Can you believe that Sunday is June – aka month four of distance teaching??
Who would have thought in March, when this all started, that we would still be here now.
I’ve kind of found my stride (more or less haha) with distance teaching, and I do find it simpler now than at first, but there is one area that I still find a struggle.
It’s so hard to help my students progress with their reading via distance!
In NS, synchronous learning is not even close to mandatory, and I have not been asked to do any work with small groups or any live meetings.
(I do prerecorded videos all the time, and invite my students to send them back to me!)
Overall, this has worked really well with my class, except, as I said above, with direct reading instruction. Distance differentiation is definitely a challenge!
I’ve been consoling myself by remembering that this is maternelle – some countries don’t teach reading until age 7, and use the time before that to work really hard on conscience phonologique/pre-reading skills, and their students are more than fine!
So, that’s what I’ve been really focusing, on now, too – simple activities that all families can do with what they have at home, to help their children develop and practice these key pre-reading skills.
Just like at school, I’ve been trying to run my lessons with three parts: a quick, 5 minute mini lesson, hands-on practice, and then an independent closing activity to consolidate what they’ve been learning.
In this blog post, I’ll show you how that looks for syllables!
As I said above, the lesson has three main “components”:
1. THE MINI LESSON
As you know, I am not doing live video with my students, but I AM doing pre-recorded video.
So, to kick off my first syllables lessons, I did a quick review of what syllables ARE, with picture examples of food items.
I modelled 2 ways to count: clapping (while counting with fingers), and using cubes/manipulates to keep track of your count.
When I say “while counting with fingers”, here is a picture of what I mean (ignore the condition of my nails, haha! #quarantinelife):
Since I post a Google Slide each day to keep us organized with 3 tasks/day, I linked to this video and asked my students to watch it as task 1.
2. THE PRACTICE
I made another video to explain their practice task, where I modelled the activity in my own home.
The practice lesson was scavenger-hunt style… my students love that format, and they can all be successful because they find items within their own homes that fit the parameters (if you missed my blog post last week, read about how I do that with math HERE).
I made simple labels for numbers 1-4 using sticky notes, and then found objects in my home, said their names in French while counting their syllables, and sorted them per number of syllables.
I modelled syllabes à l’orale, but would accept either answer from my students (for example, I would accept either 1 or 2 syllables for pomme – pomme, or pom/me).
Here is a collage with a few stills from my videos!
Then, it was my students’ turn!
I also typed up instructions for parents in a Google doc. I linked the video as task two on our Daily Slide, and made the Google doc an assignment in Google Classroom. Parents took a picture of what their child found and sorted, and submitted it as their devoir.
They could find as many objects as they wanted, as long as they had at least one thing with 1, 2, and 3 syllables. 4 was a “challenge” option… but they all did it!
3. THE CLOSING ACTIVITY
As an independent, simple closing activity (task 3), I assigned my students a Boom Learning deck for counting syllables in spring words.
I asked them each to spend a few minutes practicing.
I love Boom because of the data – my students each have their own login and password, so I can easily see how well they understood/were able to count the syllables in the spring words.
I also added audio, so I knew that if they got one wrong, it wasn’t just that they didn’t know the word – it was more likely that they had trouble segmenting. I can use the data I get from Boom to help me with some of my report card comments.
The cards also show hand claps, so if i student still doesn’t recognize numbers 1-4 (although mine all do at this point!) they can count the hand claps.
For any parents who prefer a tech-free option, I made a quick list of spring vocabulary and asked them to have their child clap out each word and count how many syllables there are.
IF YOU WANT THE BOOM CARDS…
I do have 10 themes for sale individually – all four seasons and major holidays, plus a school-themed set.
If you want all the themes and love a deal, I also a made a bundle. I’ll post a link to the bundles below (on Boom and on TPT), and from there if you prefer to buy themes separately, you’ll be able to find the ones you want.
Even though I’ve been struggling knowing that my teaching is not how it would normally be, and my students aren’t making as much progress as they usually would if we were in school, it does help me to know that I’m providing them with experiences and activities that will help them later on, when we are back together and proceeding with our regular reading instruction.
Even if I can’t do guided reading with theme every day like when we were in school, at least I am still able to help them practice their pre-reading skills, which is sure to be beneficial when we are back together.
If conscience phonologique is good enough for other countries in maternelle, I’m going to make sure it’s good enough for us! :)
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