Wacky Wednesday - Top 3 Ways to Make Words! August 26 2009


After using a variety of spelling and word-building curricula over the years, I have to say that Making Words is one of my favorite programs for building literacy. First, this program fits with the Four Blocks Literacy Model, and it’s versatile in that there are materials for lower grades and upper grades. I love that this program emphasizes tactile methods, which makes word building more like solving a puzzle. And I appreciate the organic nature of building words, discovering patterns and making sense of our language instead of only memorizing a bunch of rules.

And in the spirit of back to school lesson planning, I have my Top 3 Ways to use our Wacky Wednesday Deal this week – the Making Words Mat at only $9.95 (a 17% savings)!

Advantages to using this Tabletop Pocket Chart:

  • Use with individuals, small group, or whole group
  • Comes with 104 alphabet cards, uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other side
  • Folds up securely so that cards do not fall out
  • Supports the Four Blocks Literacy Model
  • Title I Approved (Why is this important?)

But don’t forget, you can win this Making Words Mat for FREE! How? When you’re done reading my Top 3 Ways, add one or two of your own and you’ll be entered to win!

Monday’s Spelling Lesson

In my ideal world, I'd have enough of these pocket charts for each student. And while I would be building that collection, there would soon be enough for groups of two or three students to share one. Since each one comes with alphabet cards, simply whip out the pocket charts on Monday morning and display what letters the kids get to use that week to make their words. Time them to see how many four-, five- or six-letter words they can make (option: give a prize to each group who figures out a word that's on the spelling list).

Adjust Levels

One year, I had a few fourth graders who read at the first grade level. While there's usually a spectrum of reading levels in any classroom, this was the most dramatic case I had encountered up to that point. The Making Words Mat would be great for adjusting spelling lists as well as building literacy by making words on their level. I could also use the appropriate level of Making Words because the program is versatile, and I worked with these students in a small group during Center Time.

Literacy Work Stations or Centers

Having a few Making Words Mats would be fabulous for Center Time! Activities could range from making lists of words with specific patterns to using a timer to make as many words as possible. Have a synonym, antonym or homonym center, and have students write down their work while using the mat. This is also a great tool to help students construct complete sentences in a tactile way. 

Kim G. was last week’s Wacky Wednesday Winner of the Magnetic Backed Pocket Chart! Her comment about how she would use it:

I like the idea of using their names to put in ABC order. This is my first year teaching first grade so I am looking for different ideas.

Thanks to EVERYONE who left comments – it’s great to be able to share ideas in a profession where we’re often working alone!

 Remember, Leave a Comment about your favorite way to use the Making Words Mat and you’ll be entered to win a FREE one!

Additional Four Block Resources

Word Wall Material
Word Building Replacement Cards

For Lower Grades:
Making Words
Making More Words

For Upper Grades:
Four Block Plan Book
Making Big Words
Making More Big Words