Stand up and pay attention
Last week we discussed the greatest predictor of reading and spelling success, Phonological Awarenesss.To make certain that Phonological Awareness is successful, the child must be able to maintain attention. So, for today’s content I will look at activities that can be used for this purpose.
Alertness is the ability to maintain mental awareness for a sustained period of time. In Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/?sk=nf#!/pages/Letterbox-Learn-to-Read/257419317604354 I gave examples of what I did throughout the week to improve the attention of children who work with me in small groups . I used a timer to focus the children’s attention for three minutes initially.. Then the children enjoyed a variety of animal walks for about a minute to integrate the sensory system, modulate behaviours and raise awareness. Following this activity the children got back to work. Then, as time went on, the children were able to work for five minutes with sustained mental attention. During focus time the children were not allowed to fiddle, talk or look around. They had to make certain that their minds were totally focussed on the Phonological Awareness lesson. They were told that this focus would probably hurt their brains to begin with BUT because they had set goals to reach certain levels in their reading, they were willing to try hard.They were very proud of their efforts.
Below are the animal walks that I used:
Frog Hop: come to a full squat position with hands on the floor outside of the knees. Jump forward, landing in the same position.
Donkey Kick: from a squatting position with the hands on the floor outside the knees, shift the body weight forward to the hands and kick both legs backward.
Ostrich walk: bend forward at the waist and grab the ankles. Keep the knees stiff and walk forward moving the head in and out.
Bunny Hop: from a squat position with the hands on the floor, place the weight on the hands and hop forward with the legs; move the hands forward and repeat.
The second blogg this week will provide syllable activities to help your child be the best reader possible from the beginning of his reading journey.
Have fun with your child.
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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