Can you work out the code in the shells above? This is what Phonics can be like when children are learning to read. Working out how to work out the abstract code of symbols (letters) and the sounds that they make (Phonics) can be challenging for some children. Just as you found the shell code hard to phathom.Some patterns are obvious and others appear to be random placements!!!
This week I spent time making an activity to improve my Prep group’s phonic results. The cards that I made are included below. I thought that the Preppies would be able to work through two of the packages of letters and matching pictures, but I didn’t think that they would figure out all the letters. What a surprise it was for all of us!!! Children learn in spite of us! We place expectations that are far too low.
I began this activity because the children had improved markedly in the basic reading skills of Concepts of Print (knowing where to begin reading, interpreting pictures, knowing the concept of word, space and letter, etc.) They also had great results in Phonological Awareness; the ability to recognise the number of beats (syllables) in words, rhyme, first and last sounds in words. I thought that it was time to consolidate the letter names and sounds. The children had been working away at learning Phonics but I wanted to see things move faster!!!
Each pair of children was given five pegs with letters marked on them; one of the letters was a vowel. They were also given a corresponding number of pictures which had been discussed in previous weeks.
The children said the name of the object/character in the picture and matched the first sound of the word with the corresponding letter. Then they pegged that letter on the card showing the picture. They had heaps of fun and were amazingly successful in working out the matches.
Next week we will use the letter and picture cards again to write sentences using the letters to make words and the known high frequency words/ sight words.
If you look carefully at the picture, you can see that the cardboard with the picture is about a third of an A4 page. The cards have been laminated. This size was used for the children to write on with whiteboard pens. The cards can be cleaned and reused at a later date.
The other group of children were making the characters from the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from play dough . Adding the eyes was the thrill of the day because I had bought some special eyes from the local, craft shop. Tomorrow we will place the word cards beside the play dough characters so that EVERYONE will know who they are!!
So, why did I tell you about this experience? Because I want everyone to know that children love playing and we should make certain that the elements of play are a part of learning.Learning is faster if we use the elements of play.
Go to www.letterboxlearntoread.com and receive your FREE set of High Frequency Words
Ann Foster is a teacher with a unique talent to provide back to basics step by step programs/products and tutoring for students in Australia and overseas.
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