Today, as I think about things I am thankful for, I cannot help but to continue to be grateful for the inspiration of others, adapted and expanded upon to suit needs of my family at particular moments. And, since I have been thinking a lot about activity bags this week, I find myself grateful that I can adapt others’ ideas from such bags to activities that are suitable not just for my own children, but for those I tutor, too. Truly, the exchange and adaptation of ideas is a gift that I find myself grateful for countless times a week as both a homeschooling mom and a tutor.
And since gifts given are as much fun as gifts received, as I promised I would in yesterday’s post, I wanted to share an idea that I used with one of my tutoring students this year: M and N Discrimination Cards.
One first grader I worked with had trouble saying and recognizing his ABC’s when I first started working with him. A very hands-on, kinesthetic learner, he enjoyed mastering his alphabet and phonetic sounds through using the foam letters and a dry-erase placemat we had received in one our Fun and Learning in a Bag activities from Kim and the Alpha-Spoons and the B and D cards (used as intended and in other ways) from the official ActvityBags.com exchange we did with the Our Lady Queen of Saints group, along with other ideas and activities I presented to him. His success with such activities inspired me to make a small set of M and N Discrimination cards for him, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
As a thank you for ideas shared with me, I want to share these cards back.. Just click on the thumbnails throughout this post for large versions of the cards that you can print. And, of course, continue reading for ideas on how to use them.
Obviously, the first step to using the cards is to print and cut them. Then, play any and all of the games below with them:
M or N?
Using just the picture cards with no letters on them, challenge the student to separate them into two groups, one for one starting with an “m” sound and the other for words starting with an “n” sound. For extra fun and challenge, do not reveal what the two group categories (“m” sounds and “n” sounds) are unless the student needs you to.
Easy M and N Phonetic Words Slap Game
Using just the “man” through “nap” word cards, have the student lay all the cards face up. Call out one word and have the student slap the corresponding card.
Using the word and picture cards for “man” through “nap”, challenge the student to put all the cards into pairs of pictures with their corresponding words. Even a beginning phonetic reader should be able to do this.
Easy M and N Phonetic Words Concentration
Using the word and picture cards for “man” through “nap”, lay all cards face down and play “concentration” with them.
Using the “monkey” through “money” and “nose” through “note” picture and word cards, challenge the student to put all the cards into pairs of pictures with their corresponding words. While none of these words are real exception words, many are more challenging for an early phonics-based reader as they are multi-syllabic and contain long vowels, etc.
Challenge M and N Phonetic Words Slap Game
Using the “monkey” through “money” and “nose” through “note” cards, have the student lay all the cards face up. Call out one word and have the student slap the corresponding card. Continue until all words are called. (You can also use the corresponding picture cards as cues. Or, have the student use the word cards as calling cues while you slap the corresponding picture cards and the student tells you if you are right.).
Using all the picture cards for “monkey” through “money” and “nose” through “note”, as well as the picture cards with letters in the corners, lay all cards face down and play “concentration” with them. To reinforce the “m” and “n” sounds, when a card is turned over have the student say something akin to” monkey... “m” (the sound) “M” (the letter) before turning the next card over.
Similarly, adapt any of the Card Crazy games I mentioned in this post or create your own. The more practice and exposure through games and activities that the student enjoys, the better the learning experience will be and the longer retention of longer goals should last.
I hope you are able to use these cards in some way for your own activity bags, home teaching, classroom teaching or tutoring. If so, I’d love to hear about it, as well as about similar activities you and your students enjoy. Please leave a comment, and links if you have them.
Also, if you'd like to see more of what other folks are thankful for this week, please visit the links at Spiriutally Unequal Marriage. May we each count our blessings -- great and small!