Wednesday, March 24, 2021

How to Teach the OA and OW Sound

How to teach the OA and OW sound is simple. They both make the long O sound and there are so many fun worksheets, games, activities, and reading passages (including in the forms of puzzles!) you can do to help your students learn them. I will show you a couple of my favorite strategies.

First, let's go over a couple examples of OA and OW words.
  • OA Words: boat, coat, goat, soap, road, coast, goal, coach
  • OW Words: blow, mow, grow, snow, show, glow, throw
If you say these words aloud, you'll notice the OA and OW inside of them says the long O sound. OA usually appears in the middle of a word. OW usually appears at the end of a word. This is a fun, silly worksheet to practice this spelling rule.




Fun OA and OW Worksheets

Worksheets with pictures are the number 1 way I would recommend introducing the OA and OW sound. If the pictures are engaging and kids can easily recognize the words they represent, they are a very effective learning tool for phonics. I make my worksheets super fun so kids don't even realize all of the reading they're doing. They think the pictures are cute and fun to color in, but really they are providing a lot of reading support.

I recommend starting with a very simple worksheet like my "Write the Word" style sheets. Kids simply look at the picture and match it to a word at the bottom. Then, they write it on the line.

     


I always try to provide differentiation that is effective yet not obvious. As you can see, these worksheets look so similar but the 2nd one is actually a lot harder. It practices OW and OA sounds on the same worksheet. The one on the left only practices OW words. 

You could give the one on the right to your more advanced students and the one on the left to the students who may need a little more support. This way, every child is practicing on their level and can feel happy and successful while doing the same activity. :) I love this specific worksheet because it's very easy to differentiate, it's simple and it's fun. Kids get to color in the pictures and read the words. 

Another fun way to practice matching OA OW words to pictures is by cutting and pasting!



These are a very simple worksheet style where kids cut out the beginning sounds for each word and match it to the ending. Great reading practice!

As you can see, it's really great beginning sounds review too!



You can also provide support for your students by having them highlight the sound you're focusing on IN the word so it's a lot easier to read. If they highlight the OA in all these words, they can know right away that it's the long O sound. This is a great building reading fluency strategy!




See how that makes the OA in each word so obvious? It really helps them be able to zip through the words fluently. Any little trick like that can build their reading confidence like that is GOLD.


For students who take a little extra time each week to master the phonics sounds, I recommend focusing on a couple worksheets and activities that are all OW first. I feel like it's easier since it's at the end of the word. 

Then, focus on a few only OA worksheets. Then, have them do sorts where they can complete it even if they technically aren't reading the word first. It's VERY valuable practice, even if they're not even reading the words! 

They're recognizing the OA and OW within the words and that's a really important skill. It's wonderful if they ARE reading these words while sorting, but the beauty of these is they don't have to. This means ALL your students can feel so successful doing them and, again, it's all about building that confidence. Especially when you start learning the vowel teams.

OA and OW Sorts

Here is a quick sort you can do for sorting OA OW O-E long O sounds.



Like all of the worksheets in my Phonics No Prep Packs, these are NO PREP! :) You simply print them out. Then kids will cut out the words and sort them. 


Reading Sentences with OA OW Words

Once your students have done a lot of work reading WORDS with OA and OW, start on sentences!

Let your students see the words in simple sentences. This is a fun one that gets them thinking and reading!



I love cutting and pasting worksheets for filling in blanks because kids can move them all around. There's no erasing and rewriting. They can move them all around until they all make sense. THEN glue. :) I love how knowing they're going to glue it down makes them check and recheck their answers. Something kids often skip.

If you have some students who need advanced work, but you want them to practice the same skill, I love providing higher level activities too! My crossword puzzles are a favorite and also my A-Maze-Ing Sentences!


 
These provide a lot of reading practice for the phonics sound. As you can see, there are a lot of OA words in the boxes. But it's a maze! Kids have to read through it to figure out the secret sentence. So much fun! Especially for kids who love puzzles and need a little bit more challenging work.


To sum it up, focus on WORDS first using pictures. Use a lot of pictures! Teach OA and OW at the same time unless it's a student who needs a little extra support. If so, teach OW then OA then mix them. Then, move to sentences. I have worksheets in my Phonics No Prep Packs that practice sentences with picture support, too. That's a nice bridge between words and sentences too. I just didn't want to fill this post with a bajillion pictures like I often do. :) If you DO love scrolling pictures of fun teaching ideas, definitely check out my Giant List of My Favorite Blog Posts and click on the topic you want to see my ideas for. 

Do you want all of the worksheets you saw in this post for OA and OW? Get it here - OA and OW No Prep Pack! I'm so humbled that thousands of people have this pack & use it to teach their students. I hope that you love it if you get it too!


