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Puzzle Piece Phonics: The Puzzle Pieces, Grade 1

  • Title:Puzzle Piece Phonics: The Puzzle Pieces, Grade 1
  • Author:Carolyn Banuelos, Danielle James, Elise Lund
  • Publication Date:May 2018
  • Grade Level:1
  • ISBN:9781506364711
  • Publisher:Corwin Press

Special pricing through September 30, 2018

This revolutionary new platform allows young students to see the connection between letters and sounds, and makes phonics come alive in a memorable way. Children love using the puzzle pieces as they learn.

The large, bright, and sturdy puzzle pieces can be connected together to explore patterns and make words. After using them for focused study, the puzzle pieces are displayed on a classroom wall for reference and for year-long reinforcement of concepts.

Each puzzle piece shows an image of an object, the spelling of the word, and a color-coded sound pattern to help demonstrate the key rules of phonics to children. The color codes help students organize their understandings about what makes up a word.

The puzzle pieces become part of a classroom reference wall once they have been formally studied and prominently displayed for a week.

How to Display the Puzzle Pieces

  • The puzzle pieces connect horizontally in Puzzle Piece Families.
  • You can connect the puzzle pieces that represent vowel teams after teaching all of the vowel teams in Concept 7.
  • The puzzle pieces connect vertically to other puzzle pieces that represent the same sound.
  • You can connect the puzzle pieces that represent long a when reviewing long a.

Beautiful, large puzzle pieces for each sound and spelling pattern make phonics concepts concrete for children.

Teachers introduce new puzzle pieces to students each week, and display the focus pieces prominently in the classroom. Each puzzle piece has a corresponding motion that helps students retain the sounds and spellings, and also gives teachers a way to quickly signal students.

The Puzzle Piece Families are taught in successive weeks to allow students to grasp all the concepts of phonics and apply prior learning. With each new concept/family taught, the teacher explicitly states to students that they are learning a new type of pattern. This explicitness helps students organize words into categories and use what they already know to tackle untaught patterns in new words.

Children study the focus puzzle pieces throughout the week, including handling them to build words. This fun and interactive use of the puzzle pieces engages their auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic modes of learning. Working with the puzzle pieces is a memorable way to help students learn the major patterns of phonics.

At the end of the week of focused study, the puzzle pieces become part of an inspiring classroom reference wall that students can look to for review and reinforcement.

Teachers and students build words with the focus and supporting puzzle pieces during the week. This shows students how words are formed.


Author Bio

Carolyn Banuelos is a graduate of Ohio State University with a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. She has been an instructional coach and primary grade teacher across the country. Carolyn now enjoys empowering teachers and students to take charge of their learning as a facilitator.

Danielle James is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She has taught primary grades across the state of North Carolina. Danielle now enjoys consulting with classroom teachers to model literacy instruction for successful implementation.

Elise Lund is a graduate of Marietta College with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education with specialization in Literacy. She has taught primary grades in Ohio and North Carolina. Elise now enjoys creating curriculum development trainings and implementing literacy instruction to a broad range of learners.

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