So yesturday I went with my 3rd grader to the Maybourn Museum on the Baylor University campus, this is a very nice museum and worth the trip if you live within a couple of hours of Waco TX. While going through our guided tour I came across this sign on the wall. I could read it without trouble but it got me thinking about a few things.
My first thought was "Is this what it looks like to try to read as a young child, just a bunch of letters with no meaning?"
My second thought was "Is this similar to what text looks like to children with dyslexia and dysgraphia and other learning disabilities?"
Granted I know that dyslexics reverse letters and dysgraphics flip their letters but I am just thinking of the confusion these issues would cause during the crucuial points in which we learn to read as children.
So, this is when I got to thinking about the importance of decoding words and letter/sound recognition. Without these two skills even reading this jumbled up sign would be impossible. Here are some strategies I use with my 4 year olds to build letter/sound recognition and decoding skills.
1. Everytime I say the sound I point to the letter, not naming the letter until the sounds are solidified, separating the sound from the letter name gives them only one part to remember at a time. I also assign a movement to go with the sound for example when I say "a,a,a (sound) I use my fists under my eyes to act as if I am a crying baby."
2. During handwriting time I name the letter and leave out the sound, if someone says it I will reinforce but I want them to learn them separatly at first.
3. We play sound bingo, fly swatting the proper letter when the sound is given and literacy centers that focus on matching uppercase and lowercase letters.
1. I use small blocks to push together and pull apart words, these are blank and the word is given in sound not in text. Each child gets three blocks and a sheet of paper with three sections. As I give the word then ask the children to put a block in each section as I give that sound. I practice the sounds in order first then have the children remove the blocks and practice identifying the middle and ending sound. I ask several children to decode the word on their own and help as needed.
2. Once my first objective is solidified I start giving the children cards with the words on them to practice decoding different sets of words. These are only CVC words, no consonant blends or long vowels at this point.
3. Once they are fluent in decoding with the cards I label the cubes with the letters, consonants in blue and vowels in red. The children themn practice putting together their on words, pulling them apart and recording them.(I will post my recording sheet on the freebie page later this week since it is saved to my computer at school)
I hope you find these ideas helpful in your reading instruction, don't forget to follow me for a chance to win my 100th follower giveaway!
Till next time,