Showing posts with label phonemic awareness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label phonemic awareness. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Today's Reading Tip: Spell It Out

So you smarty pants out there probably just spelled "it" out loud didn't you?  Well, what I was referring to was spelling words out loud to help your early reader understand that words that are spelled can be sounded out to make words they understand.

LoLo is 4 years old (and 4 months) and is just realizing that Mommy and Daddy talking in 'code' is really us just spelling words that we want to keep him unaware of.  No longer!  Now he understands what we are doing and is asking every time we spell something what the word is.  I told him he would have to sound it out if he wanted to know. So I decided that on purpose when I would talk with my husband and I would spell out very easy CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words just so he could figure it out.

Today we were talking about both kids not taking a nap and here is what happened:
Me: "So Sandi told me that neither kid took a N-A-P today and that was not good!"
LoLo:  "What does N-A-P spell?"
Me:  "If you want to know you will have to sound it out to figure it out for yourself."
LoLo: "Ok, can you help me?  (Me-No) Well, N-says /n/, A says /ah/, P says /puh/"  Then he tries a few times to sound it out and after a few tries he gets it.  "Oh, we didn't take a nap today and that was bad!"
Me:  Turning to husband "We need a new system!"  "Good job LoLo, now you can find out all of Mommy and Daddy's secrets (LoLo smiles really big)!"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Today's Reading Tip: Activities For Your LeapFrog TAG Reading System

Do you own a LeapFrog TAG Reading System?  If not, I highly recommend it! This system comes with a "pen" that when placed on top of words or markers in TAG specific books will read the word or story aloud to a child.  I love both of the TAG systems: The TAG (which allows the child to read a whole page/portion of text, or will read word by word), and the TAG Jr. (which has simpler features for a younger child).

I also like that I can incorporate activities to go along with our TAG system, such as:
  • I will put a sticky note on the page with the number of the words "the" on the page and have LoLo find them.  I will do this same activity for every sight word we have previously worked on.  Then, I just leave the notes in the book so he can play again later.
  • I will say a word to LoLo and have him use the TAG word to find it.  Since he is a very early reader, I choose an easy consonant-vowel-consonant word like 'cat' and have him find it with his eyes and check his answer with his TAG pen.
  • I will ask him questions about the story and have him find the answer with his TAG pen.  This works best for one-word answers that are specific in the text.  An example would be "who found the bone?" and he points the TAG pen to the word Scooby.
If you do not yet have a TAG pen and books, what are you waiting for?


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Today's Reading Tip: Benefits of Books on CD

Wow! Things have been so busy around here that I have hardly had time to post.  So sorry, there is more to come so keep posted.  Today's reading tip is about the benefits of listening to books on CD.
Recently the kids got two new CDs on tape and I thought about how much listening to these helps build their phonemic awareness which in turns build their reading skills.  Books on tape are great to listen to anywhere and do not have to accompany the book to be beneficial to children.  Most people listen to them at home along with using the book, and this is a great way to teach your child good fluency as they listen to the reader speak, as well as show the visual connection of the word to the spoken word.
One way we like to listen to our books on CD is in the car.  For example, right now we have Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? in the car.


The children know that it is a book, but they do not realize that by listening to the story they are building their phonemic awareness skills.  The CD helps to promote good reading skills by giving an example of good fluency (speed/accuracy of the reader), rhyming, pronunciation, tone of voice, and in the case of this story-repetition.  Then at night when we read the book, the children are able to put all of these skills to use.  They don't even realize that they know all the words on the page until I point to them as they read to me!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Today's Reading Tip: Onomatopoeia

First off, so sorry I did not post yesterday! Blogger decided to shut down for the entire day, so I took a mandatory break :) After a nice cocktail and an early bedtime, I am back rearing to go!
Today's post is about onomatopoeia (pronounced "on-O-mot-O-pee-uh").

Wikipedia defines this term as:
  • "a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes."
  • For example, a cat says "meow," and a horn says "toot" (my kids seem to think that particular one is hilarious!).
Not only is the word onomatopoeia fun for kids to learn to say, but also what the term means is fun to say too! Preschoolers take a particular liking to making silly noises, and reading books with silly sounds, such as:



What I suggest is that next time you read a book similar to these ones, teach your child about the term onomatopoeia and what it means.  They will love the fact that they know many words that fall into this category, and also will love telling their friends and family the new "big word" they can say!

