CVC Pockets: A Great Way to Practice SO MANY SKILLS!

I have been using these CVC Pockets this spring with my students, and I wanted to share with you how this tool can be used to review CVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant words), beginning sounds, middle sounds, ending sounds, sound blending, vowels vs. consonants, and even left to right progression! There are so many skills packed into this one little activity that I am surprised that I didn’t even realize it before!

Our TK (Transitional Kindergarten) students have gotten SO good at sounding out words this year as a result of lots of phonemic awareness practice and singing and moving along with our new Word Family Songs! So I have started to get out some of my CVC resources for them, which is something that I never imagined I would be doing when I took on this TK teaching assignment! And one of my favorite resources was always our CVC Pockets!

It’s always interesting working with these slightly younger students on Kindergarten level skills such as sounding out three letter words! I have to work on simplifying the task just a little bit more, and I really think that it is making me a better teacher- and I LOVE that! Now my TK kids are an average of three months younger than the youngest students in a regular Kindergarten class. Basically, by this time of the year, they all know the alphabet and sounds, and 80% of them are able to sound out words and know all 30 of the required sight words (or close to it!)

So my little ones are BRIGHT! But as a group, they struggle with the common things that the youngest (and usually the most immature children in Kindergarten) often struggle with: left to right progression, reversals, and middle and ending sounds, etc. So these CVC Pockets turned out to be perfect for them! This is what we have been doing with them.

The Basic Activity
The letters for each CVC word are inside the envelope, with the picture for each word glued on the outside. The task is to identify the picture, take the letters out of the envelope, unscramble them, and put them back in order, and read the word. (By the way, these CVC Pockets are aligned with our CVC Books Volumes One and Two, and include the exact same words.)

Identifying the Problems and Working Through Them
We did this in small groups as part of our rotation. The first thing I noticed was that MANY children were not building their words from left to right! As much as I told them over and over to begin on the left, it just wasn’t sinking in. So I quickly grabbed some blank papers and drew three lines on it, along with an arrow underneath the line on the left to indicate which would be the first letter of the word. This helped TREMENDOUSLY! Now we all knew where to begin the word!

Before we did it again, I made a better looking page for the starting and ending sound, with a green traffic light in the left hand “Go” position and a stop sign in the ending position.

Most of the kids could find the beginning sound, since we had been working on this skill since the first trimester. However, the middle and ending sounds were a different story. My top two groups did fine, but the others did have problems. I kept reminding them to “Roller Coaster the Word” to find the middle sound, and to “Punch the Ending Sound” to find the ending sound. (Isn’t it funny how they can totally do this without a problem during phonemic awareness drills, but then when you ask them to APPLY the skill, they totally forget how to find the answer!) And now we know who has internalized the skill and who has not!

As my students struggled to identify the middle and ending sounds, I tried to simplify things by explaining that the vowel was always going to be in the middle. We have been singing the Vowel Song from Groovy Grammar that goes, “I know what the vowels are! A, E, I, O, U!” And as much as they can sing that, most of them STILL haven’t internalized what that means! I guess we will have to sort our letters by vowels and consonants and THEN make words!

After they put the letters in order, I had them show me how they sounded out the word and read it to me. Despite the fact that the picture was right there, some of my children still struggled, not remembering the word that they just built! In any case, it was good for them to try to sound it out, so that added another dimension of practice to the activity.

All in all, CVC Pockets is a really great activity that can work for more advanced children to do independently as a center, or as a small group lesson. And you can follow up easily with the worksheets and word sorts from the CVC Books, and sing the Word Family Songs from the Word Family DVD! They all go together perfectly!

I hope you enjoy using them as much as we are!


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