Are you looking for a fun way to do spelling practice? Want to incorporate some fun tech into your lessons?
I wanted to share with you how we use our Tricky Words Flash Cards that I created! Up until now, they have stayed in a little basket, and pulled out when we do a lesson, but I had an idea, (and you know how that goes!) and I painted the back of our office door in fun pretty swirls and labeled it Our Tricky Words Door, instead of a Wall.
Now we can see it more often, but also, we can leave the door open and have a break from seeing them, unlike a traditional word wall (which we have tried before) and that can get a little bit overwhelming!
So, as many of you might know, we do a lot of our spelling practice while playing in Minecraft,(and ROBLOX) as well as handwriting on dry erase boards, and this makes it a lot of fun for the kids. (I am working on a post about why we started doing this, I will update soon)
How do we use Minecraft for Spelling Class?
It is really simple if you are familiar with the game. We log into Minecraft, on the computer, or the WiiU, and then we get into “Our School World”. The kids go over to Our Tricky Words Door and fetch a word they want to focus on. They take the flash card to their computer desk, place down a wooden sign, and sound out and read the word they have, and type it in! When they are done, they go and put it back on the door. Pretty simple, fun and not boring! (School work being boring is what we are constantly trying to avoid around here.)
Here we are using Minecraft back when it was the jolly phonics letter sounds word building of set 1 words.
As you can see, we started using Uppercase Letters only, with the code mapping, while spelling in Minecraft. We still use this a lot, when we introduce a new set of letters, as we are doing that slowly to not overwhelm them. (you can read why here in this post coming soon) If anyone is interested in these flash cards as well, let me know, I have not made them for download yet, but I could !!
I have created the Code Mapped, Lowercase + Precursive Font Flash Cards of the Tricky Words and they are now for sale in my Shop!
After creating this for my daughter specifically, who I soon realized suffered from Dysgraphia, I needed to modify and change a lot of things for her to feel comfortable in her beginning stages of learning to read. There was nothing like this anywhere, and creating something that actually worked for my daughter was really an awesome feeling. Because of this, I have I want to share them with you all! I have Levels 1,2,3 & 4 ready for purchase in my Shop! These flashcards are all code mapped in a lowercase + pre-cursive font, to help build a strong pre-cursive awareness.
Get your Flash Card Sets 1-4 today for your spelling class in your homeschool!
Click the yellow button below to add the Mega Bundle of all 4 sets to your cart.
Interested in purchasing one level at a time? Sure thing!
Set 1 Red Level
Set 2 Yellow Level
Set 3 Green Level
Set 4 Blue Level
What Exactly is Code Mapping?
Let me explain this because this was a new term for me as well (read here about my search for the right phonics program for my daughter).
Code Mapping is based on a phonics approach called SSP or Speech Sound Pics. You sound out each sound pic, which is color-coded in black, gray, red and blue. This is a brilliant approach created by a teacher in Australia, however, you can’t find any digital downloads anywhere, nor can you find them in a pre-cursive Jolly Phonics Word Set. So I created my own to use in our homeschool, and I want to share this with others! The flashcards are for learning to “see” the code. The method of decoding each sound pic by counting them out is also one more step in the awesomeness of this! You can use this with any book your child is reading to help them “see” the code better.
We have seen huge success with this, and only this! After a while of using this code mapping, my kids are feeling much more confident with reading, at the basic level. Even with our awesome Guided Reading Program, we have started and love, I have to mix in this approach, as their reading strategies are fun, and they get my kids interested, however, I find that they are still struggling because they need to learn the sound pics, and sound out each word more clearly, before they are confident to really read that word…. Learning to decode and encode the sound pics, is far better than looking at the picture for clues, and what not. Those strategies can work for some kids, and we still use them a little bit, but, I notice a huge difference when we code to map a reader book and count out the sounds. If you have a child who just is not getting it, and you feel you have tried it all (like I felt) I would recommend you give these flash cards a try!
Will they be able to read the words when they are not code mapped?
The short answer is yes. Yes, they will. Learning to decode the English language helps them to finally read the words un-coded, or mapped. We use the code mapping for learning, and decoding purposes, along with sounding out and saying the correct sound. Once they begin to see the coding of the words, they will see it without being coded. It is a method for learning to read, so you can then read to learn.
I also use ESGI, a really amazing software for assessments(more detailed post coming soon!) You can see in this gallery of photos, that the software holds so much data, year to year, and your child can take a simple and clear ‘assessment’ test anytime and continue working on their goals. My daughter loves taking these tests, and we have set up a nice and quiet space for her to do so.
They have tests to choose from or you can make your own, which I have done here for our Jolly Phonics words, and Duck words. My kids use on a regular basis, that is both coded and uncoded. Seeing the words coded, and then uncoded will allow you to see their level, where they are at, or they need more work on that word or this letter sound. You can print out your own flashcards from this program as well, for the letters and words or concepts that they are struggling with. I just love this software, and it has been a great asset for us in our homeschool, where we have really built our own design of curriculum for our kids.
So, there you go, this is how we use Minecraft, Jolly Phonics and Code-Mapping in our learning at home!
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