I have packs like this for almost every phonics sound. Check out my Phonics No Prep Packs category on TpT to see if the sound you're teaching next is on there. 

This OA OW pack has over 85 no prep worksheets and activities for teaching the sounds. I love making these fun, differentiated phonics packs and I hope you enjoy using them as much as I enjoy making them! 


Thank you so much for reading!

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Digital Christmas Math Games and Activities

Need Digital Christmas Math Games and Activities?? I have you covered! :) I have been working a ton recently to create digital math games with fun Christmas and winter themes for a variety of concepts and skills from kindergarten and first all the way to 5th grade!


December is a perfect time to practice all of those math skills you've been teaching but it can be hard to find digital activities that are truly interactive and fun, so I have been trying to share mine in a way that can be used by teachers whether they are teaching completely remotely, in a hybrid situation, or if you simply want games for within your classroom.


Digital Christmas Math Games

One of my favorite math skills is Place Value! You know this if you've read my Fun Ideas for Teaching Place Value post. :) If you need tens ones activities with a fun Christmas theme, though, I made these!

              Place Value Teen Numbers                      Place Value 2 Digit Numbers

Sooo I love train themed centers. :) These first 2 games have 1 train at a time where kids match the cars to the number. For example, they match 83 to 80+3 and 8 tens 3 ones. Such easy and simple (but needed!) practice for numbers.

The first one only practices teen numbers (11-19) for kindergarten or easy practice. The next one practices 2 digit numbers (numbers under 100). I love them because they have to choose the 2 cars that represent the number and not use 2 of the cars.


I also have a TWO trains version where kids match all the cars - 2 per train. The teen numbers version is a great game for introducing the concept then the 2 digit numbers game to practice the concept and all the numbers. Then/or the 2 train version for a fun challenge!

              Place Value 2 Digit Numbers                    Even and Odd Numbers Sort

This Even and Odd Numbers sort activity to help Santa sort the numbers is also a fun review game. I feel like even and odd numbers is something I sometimes forget about but I knew if I made a game for it that I loved that I would remember it. :) Kids simply sort the presents into the correct train car to decide if it is an odd or even number.


Ooooh addition! Can you get enough addition practice in the winter? I don't think so! I made a lot of levels of addition practice so everyone can practice adding. I have Sums to 5 (where "and" is used instead of the symbol) with this cute little reindeer. Kids can use the lights in the snow to help them add. :) (I also have a CLIP CARDS version of this if you want a paper version). I thought this little reindeer was so cute that I used him a couple of times! Also for Addition to 10 as you can see:

 Christmas Addition to 10 game that is digital and so much fun!
                Addition to 5 with ''and"                            Christmas Addition to 10


And I used this cute little reindeer again for Addition to 20! 

THEN... I also have another train game for Addition to 10 and guess what?? It's FREE!! Go grab it while it's free!! :) Consider it a Christmas gift from me to you. It's the perfect amount of practice for your kids to practice addition in December!

                          Addition to 20                                FREE Christmas Addition to 10 


Then, even more Addition practice! This time, with a cute gingerbread character! :)

I LOVE gingerbread theme activities. If you need adorable gingerbread books to read, check out:

18 of My Favorite Gingerbread Picture Books

I was really excited about these 2... I thought the assortments of the little number answers at the bottom were so cute. Hopefully you do too! A lot of my math games have the answers to choose from along the bottom in cute themed pictures. I think it adds a bit of fun when even the answers are cute.... anything to make math fun, right?? :)

                        Addition to 10                                              Addition to 20


Another skill I think is important to keep practicing is Adding Doubles and Doubles Plus One! I thought a really fun way to practice it would be adding presents! If you notice, the piles of presents represent the number they're adding, much like my Adding Doubles Pumpkins games from my Fall Digital Math Games! Kids look at the math problem and click the stocking with the correct answer at the bottom!

                        Adding Doubles                                      Doubles Plus One


I went back to the cute little reindeer again to practice subtraction too! Both Subtraction within 10 and Subtraction within 20 so you can easily differentiate or use both to build upon the skill.

                     Subtraction within 10                              Subtraction within 20


Another tricky concept is Missing Addends! One of the first math units I ever made was my missing addends unit and I was shocked how many people expressed how grateful they were for having materials for it so I've always tried to include it in anything I do.

 
             Missing Addends Sums to 10                   Missing Addends Sums to 20


I also did Missing Minuends and Missing Subtrahends. Basically, fancy terms for missing words in a subtraction problem. :) Missing minuends are when the first number in a subtraction problem is missing. A missing subtrahend is when the number being subtracted is missing. You may already know that but I didn't for the looongest time, so just in case :) I usually do them as separate activities because I personally use a different math strategy to solve each type. If that's something you'd like me to write a blog post about, let me know! I like the way I teach it and, although it's relatively simple, I think it'd take an entire post to explain. Anyway!