Disclosure: None.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Today's Reading Tip: Sing BINGO To Remember Names

In our house I help my kids learn how to remember names by singing the song B-I-N-G-O.  Of course this works best with 5 letter words, but can be adapted to work with others as well.  My son and daughter both have 5 letters in their names and we used this song to teach them at an early age (2.5) how to spell their names.  My youngest son has 4 letters in his name and we just sang the song by spelling his name and then adding in his name for the 5th letter (which works well since it is one syllable).

Other names that worked well for us:
  • Nonna (the kid's grandmother)
  • Poppa (kid's grandfather)
  • Daddy
  • Mommy
  • Brody (our dog)
  • Happy
  • Silly
  • Crazy
  • Clock
  • Dance
You can sing this song by using just the chorus, or for more fun add in your child's name:
  • "There was a Peter who had a word and Nonna was the word-o. N-O-N-N-A, N-O-N-N-A, N-O-N-N-A, and that's how you spell Nonna!"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Today's Reading Tip: Incorporate Cloze Activities Everywhere

Cloze activities are defined by Wikipedia as:
  • "A cloze test (also cloze deletion test) is an exercise, test, or assessment consisting of a portion of text with certain words removed (cloze text), where the participant is asked to replace the missing words. Cloze tests require the ability to understand context and vocabulary in order to identify the correct words or type of words that belong in the deleted passages of a text. This exercise is commonly administered for the assessment of native and second language learning and instruction."
I suggest that you implement the strategies of a Cloze test within various activities you do with your child throughout the day to promote their ability to build context and vocabulary while reading. 

Here are some suggestions on how and when to do this:
  • As you read a book out loud at night, leave out a word and have the child fill it in.  I love to do this with Dr. Seuss books in which I leave out a rhyming word and have my kids guess it based on the pictures (make sure you choose a word that is obvious).
  • Sing a familiar song in the car and leave out a word.  Have your child shout the word that is missing.
  • Say a nursery rhyme and leave off a rhyming word.  Have your child say the missing word.
  • Take a familiar picture book and cover up a word with a post-it note.  Have your child say the missing word and check his answer by removing the post-it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Today's Reading Tip: Benefits Of Using Your Finger While Reading Aloud

Today's reading tip comes from a question I received regarding using your finger while reading aloud to your child. 

You all probably already know many of the benefits that come from reading aloud to your child (phonemic awareness development, fluency development, etc), but did you know that using your finger to point to words as you read also has big benefits? 

When you read to your child at night, do you show him the pictures? Of course you do! One reason to do that is so he can tell what the story is about even if he does not understand all of the words you are reading.  Now that your child is beginning to understand that words on a page mean something as well, you should be pointing them out too-and I do mean that literally.  By pointing to the words on the page as you read them, you are teaching your child one-to-one correspondence.  This skill will help him develop an understanding that each word has a meaning, and that every word is made up of a series of sounds (or phonemes).  This understanding is an important concept to master in order to begin reading independently.

HINT: DO NOT point to each word with a sharp movement under the word.  Instead, slide your finger along under the words as you read.  Children who adopt this movement themselves when reading are more likely to read faster and more fluently!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sign Language and Phonics-A Winning Combination

When I was getting my degree in Liberal Studies from San Diego State University, I knew choosing a foreign language would be an easy decision.  I had tried French and Spanish previously and knew that I was NOT an auditory learner.  Therefore, I chose a minor in Communicative Disorders with my foreign language being American Sign Language (ASL).  Little did I know that this choice would work wonders for me in my career years later!

Flash forward (well, I won't say how many years), and I have used sign language to teach students with severe reading problems how to read.  The key was adding a kinesthetic approach to a skill that is visual!  Teaching reading has always consisted of a teacher who teaches a skill to a student (with a visual guide and an auditory example), and the student applying this skill through the same modalities. 

I decided to experiment with adding ASL in the classroom and see how it would work.  I began with my pre-readers and taught them the letter-sound correspondence with an ASL sign for each.  You could use the letter hand sign for each letter of the alphabet, or you could use the sign for the picture that corresponds to the letter card.  For example, we use the Houghton Mifflin Language Arts program in our school and I use ASL signs that correspond to the pictures.
There were 2 reasons I choose this approach over hand signs for the letters.
  1. My kindergarten students had a very difficult time with the fine motor skills it takes to form the hand signs for each of the letters.  It was much easier to sign the picture words (ex. apple, cat, fish), which tend to use larger motions of the hands and arms.
  2. It connected their signs (kinesthetic) with the pictures (visual) and therefore helped them remember the sound (ex. if they remembered cat they could hear the initial sound in the word).  If I just taught the hand sign for the letter they would remember the visual letter, but NOT necessarily the sound that it makes.
I really suggest that anyone who is teaching a child their letter sounds that they incorporate ASL.  I use it with my own kids (ages 4 and 3), and they just love it! 


