Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pool Noodle Phonics: Decoding Matters

I recently presented at a conference for my school district on the roots of reading development.
This slide is one of my favorites from the presentation.  I'm such a reading nerd...
Here are some things you need to know about reading development and comprehension:
    •Reading with comprehension is the product of decoding and language comprehension.This means that a student who’s missing either component will not be a good reader.
Reading is more than the sum of its parts; a weakness in any essential component can undermine the whole complex activity.Students must decipher the alphabetic code in order to read words accurately.Students must read words accurately and fluently to comprehend, they must understand language in order to comprehend what they decode.The end goal of reading is to gain meaning. If we skillfully teach all essential components, students will be well prepared to read and comprehend what they read.Research was conducted by Haskins Laboratory and Yale University on several hundred children who were followed from K thru college.  They found  that most good readers are good in both decoding and comprehension and most poor readers are poor in both decoding and comprehension. These poor readers cannot access the words to make sense of what they’re reading.  About 20% of poor readers have good comprehension and poor decoding.  These students have strong language skills.  Many of these students are dyslexic.  About 10% of poor readers have poor comprehension and good decoding skills.  These usually have poor language skills.

A focus of my presentation was how to easily create activities that work on the decoding side of the Simple View of Reading.  While looking around the dollar store for items to use in phonemic awareness activities, I spotted the pool noodles and an idea to use them for segmenting and blending suddenly came to me!  I'm all about activities that are cheap and easy and that's exactly what this one is!
Want to save this idea for later? Pin this image!

Step 1- Cut a pool noodle in to small chunks {3-4" is plenty}. 
Then, slice off an edge {see pic above}.

Step 2- Write 1 letter on each section.

Step 3- Put the letters on the edge of a desk.
Say the sounds of each letter- /p/  /a/  /t/

Slide the letters together and blend the sounds into a word.

We just blended pat!

Change out the vowel and do it again!
You can even make the vowels out of a different colored noodle.

See how nicely the pieces hug the edge of the desk!?!

Here are some more phonemic awareness activities to help meet the CCSS above...

What are some of your favorite activities for segmenting and blending?

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