                     Missing Minuends                                   Missing Subtrahends


I've been making more "big kid" games recently as well! A lot of people write to me and tell me how much they loved using my resources in first grade or second grade or kindergarten and now they're in 3rd, 4th, and even 5th and want to still use my things.... so I am trying to help them out! :) It's been fun to explore concepts I hadn't thought about in a long time. Here are a few examples... division!

                Division 1 Digit by 1 Digit                         Division 2 Digits by 1 Digit


If there are concepts you'd like to see me make games / activities for, especially "big kid'' stuff (I forgot factors even existed, ha!), please don't hesitate to ask! I always welcome suggestions and love creating!


Another thing I have done recently is convert my readers into digital versions! I am REALLY excited about these!! You can share them on your screen to read TO or WITH your students, small groups.... send them to your students to read independently.... put them on a computer during literacy rotations for kids to read... there are a lot of ways you can use them! 

                 Book - A Reindeer Day                                Book - Santa's House


These are 2 of my favorite Christmas stories! You can read the first 4 pages by going to them and doing the preview. You can play the first 4 cards of any of these games, by the way, in case you're not familiar with the platform, to preview them! That's one thing I really love about getting games from there... I love to try things first before I use them.


I also have PAPER versions of these books here:

Christmas Book - A Reindeer Day

Christmas Book - Santa's House


Like all my readers, they come in a full color version AND a black and white version that kids can color and take home :) Make sure you FOLLOW ME ON TPT so you see when I post new activities. I have been posting a lot of fun winter resources recently!


Anyway! I am super excited to have some of my books be digital too! I made 10 of my WINTER books digital too, including the Winter Long Vowel phonics books! You can check out the digital versions of those, along with more of my digital games here:

Miss Giraffe 


If you need cute Christmas WRITING activities to do, check out my NO PREP ones I love!

December Writing Crafts

Even if you don't get/want the packs, you can use the fun writing prompt ideas with your class as things to write about! From funny creative writing to opinion writing to how to writing.. there are lots of ideas! "How to Be on the Nice List" is one of my favorite ones for a bulletin board because it's cute AND reminds kids of all of the behavior expectations that, um, well, can be easily forgotten in December sometimes :)


If you are looking for cute Christmas books to read, here is a list of awesome Christmas books to read to your students:

My Favorite Christmas Books Ultimate List


I hope you found some fun ideas on this post! I have been having a lot of fun making digital items - I resisted it for so long and I am surprised how much I've actually enjoyed these digital activities so I am excited to share them with you. There are so many ways to use them and I really love how they're self-grading. These were just a small amount of them  - my digital Christmas math games and activities only. You can check out my Digital Math Games that are so Fun! post if you want to see more of what I've made. 


I also made A LOT of winter themed games for everything from addition to multiplication. I may write another blog post to show those ones too, but you can check them out now if you want! :) They're in the same place as all of these Christmas ones and I add more all the time!


If you're simply looking for fun teaching ideas, rather than digital activities, you can also check out ALL my favorite blog posts by going here: Miss Giraffe Blog Posts List 


Thank you so much for coming by!! 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Digital Math Games that are SO fun!

Digital math games that are fun can be hard to find, so I created a ton of them! From kindergarten to first grade concepts... all the way to multiplication and division! I have been making digital math games that kids can play to learn math skills in a fun, interactive way.


My favorite thing about these games is that they are not only colorful and fun, but practice important math skills. Kids can play them anywhere (home, school) on a computer or tablet.... and they are self-checking! YES!! Isn't that the best? They can even grade for you and give you reports if you're a teacher / homeschooler that wants grades. :) :) You can also simply play them for fun!


The math concepts get harder as you scroll so if you teach older grades, keep scrolling :) 

You can PLAY the first 4 screens of any of the games by going to it then clicking on its full-size preview. Enjoy!!

Before and after numbers activities that are digital games for kids to play on a computer or tablet Number words 1-10 digital math game! So fun!
         Before and After Numbers to 10                        Number Words 1-10


Missing numbers 1-10 activities that are digital and so much fun!Missing numbers to 20 activity that is perfect for your virtual math centers!
                Missing Numbers to 10                              Missing Numbers to 20


Counting backwards from 20 activities you can play on a device!Missing numbers counting backwards
                Counting Backwards                                    Counting Backwards
                 from Numbers to 20                          Missing Numbers (any position)


Free Addition to 10 digital math game for first grade or kindergarten! So cute and fun!Addition to 20 digital math game in a cute apple theme!
                Addition to 10 (FREE!)                                        Addition to 20


Adding doubles activitiesAdding doubles plus one activities
                     Adding Doubles                                         Doubles Plus One


Find the missing addend activity that is so cute that kids can play on a computer or tablet - love!!Missing addends digital math activity for first grade or even 2nd to practice addition equations
            Missing Addends Sums to 10                   Missing Addends Sums to 10