Keep following for more tips and ideas on how to use ASL to teach reading.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Make Any Wall Your Whiteboard!

I have been thinking about making a magnetic whiteboard on one of the walls in my kid's room for a long time.  After reading reviews of other people who have done this I think I am going to go with the following products. 
First I will apply the magnetic primer:


Then I will apply the whiteboard paint:


I can't wait to try it out and use all the magnetic letters I have from my classroom to help LoLo work on creating CVC words.  I will also take photos of family members and glue them on to magnetic sheets you can buy at Walmart. Then you just cut around the person (or object) and have a personalized magnet to play with. 

I will update when I get a chance to put it up.

Have other suggestions?
Want to try your own?
Have you done this before; how did it work out?
Leave me a comment and let me know.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Parent of a preschooler? YOU can teach your child to read!

Do you have a preschooler who is showing signs that he is ready to read, but you have no idea where to start?

My Reading Specialist offers consulting for parents to train YOU how to teach your child to read. 

Here is what it consists of:
  1. First meeting-I assess the student to make sure he is ready to read and see what skills he might already know.  I review the assessments with you and give you feedback.  These assessments are then used to create individualized lessons for your child. (usually takes about 1 hour total)
  2. Second meeting-I will bring various lessons, games, and activities (for you to keep) based upon what skills your child needs to become a reader.  These lessons will be individualized based upon his previous assessments. I will TRAIN you (the parent/caregiver) how to administer these lessons and offer suggested timetables for application. (usually takes about 1 hour total)
  3. Third meeting-This meeting usually takes place after the majority of the lessons have been covered.  I will administer follow-up assessments and see which skills were retained successfully and can be applied by your student, and what skills may need to be recovered.  I will offer advice and additional consulting if new lessons are needed (but that is not usually the case). (usually takes about 1 hour total)
I offer consulting either in person (San Diego area), or via webcam (lessons will be mailed).  Please contact me if you have any questions via my "email me" link on my sidebar, or comment below.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Super Why Game Is Super Cute!


If you are like me and like to have your kids watching educational TV shows, you probably watch Super Why! I just love the graphics, the characters, and the different reading skills it teaches (and correctly as well-unlike other shows out there).  So when I was picking out toys for LoLo's 4th birthday I just knew that this game would be a hit. 

I really like how it is simple enough for young players to play (around 4 years and up), and does not have too many rules.  You simply roll the dice, move to the appropriate spot, then pick a card that matches the character you are on.  I would read the card to LoLo and he would do the appropriate action. 

For example:
Alpha Pig with Alphabet Power: Players point to the uppercase letter on the board that matches the lowercase letter on the card.

Wonder Red with Word Power: Players read the words or look at the pictures on the card and say another word or words that rhyme.

Princess Presto with Spelling Power: Players say the word pictured on the card, then point to the first letter or fist two letters of that word on the center of the board.

Super Why with the Power to Read: Players point to the word on the board that should replace the underlined word on the card to make the silly sentence make sense. 

The first player to reach the finish with all 4 different character cards is the winner.

*Makes a great birthday gift!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where did this cutesy baby talk come from?

LoLo just turned 4 on March 2nd, and with this birthday I really held out hope that he would become more mature and responsible. Then bam, he starts in with the baby talk! What?! He has decided that it is funny to add little endings to words, such as: "schooley"-for school, "pickie"-for pickle.  I know that he is just doing this to be funny and get attention, but after awhile it just became annoying and I felt like others were thinking he wasn't as smart as he really is.  I talked to him about it, yet he still is doing it so I decided to try and go with it for now.  I realize that there is a positive side to this issue as well, and I am trying to remind myself of that every time he does it.  The positive side: as he begins to experiment with changing words (like adding 'ie' to the end of words) it shows me that he is starting to understand that words can be changed and still retain their base meaning.  This skill is a very advanced concept for young kids, and shows that they are starting to realize that words are made up of parts (onsets and rimes, base words, suffixes and prefixes, etc.).  Eventhough his understanding is very primitave, it is still there....and this is what I am going to tell myself everytime he says 'cutie-wootie!' Ugh!

I want to know what your little ones are saying? Any cute baby talk that is driving you nuts? Don't forget to include your child's age.