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Letter combination accuracy

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Activity Type: Build Accuracy
Activity Form: Standard
Grade: K, 1, 2
Group Size: Small Group, Whole Class
Length: 5 minutes

  • Multiple copies of letter combination cards (print them here)
  • One container such as a hat or bag for every eight students in the group
Goal: Given printed letter combinations, the student can discriminate between them and say the sound of each ( sh -> /sh/ )
Items: All letter combinations learned so far

What to do

  1. Put a mix of letter combination cards in a hat or bag that students will pass around the classroom, draw a card from it, and say the sound for that combo. The cards should be a mix of all combinations learned so far, weighted towards the most recently learned letter combinations. You will need at least one bag for every eight or so students in the group, else students will quickly become distracted.
  2. (You can also do this activity with half the cards showing the single most recently learned letter combination, say sh, and the other half showing combinations the students have not yet learned, such as ai. In that version of the activity, you ask students to say /sh/ or not /sh/ depending on what letter combination they draw.)
  3. Now let’s play a game. We’re going to take turns to pull a card from this bag and say the sound of the letters. These are all letters that stick together, so say just one sound when you draw a card. My turn first.
  4. Draw a card, pause, show the letter combination to the students, then say its sound.
  5. Then, I put the card back in the bag and pass it to my neighbor. Pass the bag to a student who is likely to get the answer correctly. Make sure they show the card to the other students. Remind them to put the card back and shake the bag, and then pass it to the next student.
  6. As soon as it's clear that the students get the idea, you can introduce the other bags to speed things up. Each time, draw the first card yourself. Circulate around the group making sure everyone is performing the activity correctly.
  7. If students don’t know a card, say it for them, then ask them to say it. Then, have them draw another card and try again. If they continue to have trouble, make a note in an Activity Log and move on. Try to make sure the last letter combination they draw before passing the bag on is one they name correctly and praise them strongly.
  8. Keep going until everyone has had at least one turn.

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