Missing addends first grade gamesAddition to 10 and 20 practice with these cute digital math games kids can play to practice adding in a fun way!
           Missing Addends Sums to 10                         Addition to 10 and 20


Balancing equations first grade level for addition to 10 - perfect and easy practice to understand what the equal sign meansCommutative property of addition activity where kids balance the 2 addition equations to make them true


Subtraction within 10 practice where kids can help the cute little squirrel solve the math problems and pick the acorn with the correct answerSubtracting from 10 game for easy practice to master this important fact fluency skill.
                Subtraction within 10                                  Subtracting from 10


Subtraction word problems activities with pictures to help them solve! So cute and fun!Subtraction within 20 word problems that are games kids can play on a computer or tablet! I love these!
                Subtraction within 10                                  Subtraction within 20
                     Word Problems                                            Word Problems


Fun missing minuends game kids can play to find all the numbers in a subtraction problemMissing subtrahends digital game kids can play to practice this difficult math skill in a really fun way!
                    Missing Minuends                                      Missing Subtrahends


Missing minuends and subtrahends game!Adding 3 numbers with sums under 10 to make this hard first grade concept a lot easier! Plus it's a digital math game so kids can play it on a computer or tablet

Adding 3 numbers word problems with pictures to help kids have a fun visual for the math they are doingAdding 3 numbers missing addends where kids have to figure out the number that makes the equation true
                     Adding 3 Numbers                                    Adding 3 Numbers 
                       Word Problems                                         Missing Addends

If you want more fun ideas for teaching these Adding 3 Numbers concepts, I have a huge blog post full of fun pictures and ideas here: Adding 3 Numbers

Full lesson for Making a 10 to add that will teach this difficult concept then give practice - so perfect!Making a 10 to add strategy for first grade students to practice how to use this skill to solve bigger math problems

I am SO excited about these 2 sets for Making a 10 to Add. It is a really difficult concept to teach so I made a "Full Lesson" activity that literally walks kids through every step. If this is a concept you struggle to teach (or simply don't enjoy explaining), this activity will do it for you. I highly recommend the "Full Lesson" version so it teaches the concept then has practice at the end. If you only want practice and have taught it already, then the "Practice Only" version is great for practicing and reviewing it. I also have a big blog post for fun ideas for teaching the skill here: Making a 10 to Add if you want a ton of activities and ideas for the making a 10 to add strategy!

How many more to make ten kindergarten game where kids pick the pumpkin to fill in the addition problemMissing numbers game kids can play on a computer or table to figure out what secret number each animal is! So fun!
              How Many More to 10?                    Missing Numbers (2 Digit Numbers)


Picture graphs game kids can play on a computer or tablet to practice data analysis in kindergarten or first grade by answering questions about the graphDigital math game for graphing where kids answer questions about the graph by looking at the pictures

You may recognize these cute graphing activities from my big Graphing and Data Analysis in First Grade blog post. That's a fun post full of fun ideas for teaching graphing in kindergarten or first grade! You could use the ideas in second grade too. Graphing is always a fun one and I am excited to have digital versions of my printable resources! :)

Telling time activity of whether an activity is done in the A.M. or P.M. -  a fun way to practice this concept of time for young learnersMultiplication of numbers 0-9 practice where all the products are within 18
          A.M. or P.M. (Concept of Time)                  Multiplication of Numbers 0-9
                                                                          (Products within 18 for easy practice)

The A.M. or P.M. sort from my Telling Time blog post has been super popular so I made a digital math game for the skill! :) 


Balancing multiplication equations game for kidsCommutative property of multiplication game that is so much fun!
                 Balancing Equations                                 Commutative Property
                      Multiplication                                            of Multiplication

Division 1 digit by 1 digit game that is so cute and fun!Greatest common factor game for finding the gcf of 2 numbers in such a fun way! Kids can play this cute game on a computer or tablet as many times as you want them to!
             Division 1 Digit by 1 Digit                            Greatest Common Factor


How fun are these???? They have been so fun to make! You probably notice a lot of the concepts from my math units, so if you use those, these are a great supplement. If you don't use my math units, check out my MATH page to see an organized list of posts by concept - even if you don't use the math units, there are TONS of ideas for how to teach those math skills to your student or child at home. :)

If there are skills you would like to see me make games for, please let me know! I love making these for you.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my digital math games that are so fun post. It was fun to put them all in one place (you know how I love to organize, ha). 

I have so many fun math and phonics activities that I love sharing with you all. Go to the right hand side of this page to find fun ways to follow me. You can also take a second to join Miss Giraffe's Class so you can stay up to date with fun tips, ideas, and exclusive FREE items only for subscribers sent straight to your email! :) Thank you so much for stopping by!