Vowel sounds can be especially tricky for our beginning readers. Just when they get used to the short vowel sound we teach them long vowel sounds. When my readers are ready to move on to the long vowel sound words, the Flippy Dolphin reading strategy is super helpful. With everything from a flipchart to crafts, these Flippy Dolphin reading strategy activities will help your students decode unfamiliar words with long vowel sounds. I am really excited to share with you how I use the Flippy Dolphin reading strategy in my classroom.
What Is The Flippy Dolphin Reading Strategy?
The Flippy Dolphin reading strategy is the perfect way to help your students decode long vowel words they are not familiar with.
As students are learning to read throughout the year, they are going to need some strategies to help them decode new words. Flippy Dolphin is a great strategy that can be used when introducing long vowel sounds!
This strategy teaches students to flip the vowel sound from short to long to help them when they come to an unknown word in their reading. Here’s how I teach the Flippy Dolphin reading strategy.
Flippy Dolphin Introduction
I begin introducing the Flippy Dolphin strategy with a question. I ask my students if they know how a dolphin moves. Then, I ask them to show me with their hands. This action helps them make the connection and remember to “flip” the vowel sound from short to long in new words.
Flippy Dolphin Anchor Chart
Next, it is time to dig into the Flippy Dolphin reading strategy. I always begin with an interactive anchor chart. We start with this adorable Flippy Dolphin in the center. This image always reminds students of our discussion about dolphins and how they flip.
Next, I introduce our clever Flippy Dolphin rhyme. This simple rhyme helps students to understand the reading strategy and remember it. The goal of the Flippy Dolphin strategy is to have students try the long vowel sound when the word doesn’t make sense with the short vowel sound. This can be a little hard to understand so we immediately jump into some practice.
We start by looking at some pictures with words using both the long and short versions of a vowel sound. We practice reading the words and making the long and short vowel sounds together. This is a great way to reinforce the short and long vowel sounds. Once we have reviewed those then we start applying them to words.
Next, we use sentence and words cards to practice reading words with short and long vowels. Students must choose the correct word to complete each sentence. Each word card includes the word spelled with the short and long vowel sounds. Students work as a group to sound out the words and choose the correct word to finish the sentence.
We continue to practice this strategy until the students have an understanding of how to apply it on their own. As we practice I like to have students make a flipping motion with their hands. This movement activity helps students remember the strategy.
Flippy Dolphin Reading Tool Activity
Once students have learned this new reading strategy and done some guided practice it is time to made our Flippy Dolphin reading tool. This moveable and interactive tool is something they keep in their book box to use during reading time. It’s a great visual reminder to flip the vowel sounds.
I copy the templates on thick cardstock, cut, and then laminate the pieces. My students love putting in the brads to make the pieces moveable. We always have to take some extra time to “play” with our Flippy Dolphin reading tools after making them.
To use the Flippy Dolphin reading tool, just grab some leveled readers and let students start searching for those tricky long vowel words. When they find one, they use their Flippy Dolphin reading tool to help them “flip” from a short vowel to a long vowel sound.
Flippy Dolphin Practice Pages
After learning this new reading strategy it is important to put it into practice. This can often be difficult during independent reading time since the reading level of students varies. That’s why I choose some specific practice activities.
I have two different practice page activities that students complete. I have multiple options so that they can work on one every day for a few days after learning the strategy. The first activity includes a word and a picture. Students will say the word and then they must decide if the word has a long or short vowel. Students will then color in the picture to show which sound is in the word.
The second option has a variety of words, without the picture prompt. Students will try to read the word first using the short sound. If the word doesn’t make sense then they will flip the sound and read the word with a long vowel sound. Once they know the word students will circle ‘short’ or ‘long’ to show the type of vowel sound in the word.
Flippy Dolphin Center Activities
I also love adding reading strategy practice into our center activities. These Flippy Dolphin clip cards are a fun activity that helps students put this reading strategy into practice.
Students will use the laminated Flippy Dolphin reading tool and cards to identify vowel sounds in a given word. This clip card reading center is so much fun and a great way to practice. Each card includes a word and two vowel sound options with picture clues. Students use clothespins to indicate the correct vowel sound for the words on each card.
I also like to include Flippy Dolphin matching cards as a center activity. Students take sentence cards and try to match them with a picture that shows what the sentence means. It’s a great opportunity to practice Flippy Dolphin because the words have been carefully chosen to work with this reading strategy. It is also a great reading fluency activity as I like to have students read the sentence multiple times.
Both of these center activities are easy to prep and store. I like to keep all the cards and supplies together using a small pencil box or zip-lock bag. With everything stored in one place, students can quickly and easily grab the activity and begin working.
Flippy Dolphin Student Craft
We finish up our week with a Flippy Dolphin craft activity. The students love this activity so much!
Students will grab a book and a Flippy Dolphin reading tool and start searching for new words within the text. When they find one, they use the Flippy Dolphin strategy to “flip” the vowel sound. If they are able to read the word by flipping the sound, they write down the word and draw a picture.
Next, students create a cute Flippy Dolphin page to add their word list to. It’s a fun way for them to show off their new reading skills.
The finished craft makes a great classroom or hallway display. The students love looking at all the words their classmates were able to read using the new reading strategy.
Grab The Flippy Dolphin Anchor Chart And Activities Set
You can grab the Flippy Dolphin Reading Strategy Anchor Chart and Activities in the Emily Education store. With these carefully crafted activities, your students will be using the Flippy Dolphin strategy in no time to decode unknown words!
Save These Flippy Dolphin Reading Strategy Activity Ideas
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