The First Phase of the Picture Word Inductive Model

                                                                 Shake out and See Say Spell


Shake out-It is important that the photograph be a representation of reality and a source of information. It should contain curricular content from any combination of the subject areas. The picture leads to research and critical thinking. It provides students with something from which to inquire, leading to further discussion and research.

The picture should build an understanding of our place in the world, showing children our similarities as human beings for example-many children have never been to the ocean but they will still be able to recognize and name familiar things in an unfamiliar place.(plant, flippers, shark,…) The picture can take them to faraway places thus creating global citizens.

Rather than referring to the photograph as the PWIM photograph use one of the titles created in class such as our Shark picture.

Information is pulled from out of the picture. Students provide us with words already in their listening, speaking vocabulary as opposed to contrived words, provided by the teacher that they have no connection to. Students orally contribute words one by one that represent pieces of information in the photo. As the students name an item or action, the teacher spells the words and prints them neatly onto the chart.

Students do not write on the chart as it is essential that they are seeing correct letter formation and spelling being modeled. The words should be written in black marker with properly formed letters, in a large enough size to be seen from across the room. Straight lines should be drawn in black marker from the word to the picture while the children are watching. To avoid future confusion, the lines should not cross This provides an immediate connection for future word recognition. Students need to understand that their goal is to learn these letters and words therefore building their sight vocabulary. It is helpful to print the students’ names under their word. It creates another connection for students who struggle.

 See Say Spell (SSS) is a device to improve long-term memory. It provides daily reinforcement of the words as well as letters and letter sounds and properties. It is essential for young readers to begin to develop their phonemic awareness and phonics skills and SSS is the perfect vehicle with which to do it. See Say Spell time is word study time.

In kindergarten and grade one letter recognition and sounds of letters is essential word study time. As students progress: Syllables/ blends/ rimes/prefixes and word families are all studied during SSS. This reinforcement is done inductively where students are allowed to construct their own meaning, draw conclusions and share their findings. Students develop an interest in learning new words and begin to pay attention to words and word properties. A good rule of thumb-when 75% of the students know 75 % 0f the words, move onto sentences.

When studying words at the Picture word chart, teachers ask questions and provide feedback rather than going around the photograph spelling words in order. For example asking students what do you notice, what do you remember? Teachers may use properties noticed by students and then ask the students “Can you find another word in the photo with the same sound/attribute…” Example Starts w/b or double letters.

Create an anchor chart of word properties students have noticed. Allow students to share orally.”I noticed…flipper and fish start with the same letter.”

Teachers need to model an excitement for word study and vocabulary building. Inviting children to come study their shark words in an enthusiastic voice will lead students to be more enthusiastic about their word study. Being excited about what students notice about their words makes word study and word research very motivating.  Marzano states:  The teacher can communicate a positive demeanour in a number of ways, one of which is through demonstrating enthusiasm and intensity, both of which have been associated with student engagement and achievement.

Teachers must consistently explain rationale to students so that they understand why they are doing the SSS.Making analogies to athletes, musicians who need to practice to get good at what they do, just like we need to practice reading, are very helpful for students to understand why they must keep practicing. We want to instant recall with the words and word properties.

As the year progresses and more PWIM pictures appear, teachers and students need to constantly refer to the photographs around the room. It is a handy reference tool for both reading and writing. The children form connections to the words and know exactly where to go to find them. Because the chart is co-constructed with students and posted on light or white paper they are not a distraction to students. For this reason, the pictures should remain posted in the classroom all year long.

One of the major components of learning to read is reading by sight. As an adult reader I would not choose to read a book that required me to sound out most of the words.  A sight word is any word we read automatically. We recognize words by how they are spelled. As the words are spelled in SSS, spelling is emphasized through the reading- That is why we notice typos.  Shark will be s-h-a-r-k every time it will not change. When students understand this, it is a huge relief to them. Teachers need to emphasize that.. We read every letter-very quickly and not really consciously think about that the next time you read. It is much easier to recognize words we have really studied.

These words should be referred to as sight words not PWIM words. Teachers should avoid labels using the word PWIM as that is meaningless to students and parents.

As we shake the words out we are giving them their own picture dictionary. Adding a word wall of high frequency words in the classroom will enhance the student vocabulary when the sight words and high frequency words are later combined into sentences.

Co-constructing your classroom with students from the beginning of the year, rather than having a ready-made classroom is essential. The RTI is not an issue as The PWIM photograph and subsequent anchor charts become purposeful learning tools rather than a distraction to students.