Are you looking for a new way to teach letter sounds? One of the best ways I found to teach letter sounds is with the “Popcorn Sounds” homework program. Each child, who doesn't know 100% of their letter sounds is given a Popcorn folder. I make each child a popcorn folder using a folder with brads. I attach the score sheet in the folder. There is a note inside that tells parents their child will be tested each Friday and a letter giving parents helpful hints. Each Friday, I test the children who return their folders. I write a slash mark on the letters that the child correctly identifies and write the number of letters identified correctly on the score sheet, also in the folder. Each week, I use a different colored pen or marker to document what letter(s) the child learned that week.
Organization is key to making this work! I put a label on the outside of each folder. Each of the labels has the student's number on it. (I put my class in alphabetical order and then assign each student a number). When the students arrive at school on Friday, they turn in their popcorn folder. I put the folders in number order. While the students are completing their morning work (journal, centers, etc.) I call one student at a time to test them. I always test them in their number order! The students quickly learn their number order. After awhile, they will automatically come to my table to be tested when the student whose number is before theirs is tested. Because we don't waste time, we are able to do this quickly and smoothly.
When a student has mastered letter sounds, he/she begins the “Bubble Gum Word” (sight word) homework. It's the same type of thing. Words are put in the Bubble Gum folder and I test them each week.
The great thing about this is the differentiation component. I may have 8 students working on letter sounds and 15 students working on bubble gum words, and on different sight word lists of the bubble gum word program. Each Friday, I test them in their number order, whatever the level or program. I've found parents are more motivated to help their children because they are getting a weekly progress report. Plus, this is great documentation for R.T.I.!
Below are the score sheets that I put in the Popcorn