Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Word Families

I think I have mentioned here that I am a Kindergarten Teacher.  I am one of the fortunate Teachers that get the privilege of job sharing.  I teach every other week.  So, I can be a semi-SAHM to our fabulous 3 year old daughter.  I am always looking online for better and innovative ways to teach.  

So, when I came across this incredible idea on The Snail's Trail, I had to try it for myself.  

This activity is a fun way for kids to practice reading short words using word families.  A word family is the end of a word, that makes other words when the beginning letter is changed.  Dr. Seuss (whose birthday is this week btw) was a master at using these word families.  Learning word families helps children begin to read groups of letters instead of having to sound out each individual letter.  This helps with reading fluency (speed), which eventually helps with reading comprehension (understanding what you just read).  I can't wait until my next work week, to see how the kids like it.  I love the colors and my students will love that they can move the little window over the beginning letters.  

It was so easy, and an excuse to collect paint chips!  I already have a love affair with paint chips.  

For this project, you need two types of paint chips.  The paint chips that have a little square cut out and the strip type with three or four different shades.  I tried to get them in similar color families to assist the children in keeping the correct beginning sounds and word families together.

All you have to do is write the word family to the right side of the little "window".  Then, on the matching strip, write a beginning sound for that word family in each shade.  

The children use them by placing the window over the beginning letter and reading the word. 

I also put mailing labels on the back of the beginning letter strips and wrote the word family that they go with.  My hope is that we can quickly get the right strips together and get reading instead of spending all of our time trying to match them up.

 I laminated my finished word family and beginning sound cards, but if you are just using it with one child you probably wouldn't need to.  With 30 sets of hands in our classroom we have to put armor on everything.


  1. LOVE this idea - I think paint swatches are the B-E-S-T :-) Thanks for sharing!

  2. I've given you an award! I hope you'll check it out!
    Busy B Family

  3. I'm currently a reading tutor, and I love this idea...so easy (:

  4. This is an excellent idea. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Great idea. I like how you used the paint strips--colorful and economical.

  6. What a great idea! I love it!!

    Love to have you link up to my new link party, For the Kids Fridays!

  7. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing! We're big paint chip fans too.

  8. Thanks so much for linking up to For the Kids Fridays! I can't wait to see what you have next week!

    :)rachel at SunScholars.blogspot.com

  9. I did this too and my daughter loves it! I like that you put the labels on the back to find them quickly.

  10. Genius! I'm a teacher too... I never thought of using paint chips for word families. I can't wait to try it!
    I found you on CraftOManiac Monday and am now following your blog. :)
    Jan at Jewelry4Change

  11. Indeed a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing. Visiting from House of Hepworth's.

    More Than A Mom

  12. OMG!!! This is AMAZING!! GENIUS!!!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie last week! I can't wait to see what you have for this week!

  13. I adore this idea! I'm a Reading Specialist and I work with first graders, so I'm always looking for new fun (and cheap) ways to get them excited. Thanks! :)


Your comments mean so much to me! Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you think.