Dyslexia Must Buy Resources

I was delighted to have the opportunity to hold a talk last night on Dyslexia. The Wexford Library Service have always been a great support and encourager mine. It was great to get to “talk” and demonstrate rather than just blogging. It was actually really, really hard to keep to time and I had 1.30hrs!!! There was just soon much to cover. I tried to have a good mix between understanding the neurobiology and what you can and should actually do in a classroom or home setting. I lugged as much as I could from my personal resources.

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Here are two of the key resources that any teacher or indeed parent should have. Knowledge is power. These little gems will be a great reference tool to add to your collection. I’ve had both of these for years and they are pretty wrecked from use. I really struggled to find a ‘clean page’ to photograph. By this I mean a page that didn’t look worn,  selloptaped etc. I really, really use these: Jolly Phonics Word Book and Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials.

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The Jolly Phonics Word Book is a fantastic resource for phonetically regular word list. Here is a peak at the menu:

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I always keep my Jolly Phonics Word Book by my side for literacy lessons in class. I actually am the proud owner of two of these. I have a copy for home use as I find the Jolly Phonics Word Book so vital for my fortnightly planning and literacy schemes.

The Jolly Phonics Word Book is worth its weight in gold for your phonics lesson or indeed home practice to support classroom learning. It’s simply a compilation of word lists that correspond to the phonemes and digraphs (a.k.a “sounds”) taught in Jolly Phonics. It’s worth noting that the Jolly Phonics Word Book would be a great buy even if you are using an alternative phonics programme.

You will never again run out of or blank on words that contain the chosen sound. When you have 34 kids in your class and you are looking for a different word per child then this is “the bomb”.

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Click here to purchase the Jolly Phonics Word Book. It costs 3.47 Euro and the postage is free.

Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is another god send for lesson planning. It’s more a great reference for lesson planning or homework support. It helps to explain all of the most common and important spelling patterns that we need to teach all readers but especially those with language processing difficulties such as Dyslexia.

Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is a really easy to use reference tool for parents, teachers and kids. It is extremely comprehensive as you can see from the image of the index:

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Here is an even more detailed look inside the front cover of Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials:

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These spelling rules, taught in a multi-sensory and systematic way would make a huge impact on reading, writing and spelling.

As you can see, Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials, is like a dictionary for spelling rules. Find the rule in the index and refer to the relevant rule. This could be an indispensable reference tool for an older child to check if they are spelling a word correctly.  I think Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials would complement any instructional programme. I wore this book out when I was studying for my Masters in Special Education and tutoring children with Dyslexia.

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It’s hard to believe the price of this book. Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is 2.99Euro!!! I know, it’s incredible!!! Click here to purchase from the Prim-Ed Website.

For less than 7.00Euro you can  have an amazing amount of information at your fingertips. I hope that you find these books as indispensable as I do.

Do you have an essential that you would like to recommend? Please leave a comment below or message me on Facebook. I’m always on the hunt for new resources.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Free Roll Say Keep Printable

I decided to “funk up” a very, very old favourite resource of mine: “Roll, Say, Keep”. “Roll Say Keep” is just one of those incredibly useful and versatile resources. All you need to play is a dice, relevant flashcards and a “Roll Say Keep” template per child.

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How to use “Roll Say Keep” in your classroom or home:

High Frequency word practice

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Phonics practice:

Here we were practicing phonemes and digraphs

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Here we were practicing “ee/ea” sounds

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Maths Facts:

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The list of uses for “Roll Say Keep” is pretty much endless!!!! My Differentiated Instruction Cubes are making another appearance in this blog post. They are one of my top 5 favourite teacher resources of all time. I swear that I’d be lost without them!!! You can purchase them here.

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I have inserted 5 Frame images in this instance to encourage “subitising” of number as well as literacy practice. Double whammy. Love it!!!

How to play:

Roll the dice and find the corresponding flashcards e.g Roll a 6 and you must read/answer the card in the number 6 dice box. If you can read/answer it you keep it.The card is removed from the gameboard and another placed in that box. The winner is the first to correctly win “X” number of flashcards. If the word/answer if unknown remove it from the board too and set aside for practice either/instruction.

You can download my free ‘Roll Say Keep’ template by clicking here: roll say keep.

 

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Frozen Themed Phonics Game

With “back to school” around the corner I figured that you might be in the market for a fun phonics game! By using “Frozen” as my theme it is still “Winter-themed” but with no reference to Santa!!!  My Frozen  themed phonics game is designed for your pupils to revise or explore “ai words”.

Frozen is very simple to make and to set up. You simply need a large bag of cotton wool balls /snowballs and to laminate the “ai” words sheets provided. Cut out the snowballs and toss them into a container. My pupils really loved “digging in the snow” to find the “ai” words. My Frozen  themed phonics game would be a great addition to your Literacy Lift Off stations.

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The “winner” gets to take home a lovely certificate :Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 14.47.18

Detailed instructions on how to play my Frozen themed phonics game are included in the download. Enjoy!!!

