October 11, 2017

Building Word Power

For some reason, we really want to have our child reading so many books right away!  I get it, it is so exciting when a child starts to “get it” and instinctively we want to go right to books.  While there is nothing wrong with reading books, I have noticed that I can build stronger readers through word power.  I like to focus on having a child read MANY words, some sentences, and a few books. I try to work on word power every time we do any reading instruction.   

One day I was working with a child who was struggling with reading.  In fact, he dreaded reading!  I pulled out a Bob Book, and immediately he shut down.  The task of reading a whole book seemed impossible to him.  He thought it was going to take forever!  So I pulled out my bowl of words for his instructional level.  It was so simple.  A  bowl from the Dollar Tree, full of beginning blend words, folded in half.  He would pick out a word and read it.  Then I would pick out a word and read it.  Pretty soon, he had read 20 words, and he asked if we could keep going!  

I call this very simple activity, WORDS IN A BOWL.  When Little Miss and I do Words in a Bowl, we like to use a die.  She rolls the die to see how many words she will read on her turn.  Then I roll and see how many I will read on my turn.  In no time, we've read the whole bowl of words.

Another simple way to strengthen word power is with WORDS ON A RING.  Kids love to flip through things on a ring.  It's almost like a toy to them.  Words on a ring can be made two different ways.  1) By laminating and hole punching a word card, then attaching to a ring.  2) By writing or gluing words to cards already on a ring, like those found here (won't be laminated).

WORDS IN A WALLET is another silly way that Little Miss and I like to strengthen word power.  I made some word cards on green paper, and grabbed a duct tape wallet we had made years ago.  Each word that Little Miss could read, she would put in her wallet.  It was her "money", and she wanted to see how rich she would be.  We also put the "money" in a play cash register or a large toy piggy bank.

WORDS ON A PAGE.  Yes.  Sometimes we even just read words on a page.  But I try to make it a little more interesting with these ideas:
  • Put a colored bingo chip or penny on each word you can read.
  • Place a piece of cereal on each word.  Eat the cereal off the words you can read.
  • Stamp or color the words you can read.
As you work to build word power, make sure you are working at your child's instructional level.  Read this post to learn more about the instructional level.  Click here for some short a, short o, and short i word strip printables.  

So, how are you going to add word power to your child's reading routine? 

Check out my TpT store for my Help a Child to Read Intermediate Packets, full of many activities to build word power.
Set 1:  -ck and -ll Endings
Set 2:  Beginning Blends
Set 3:  Ending Blends
Set 4:  Consonant Digraphs

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