Today I’m sharing a community helpers activity featuring the pocket chart.
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After reading a gazillion books about community helpers, my Three and I have been doing some of the activities from my Community Helpers Theme pack. I love doing these pocket chart sentences with him, because he learns so much!
- Print goes from left to right.
- We leave spaces between words.
- We say one word when we point to one word.
- We can sometimes figure out a word by using just the beginning letter.
My Three (turning four in two months), isn’t ready for more than basic concepts of print. But if your child is ready, he can learn these things too:
- Basic sight words
- Beginning capitalization and ending punctuation
I printed and cut out all the pieces we’d need. The download comes with enough sentences for four workers: police officer, firefighter, baker, and farmer. Only two sets will fit on your standard pocket chart at one time, so I decided we’d do police officer and firefighter.
First, I asked my Three to find the word I. Since he knows all his letters, this was easy.
I asked him to find the word “am,” and he did so right away. He doesn’t know any sight words yet, so I acted surprised. “Wow! How did you know that?”
“Because — this one is I, and this one is a.” He was quite proud of himself. 🙂
He began the first sentence on the pocket chart. I reminded him to leave a space between each word.
I asked him to point to different words that I called out.
“Point to the words police officer.”
“Point to the word I.”
“Point to the word am.”
Normally I would not ask this of him, as memorizing sight words is still too hard for him, and he’s easily frustrated. But I knew he could handle this one.
Next we began another sentence. It would begin “Look at my….”
Again, this wasn’t hard because the words were all so different. He was able to use the beginning letter of each word when I asked him to find it.
Since we were doing the police officer sentences first, I asked him to find a picture that shows something a police officer would need.
Now it was time to read all the sentences. He began reading this way (pointing to the top line): “I see a …” This is because many of our printable activities start with those words, and he’s familiar with that pattern.
There’s some kind of disconnect there, that he still isn’t making the connection that we can build different kinds of sentences – as well as forgetting that those words had not been ones he’d used to create the sentences.
So I slowed him down (very gently – he gets frustrated!) and pointed to each word with him, reading the sentence first.
“No, it doesn’t say see. Look. I am a police officer. Now you point to the words.”
I asked if he wanted to do the firefighter sentences, and he was up for it. So we built those together. By this time he was weary, and his little sister (22 months) really wanted to “read” the chart herself. We called it quits for the day, but another way to conclude the activity would be for him to read the entire pocket chart to me.
Truthfully I’m not sure he’d have been able to do it. Because the sentence beginnings change, it would probably get frustrating for him. As I’ve said before, my Three is catching on to concepts of print much later than his older siblings did. I’m trying to always push him to new levels of learning without frustrating him. It’s a delicate balance! I feel that we succeeded today.
Did you know?
My Community Helpers Theme pack comes with pocket chart sentences for 24 different workers! You’ll also get printable books, learning centers, games, and lots more. You can learn more about the pack here.
Enjoy your freebie!
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