Click here to download my Frozen ai game.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Jolly Phonics Blending and Decoding, Group 1

I think that I could happily teach phonics all day long! It is definitely one of my absolute favourite things to do!!! I always get really excited when children are learning to blend and segment sounds into words.

For those of you who are not familiar with these terms “blending” is when we sound out a word using a continuous sound eg ccccaaaat= cat. Segmenting is the exact opposite. It the way by which we spell words.  We “chop” them up into their constituent sounds c…/a…/t… It is really important not to confuse the two and for children to be taught to use both blending and segmenting. They also need to know when to use each.

I have met lots of children who only know how to chop up/segment sounds. It is really, really hard to know what an unfamiliar word is when you read it in a robotic voice! When you s-t-r-e-t-c-h it out words are much easier to hear. This strategy will hence forth be known as “stretchy snake”!

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 20.30.30You can read more about blending and print my Stretchy Snake poster by clicking here.

I have been busy creating a presentation of Group 1 Words for tomorrow. Group 1 Jolly Phonics words cover: s, a, t, i, p, n

I will open the PDF in Activeinspire. This means that I can get pupils to circle individual sound eg circle the “s”. We can also have lot of practice blending the sounds into words. I will use the same words with a blank page on my flip chart and have my class “sound talk” or use their robotic voice to segment/chop up the sounds in a word and I will write them.

Here are some images of the slides that you can download:

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Click here to download

I hope that you find these useful with your class or your child at home.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Split Digraph Game

I am busy revising split digraphs (a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e)  with my class this week. I had my fingers crossed that their knowledge was not displaced by Easter break! I think that Hot Potato was a great help with consolidating split digraphs! It was so much fun to play that we practiced them more than any other year. Will be rolling it out again next year, that’s for sure 😉

As we are having a  week long break from “Power Hour” I was on the hunt for a fun, interactive game for split digraphs. I struck gold with this one! It is fun but pretty tricky. You really do need your wits about you!

The link below is for u_e words. They are the trickiest to decode and pronounce by far. The object of the game is to spell the word by tapping on the correct tiles. You must tap them in the correct order. Sounds simple, right? It would be if it wasn’t for the fact that the letter tiles keep moving!!!! You can, thank goodness, use the small arrow key to delete a letter if necessary.

I dare you to play is before your child/class. It is tricky to tap the tiles before they move. Lot of fun and laughter in my room when we played this. I had pupils decode the word before spelling it on the tiles.

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Click here to play

I hope that you have lots of fun playing this game. Oh yeah, there is a harder, timed level for those of you who dare!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

My Favourite Things for 3-4 year olds

Hi Everybody,

Following some requests and queries I thought that I would share with you my “favourite things” for preschoolers or emergent readers, 3-4 year olds. I have reviewed all of these before but decided to put them together to make them easier to find.

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Chicka Chick Boom Boom, Dr Seuss’s ABC, Sesame Street , My First Bob Books, Starfall

Do you have any favourite things for 3-4 year olds? I would love to hear from you if you do! It is great to get recommendations and to expand my collection of teaching resources. Mind you, the study and attic are already stuffed 😉

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Free Split digraph word game

For the last few weeks I have been teaching my pupils to recognise and “sound out” words that contain a split digraph (a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e).

A ‘split digraph’ means that a vowel sound has been split. The end vowel (the ‘e’) reaches back over the consonant to make the previous vowel say its “name” and not its “sound”. The sound is now a long vowel sound as in: make, Pete, bike Rome, broke and mule.

Teaching phonics in the small group setting of Power Hour is fantastic. Children have so many more opportunities to interact and learn. I just love playing games with my groups. Bingo and “Roll, Say, Keep”  are always popular. It would be dangerous  to wear out the novelty factor of these games though! We played “Roll, Say, Keep” last week and Bingo the week before. What to do!!!

Well, I sat down the other evening and would not allow myself to leave my study until I had come up with a new split digraph game. I spent some time looking through MS Word Clip Art and then it came to me! It’s called “Hot Potato” and my class are going nuts over it!!!!

Hot Potato is a variation on a classroom game that I have been playing for years called Crash. When you read the instructions I am sure that you will all recognise the game. I just “re-packaged” it. Just like you can’d hold onto a hot potato you can’t hold onto your cards if you draw it from the bundle!

Anyway, here’s how to play Hot Potato!

  • Print, laminate and cut out all of the cards. There are over 70 word cards!
  • Bundle them into a deck of cards and shuffle.
  • Turn the cards face down on the table. Children take it in turns to turn over the top card.
  • If the child can read it then he/she can keep it.
  • If a child gets the “Hot Potato” card then he/she must give back all of the cards!!
  • The winner is the person with the most cards at the end of the game.

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Click here to download Hot Potato

I hope that you all have as much fun practicing your split digraphs with this game as we did. I tried to have a balance of words so that all of my pupils could win some cards.There are a few tricky words in there just to keep them on their toes!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