Saturday, December 8, 2012

Silent E vs. Magic E, Freebie & the Flu

Silent E vs. Magic E
Which do you use?
I'm sure everyone has their personal preference supported by a valid rationale. I've leaned towards Silent E only because I remember living & teaching in an area when Harry Potter came out (yup, I'm old) and there was an uproar about wizards, magical things, etc. But I still have always thought that Magic E was intriguing & whatever helps my students, I'll do! The teachers at my school also have their preferences, so I've been interchanging both terms.
Until now.
As always, my students teach me what's best for them.
I have a little guy who latched onto the Magic E  - he has one in his last name & thinks that's pretty darn cool. Last week, his mother (♥ her!) was pointing out words on signs and posters (environmental print - yay!) and noticed he wasn't decoding correctly because every E was "magic" - ALL the time. She asked him if it was a Silent E or not (I think the word was "forget" & he replied "E's are magical & make the vowel say it's name." He was applying that rule to ALL E's...short e's had just disappeared from his repertoire. She felt that referring to the special long vowel spelling (a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e)  as "Silent E" helped guide his thinking.
What do you think?
This was just one student, but it definitely made me sit back & rethink how I'm presenting this phonics concept. We just finished the unit, but my students definitely will need to keep spiraling back for extra reinforcement. I added TONS more practice pages and activities to my bestseller: Silent E Learning Activities. New additions include mini-posters, a phonemic awareness EPR, more activity pages to use for informal assessments, a Blast-style cards game, & more.
 If you've already purchased the unit, thank you & PLEASE redownload - there's 40+ extra pages (but it's still only $4!)

This year I'm focusing on my students taking ownership over their learning. I always collect work samples, but now I'm involving my students in selecting their work to be showcased in a student portfolio. I ask them to explain why they chose a particular work. I can't tell if it's having a major impact yet, but I'm hoping it does! I'm also using essential questions to guide their learning. We always create an "agenda" for our literacy block and I've been writing in the "Big Question" at the beginning and end of each session. It's always a big deal when we can cross off items from the agenda (an earned privilege) and I've been hearing one little friend (who repeats everything I say) say "Did we answer the Big Question? Yes, we did!" ♥

Here's a freebie I used for Silent E:

Graphics by Melonheadz Illustrating
Frame from Scrappin Doodles
Font: Rowdy in Room 300

Another freebie my students have been lovin':


And last, but not least...
Influenza A has struck my household :(
Mr. D has it & honestly, I would much rather have the flu myself than him!  This is a strong, capable 6'5" grown man who turns into just a mess when he has the sniffles, a splinter, allergies, etc. Our weekend plans came to a screeching halt. The poor guy hasn't left the bed for 2 days and is just miserable. Yet, even with a 103.4 degree fever - he can still eat! Last night, here were the requests I received (& fulfilled!):

Juice (3 times)
Chili (with cheese & sour cream)
STEAK (I lol'd out at this request, 'til I realized he was serious)
Goldfish crackers

And yes, I grilled him TWO steaks last night, in the dark. I don't know how he's eating all this with a fever, but hopefully he'll be back on his feet soon. As for me, it's going to be a weekend full of Christmas movies & paperwork! I'm going to accomplish SOOOO much!

Hope you have a happy & healthy weekend!
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  1. Added your silent e unit to my wish list! Thanks for the freebies!
    Rowdy in First Grade

  2. Cute freebie. Thanks.

    We call it a "meanie"---As in MEAN E. He jumps over letters and gives the vowels a pinch to make them scream their name. Probably not the most "friendly" way to describe, but it works! ;)

    1. I ♥ this! My students would find Mean E absolutely hilarious! Thanks!!

  3. Encourager E! e quietly encourages the vowel to say its name, but I like the mean e as well. I think we will now use both.

  4. Thanks for the freebie, and my husband is much the same way (and the same menu) when he's sick!