Bossin’ Bossy R!

It’s the phonics beast all 1st grade teachers know and take a deep breath before conquering … “bossy r”! Our r-controlled vowels unit usually takes three weeks. Usually /ar/ the 1st week, /or/ the 2nd and ir, er, ur the 3rd week. It all begins by introducing the unique power R has over vowels!

Day 1 of /ar/: Making Words
All new phonics skills begin with word work in small group in my class! We use the “finger spell” technique from Project Read. If you’re unfamiliar, basically they let out the individual sounds on their fingers starting with their thumb. We use manipulative letters to spell out the sounds we hear using the picture cards! Afterwards, students can play Memory Match or Dominoes to match /ar/ words with pictures.

Day 2 of /ar/: Decoding Words, Building Fluency
I love tying the phonics skill of the week to an engaging theme. Our week of /ar/ is centered around the farm! Students work in groups to read /ar/ word flash cards and build a barn.

After their barn is built, they write sentences using a word. The higher the reading group, the more /ar/ words I challenge them to use in a sentence.

Day 3 of /ar/: Finding, Reading & Writing Words in Text
Students continue the fARm theme fun by hunting for words within leveled readers and putting them in their “barn”. When their barn is filled, they take turns reading their words back to a partner. OR, they can use their barns from the previous day and write sentences using the AR words!

Day 4 of /ar/: Write the Room
Most of my units end with an around the room QR code hunt! This gets the kids moving, working with a partner (or independently) and legitimately ENGAGED in application! It’s amazing how engagement rises when a tablet is in their hands! It’s also amazing that my class does them once or twice a week and they never get old. The QR codes are linked to digital task cards on Google Drive. All the benefits of vibrant color without the worry and cost of color ink!

If you don’t have access to tablets, printable versions are included in all my write the room activities. Some of my teammates prefer to put the PDF in full screen on their big screen and have the kids do it all at one time. Whatever works for you! There are differentiated recording pages (with and without a word bank) included.
P.S. These activities are great for admin observations.. technology, collaboration, differentiation.. lots of checks! 😉

Day 5 of /ar/: Printable Practice
Students can put their /ar/ decoding skills to work on real/nonsense assessment, “All StAR Spelling”, Farmer Bart reading passage and more! Lots of options for continued practice!

You can find the resource Bossy R: AR on the Farm here!

The trek through r-controlled vowels continues the following week with /or/ words!

Day 1 of /or/: Making Words with OReos!

Word work way mORe fun using mini-OReos to spell words!
I start by making an anchor chart of words with /or/ sounds with the students before we break into small group reading rotations. When we meet at the teacher table, students use use mini Oreos or Oreo letters and making word cards to decode and blend words with /or/ spellings (found in my Bossy R OR resource).

You can find a 20 pack of Mini Oreos on Amazon. See link below or click here!

Students working independently during rotations hunt for /or/ words and write them in their OR Cookie Jar!

Day 2 of /or/: Reviewing /or/ Words in Puzzles and Decodable Text

We review the /or/ sound by matching pictures, words and sentences with the missing /or/ word at the beginning of reading groups. Great time to target unfamiliar vocabulary words in the puzzle set (such as shore, fort, stork, north)!
Depending on the reading group, we’ll spend the rest of rotation reading /or/ words in decodable readers or reading a book on their reading level.

Day 3 of /or/: Real and Nonsense Cookies

We apply the phonics skill by decoding words on Oreos and sorting in real and nonsense cookie jars! Independent practice gives a good midweek assessment. 🙂 There’s several printables that would make for good spelling practice in my resource, too.

Day 4 of /or/: SMORE Fluency Game & Write the Room

In reading groups, I introduce the card game: No Smore Cards For You!
All 36 /or/ flash cards and “No Smore” cards are are placed face down. Players take turns turning over a card and reading the word they drew. If they draw the smore card, they put all their cards back! I set a timer for 5-7 minutes. Whoever has the most cards when the timer goes off, wins the game!

As an alternative to a fill in the blank, cloze style worksheet, we use a QR Code Hunt to “write the room”! Printable task cards are also an option if technology is limited. The kids can not get enough of these hunts!

Day 5 of /or/: Spelling Practice & Reading Comprehension

Fridays are our “show what you know” days! Students decode words through spelling tests, printables and read a comprehension passage with our phonics skill of the week. These assessments give me an idea on who needs to be in a reteach/RTI group the following week.

Kiddos that need a boost of enrichment at the end of the week can play the Bossy R Game: AR vs. OR! Click here or on the image to be directed to this FREEBIE! 🙂

You can see all my Bossy R: OR activities here!

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