The Thing with Math…
By Laura Pope

Rationale:  To learn to read, children must learn the letter combinations (digraphs) that stand for specific mouth moves.  They must learn when certain letters are together in a word, they stand for a specific mouth move.  This lesson will help children recognize the phoneme /th/ in written and spoken language.  They will also be able to read and spell words that contain the phoneme /th/.  They will participate in a class letterbox lesson and small reading groups.

Materials:  Chart with “The thing with math is to think, think, think!” written on it, Elkonin boxes for the whole class, letters: a, b, e, g, h, i, k, m, n, o, p, t, and u (one of each letter per student), eight copies of Phonetic Storybook 10-th, tch--Two of These and Three of Those, worksheet where students match picture to word (a picture of a path with the word path)-on the other side of the worksheet students will write the name of the picture under the picture, primary paper, pencils, and tape.

Procedure:
1. “Sometimes two letters get together and make a special sound.  Today we are going to talk about the letters t and h.  When t and h get together, they make a special sound and our mouth has a special move it makes to say the sound.  They say /th/.  Can everyone say the /th/ sound?  Let’s say it slowly and see what shape our mouths make.  When I make the /th/ sound my tongue touches the back of my top teeth and air leaks through.  Watch my mouth as I read the word bath (have bath written on chalkboard).  First I will look at the vowel /a/.  Then I will add /b/.  Finally, I will add /th/ and I get /bath/.  Now we are going to listen for the /th/ sound in words.

2. Let’s try our sentence: “The thing about math is to think, think, think!” Let’s say it together.  Now let’s say it and stretch out the /th/ sounds.  “TTHHe TTHHing about maTTHH is to TTHHink, TTHHink, TTHHink!”

3. Now that we know what sound the T and H make, lets try to spell some words that have the /th/ sound in them.  I am going to pass out letterboxes and letters.  When you get your letters turn them to the lowercase side.  Now I will pass some tape around and I want you to tape your t and h together.  We are going to tape them together because they make one sound.  Now open your letterbox to three boxes.  The first word we are going to spell has three sounds.  Let's spell “mmmaaattthhh.” I will show you on the board.  In the 1st box we will put a m because that is the first sound we hear.  In the 2nd box we will put an a because that is the second sound we hear.  Now in the last box we will put th because that is the final sound.  Now let's read our word-math.  Now let’s try some more words using three boxes:  that, path, then, bath.  (Walk around to make sure that all students are on task and understand.  Call on a student to give the spelling.)  Everyone is doing a great job.  Let’s try some words using four boxes:  thunk, thing, thank.

4. Now eight of you will come with me for our reading group.  The rest of you need to get out your primary paper and pencil .  Then write a sentence about your favorite thing to do in math or your least favorite thing to do in math.

5.  The students in the reading group will read Two of These and Three of Those.  This book is about two girls that help their mom with some chores.  Their mom gives them their allowance and the girls decide to go shopping.  Let's see what they use their allowance for!"  Before we read let's go through the book and look at all of the pictures to see if we can figure out what is going to happen.  Now we are going to go around the table and each person should read one page.  I want you to make sure what you are reading makes sense.  If it doesn't make sense, I want you to go back and try to fix it.  You can ask a buddy or me for help if you can't figure it out.  Okay, let's get started!

6.  Assessment:  Give each student the worksheet with pictures that match to words (picture of a path to the word path) on one side.  On the other side pictures with space under each picture so that students can write the name of the picture.  This would assess their spelling.  I would assess their spelling in the letterbox lesson and in their sentences as well.  I would assess their reading in the reading groups.

Reference:
Davis, Dara.  Shhhhh... She is Sleeping. www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insights/ddavisbr.html