Friday, September 30, 2011

Learning to Read

There are many components in building the foundation for fluent readers.  I try to touch on as many of them as possible, as much as possible.  :-)    

We went fishing for sight words.  K. did enjoy this and we did this activity multiple times.  Sometimes with cards to match and other times without cards but with the fish upside down.   An "oldie" but a favorite.  I simple created fish with the sight words to review and added a paper clip.  The fishing pole is a ruler with yarn and a magnet at the bottom.

Word Family Homes Book
I provided strips with 5 pictures to a strip, one not belonging to the family.  This was SUCH good practice for K.  To say the words and figure out which one sounds differently.  Then she cut them apart and glued the remaining four into the windows.
We stapled these together with a front page that showed her family in the windows of this house pattern.  She wrote her last name on the front page also.  She is ready to move onto learning to write her last name as well so it was an introduction of sorts.  I tend to introduce word families with our own family's last name connecting that all our family members belong together.    Then I move to these words that have the last sounds that all belong together in what we call a "word family".  Just a reminder that it is more prevalent now for families to have members with more than one last name.   Use your own judgement whether or not this connection will work for you.  In this situation, I introduced it with our own family, and then did use the child's last name but did not get specific about who she put in her windows...and what their last names were.  Know your children and their families well before you add the My Family page!

Vocabulary Cards
With each focus letter, I use word wall cards that I've printed from (made them smaller to fit our smaller space).  For each set we use our clap cards.  They are simple a picture of two hands clapping.  1, 2, and 3.  She says the word, claps it out and sorts the cards to how many syllables are in the word.  We then find all the focus letters in the cards and then place them up on our wall under the correct letter.  This way we can interact with them frequently.  The way I am planning this year is similar to the "letter of the week" which I've never been real fond of.  And research has agreed with me.  However, I don't feel I fall into the typical habit of teachers that use this approach.  We do interact with all the letters frequently.  We don't just do a letter and then not do anything with it again.  That was one reason why I disagreed with this approach because that is exactly what happened with many of the teachers I have observed.  The other thing that's different is that I am not going from A-Z.  That is so silly to me.  Not meaningful at all.  Please, think about the order in which you are teaching your children the alphabet.  If your focus is reading...then go the order of the most used letters first.  That way you can immediately start putting the letters together to make words.  Much more meaningful.  But if your focus is handwriting (which mine is this year, since letter names and sounds are not a struggle) then go the route of what letters are easiest to write and build upon that.  I focus on only capital letters with my young PreK student and I add a lowercase component with my older PreK student as she has a more developed fine motor foundation.  One benefit to having a small group!  I do a LOT with individualization.  My goal is not to bring them all up to one standard but to meet each of the children's needs/desires individually and that means finding out where they are and taking steps forward from there.  Side note:  If anyone has ideas for games and activities to go with vocabulary cards...I'd love to hear them!

E Egg
A Apple
I really don't know where I got these puzzles from.  I'd like to if anyone can clue me in?  I did a quick search through the blog and didn't see that I had mentioned these puzzles so included the A-apple picture also. I simply colored, printed, laminated and added magnets to the back of the pieces.  We then do the puzzle on a dollar store baking sheet.  Keeps the pieces from moving all over the place. This time, she realized she was going to have to sound the words out to figure out where these pieces go.  The first go around she was just guessing...and it wasn't working.  Anyway, these vowel puzzles are nice to reinforce the vowel sounds as well as the concept of sounding out simple words. 

Number Words
Some of the first words they work with in Kindergarten are color and number words.  So I do quite a bit with them, often have them written under the colors or numbers in my own teacher-made activities and displays.  Here is an activity from that I printed for K. to work on. It's called Train Identify and Stamp

I like that they also include zero.  Sometimes we assume the children understand the concept of zero but perhaps they don't.  So, we were able to reinforce that zero means nothing so she wouldn't stamp anything on that page.  (numbers 0-10, included).
Something we started this week on our Elmo day...
A simple alphabet book with Sesame Street Characters.  I printed these coloring sheets from My goal for this week was to have her glue on all the letters in alphabetical order and then next week we'll begin working on creating a collage page from pictures and print from magazines.  I decided to bind the book together because I'm known for misplacing things I'm saving.  So this will keep it all together, but it will also give her a visual of where to glue the pictures too as often they'll glue them where I need to bind if there isn't a visual.  A long term project.  These are good for children to experience!

Quite a week!  Preschoolwise-it went just fine.  Personally...I'm glad to see this week end and start fresh next week!  :-) 

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