Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Not very fancy--just nerdy

This month I'm giving you a glimpse of my teacher-nerdiness and a peek at just how "Not-very-fancy" my life truly is! Visit the Show and Tell Tuesday link up for more great classroom tidbits. 

My little girl somehow got really excited about Valentine's Day. This is the best I could do for a celebration. I cut out some hearts and she taped them to the door. I suppose someday she'll realize how incredibly inadequate this truly is, but for now she's thrilled.

School has been taking a lot out of me lately. When I get to my car and find a frosty windshield, I just turn on the defrost and wait. It's about the only rest I get all day, so I just enjoy it, but I feel ridiculously lazy.

3 sounds of ed reading poster

I have been teaching my students the three sounds of "ed" for years, but I have never really understood the rule. It seemed that there should be a pattern, but I never knew. This is the story of my discovery.

I showed my students this digraph video about Mr. H and his 4 girlfriends: Miss S, Miss C, Miss W, and Miss T. In case you're curious, Miss T was actually is ex-girlfriend. Whenever they saw each other, they would stick out their tongues. Sometimes quietly and sometimes noisily. I used it as a springboard to explain the difference between voiced and unvoiced consonant sounds. This is helpful for kids because they often have confusions with reading and spelling sounds like d/t, v/f, s/z, p/b, etc. It also helps them learn to whisper!

Later that week I was explaining the sounds of "ed" to my reading group when it dawned on me: The /d/ sound and the /t/ sound are the same, but /d/ is voiced and /t/ is unvoiced.

Then I started looking at my word lists and realized the rule:

When a word ends with an unvoiced sound, the "ed" says /t/, like "asked." When a word ends with a voiced sound, the "ed" says /d/, like "called." When a word already ends with /t/ or /d/, the "ed" says /ed/, like "wanted" or "added."

I was, and still am, way more excited about this discovery than any person should be.
After my discovery, I updated my Monster-themed Reading Strategy Posters to include the poster above. The set of 18 strategies for emergent readers can be found in my TPT store.
Reading Strategy Posters

 ***UPDATE: a day or two after I published this post, I heard this Grammar Girl episode (see what I mean about nerdy?) about the -ed ending. She talks about some of the exceptions to the rule, incase you are as abnormally interested in this as I am.***

Recently some of my colleagues were intrigued when they saw me cutting and pasting to make some large printed posters for my classroom. For some reason many teachers are unaware that single page PDFs can be printed and assembled into larger posters. If you've been wondering how to do this, pin this post so you don't forget! It's easier than you think!

Open the PDF print window.

See the little button that says "poster?" Click there and adjust the tile percentage. To enlarge this landscape single-page to a 4 page poster, I used tile scale 185%. You can see how it will look by clicking in the viewing window. Clicking on the viewing window will give you alternating views of the whole poster and individual pages. For some reason I'm able to use tile scale 210% on portrait pages. It is a bit of a pain to assemble these nicely, but it can certainly be done.

Head over to Forever in Fifth Grade to see what other teacher-bloggers and showing and telling about this month!

If you found this post to be interesting or fun, I'd love for you to connect with me!

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  1. Thanks for the great tip on how to print a poster! I am pinning this for sure! :)

  2. If your daughter is thrilled, then the hearts are totally adequate! Have a great week.
    Laughter and Consistency

  3. Hey, at least you wait in your car until the windshield is clear rather than trying to see through a tiny opening like so many people do! Great tip on making the poster! Congrats on figuring out the "ed" rule! So glad I don't have to teach that stuff because I can't remember any of it. Thanks for linking up!

    Forever in Fifth Grade

  4. Hi Deb. Loved the defrosting story... me too, some days. Yes, the poster printing feature if VERY handy! I Pinned for others. And I think I'm going to try the show and tell Tuesday linky next time. Hang in there. See you around! Kathleen


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