Honestly, I would really just like my firsties to take the skill of recognizing the pattern of silent 'e' and apply it when reading when they leave first grade. Low and behold, they are always expected to go far beyond what is reasonable.
We talked about "dropping the E and adding ING" to words that follow the silent 'e' pattern.
To help my students visualize this and in hopes of making it a little more clear to them we used popsicle sticks in one of our phonics lessons this week.
I called out a word.
Example: "Spell the word tape."
We changed the word by adding 'ing'.
Example: "Change the word tape to taping."
They were not allowed to erase the 'e' but simply covered it up with a popsicle stick to show that all it really was doing was disappearing. The vowel sound wasn't going back to its short sound just because the 'e' went away.
They thought it was magic and LOVED playing with sticks!
Who knew phonics was so fun?