alphabetic principle.
  4. Fluency: the ability to read accurately and quickly without the need to stop and decode. It is important that the reader is still comprehending and understanding the text they are reading.
  5. Vocabulary: knowledge of what words mean.
  6. Comprehension: understanding and gaining meaning from the text.

First a child must develop their phonemic awareness.

It is the vital pre-requisite to formal phonics instruction. When children know all their single letter sounds they are ready to start decoding words phonetically.

The ability to decode words phonetically is an important skill for the beginning reader. It lays the foundation to becoming a competent, fluent reader. If a child cannot decode words, their reading will not be fluent. Their reading comprehension skills will be poor too.

Sounding out words – decoding is an important part of becoming a fluent reader. Children competent in phonemic awareness, concepts of print and letter/sound relationships (phonics) quickly master decodable texts. In no time they are ready to read other books with richer and varied vocabulary.

CVC sentences to develop decoding fluency from My Teaching Cupboard

Decodable readers are the stepping stones to becoming a fluent, confident reader.

CVC flip sentences to develop fluency in decoding. Help build reading success in the beginning reader. From My Teaching Cupboard.

In my classroom, I often found my students were quite competent at sounding out words in isolation. However, they were having difficulty transferring this skill to their guided reading texts. The answer to this transference problem lies in practice. Practice in reading decodable texts is a necessity.

I found that most of the decodable reading books available to the beginning reader were not very authentic in their sentence structure or story line. To solve this problem, I designed these Flip Sentences.

The sentences in this resource are simple in structure with authentic content. They are helping my beginner readers develop automatic decoding skills and building their fluency. More importantly though, my children are enjoying success as readers and their confidence and enthusiasm is growing daily.

The 56 sentences contain common sight words

along with decodable CVC words.

I usually use these Flip Sentences in my small group Literacy Rotations. Children work with a partner. One child reads the first sentence and their partner follows along. If the sentence is read fluently, the listening partner says, “flip it”.

The reader flips the sentence over to reveal the matching illustration. This gives the children an opportunity to self-check their reading accuracy. The children then swap roles with the listening partner becoming the reader and decoder.

They really love this activity. I get requests for the Flip Sentences often.

The sight words in my Flip Sentences are:

I, am, a, we, to, and, here, my, little, go, come, see, like, she, look, he, the, me