Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sight Words

Ahhhh....sight words. Words that are generally used the most (high frequency) and don't follow a spelling pattern! As a teacher, I LOVE to use Mrs. Perkin's lists, and send them home with my parents. You can get the lists by grade level at the following link:
http://www.mrsperkins.com/dolch.htm

Teaching your child sight words is essential, because these words do not follow common spelling rules. They also are the most used, so you get a lot of "bang for your buck" by teaching these words in isolation to your child. Some of the words on the list can be sounded out, but remember, these are also high frequency words which are essential to learning to read!

It is best to start with Pre-Primer words, then Primer, then 1st Grade, etc. These words are strategically placed in a certain order to range from easy to diffiuclt by grade level.

Pre-Primer List:

a
and
away
big
blue
can
come
down
find
for
funny
go
help
here
I
in
is
it
jump
little
look
make
me
my
not
one
play
red
run
said
see
the
three
to
two
up
we
where
yellow
you

Primer List
all
am
are
at
ate
be
black
brown
but
came
did
do
eat
four
get
good
have
he
into
like
must
new
no
now
on
our
out
please
pretty
ran
ride
saw
say
she
so
soon
that
there
they
this
too
under
want
was
well
went
what
white
who
will

First Grade List

after
again
an
any
ask
as
by
could
every
fly
from
give
going
had
has
her
him
his
how
just
know
let
live
may
of
old
once
open
over
put
round
some
stop
take
thank
them
then
think
walk
were
when
with
yes

Second Grade List

always
around
because
been
before
best
both
but
call
cold
does
don't
fast
first
five
found
gave
goes
green
its
made
many
off
or
pull
read
right
sing
sit
sleep
tell
their
these
those
upon
us
use
very
wash
which
why
wish
work
would
write
your

Third Grade List

about
better
bring
carry
clean
cut
done
draw
drink
eight
fall
far
full
got
grow
found
gave
goes
grow
hold
hurt
if
keep
kind
laugh
light
long
much
myself
never
only
own
pick
seven
shall
show
six
small
start
ten
today
together
try
warm

Phonemic Awareness Introduction

If you are a parent who is teaching your child pre-reading skills, then phonemic awareness is a MUST! In layman's term, PA is the ability to:
-Rhyme
-Manipulate Sounds in Words by either segmenting or blending them
+segmenting- breaking the sounds in words apart (cat becomes c-a-t)
+blending- putting the sounds back together (the child can say the word "cat" after
hearing the sounds c-a-t)
-Some teachers actually even see segmenting as breaking sentences down into words, then break words down into sounds.


-PA also involves manipulating sounds in words.
+"What is the first sound in bat?"
+ "What do you hear at the end of dog?"
+"What do you hear in the middle of the word hut?"
All of these skills are necessary to be able to read phonetically.
If you are interested in the International Reading Association's position paper on PA, click on the following link: http://www.reading.org/downloads/positions/ps1025_phonemic.pdf

There are many activities you can do with your child to support their PA skills. I will include some of my own, but I will also include links to activity sites to help!

1. This activity can be done at home, in the car, or basically anywhere! Say a word, then tell your child you are going to say two more words. You want your child to try and pick the word that rhymes with the first word.
Ex: "I'm going to say a word. Then I'm going to say two more words. Pick a word from the two words I say last that rhyme with the first word." Give plenty of examples before expecting your child to find the rhyming word.

2. You can also ask your child questions like, "What sound do you hear at the beginning of the word ball?" This helps them identify initial sounds. Then move to the sounds at the end of a word. Finally, try to have them identify the vowel sounds in the middle of the word.

3. Show children a picture and ask them to identify the sound at the beginning, end, or middle.

If you want more activity ideas, please click on the following links to help your child grow in this area:
http://teams.lacoe.edu/documentation/classrooms/patti/k-1/activities/phonemic.html

http://www.fcrr.org/curriculum/PDF/G2-3/2-3PA_2.pdf

http://www.tampareads.com/phonics/whereis/index.htm

Monday, June 14, 2010

Letter assessment sheet

Here is the form to test/record your child's knowledge of letters! Circle the letters he/she knows, and put a check beside it if he/she knows the sound.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/33013274/Letter-Sound-Test-Sheet

The Order of the Letters....

There is no set in stone order of teaching students letters (Although there may be curriculums that claim there is only one way). What I have found is that students are motivated to learn the letters that are important to them. As stated in my last post, students usually want to learn the letters in their own name first! This can be followed by letters in the name of a friend or family member. For my son, it was his name first, and then the letters in M-O-M and D-A-D. Then he wanted to learn the letters in our dogs' names!

However, once you've taught the letters that are important to your child, then you can focus on the other letters/sounds. It must also be noted that some letters ARE easier to learn to read and then write than others.

If you choose to go in order of the Alphabet Song, you MUST remember that some letters will be learned by their order, and not memorized visually. To ensure that students are learning them by themselves (and not in order), make sure you test them by mixing up the letters and seeing if they still recognize them.

Also, when assessing (testing), make sure that you test upper and lower case separately when you are first beginning. I preferred to teach all upper case to my son first, then lower case!


Obviously, the letters where the upper and lower case are written the same also are learned quicker. First I am going to list the letters in order of Upper and Lower Case "likeness." This is where the upper and lower case are written most alike to least alike:

Oo, Xx, Cc, Jj, Ss, Uu, Vv, Ww, Zz, Ff, Ii, Kk, Tt, Ll, Mm, Nn, Yy, Aa, Bb, Hh, Pp, Dd, Ee, Gg,Qq, Rr.

Learning Letters and Sounds

Oh! I LOVE teaching students their letters. There are so many neat and creative ways to help them learn their letters and sounds! My son is going to be five in two weeks, and he currently knows all uppercase letters and sounds, and is starting to read some books. However, we have been working on these skills for most of the year! I am going to try and build a list here of the many ways you can help your child learn the basic building blocks of reading - letters and sounds! ***IN MY NEXT POST I will discuss the order in which to teach the letters and sounds!

*While it is possible to teach children upper and lower case letters at the same time, you will need to explain several times that each letter is written two different ways- Upper and Lower Case!

*Also note, that while some skills can be learned in a particular order, most students learn several skills simultaneously (i.e. they may learn to write various letters while they are learning the name/sounds). Also, your child may not show interest at first in making the letters, but if you keep showing him/her the letters and their names over time, they do learn them!

1. The first way to begin introducing a child to letters, is to help them learn their name. They are usually VERY motivated to do this! Who wouldn't be! Its the one word that they've been hearing since the day they were born! Most parents obviously begin by writing the child's name on a piece of paper. This usually includes all uppercase letters, which is fine to start.
-To help your child practice spelling his/her name, you can have a personalized writing paper for their name printed here: http://www.mymoondrops.com/spelling.html

2. Use a dry erase board to show the child how to make a letter, then have them practice making it. (Easy letters to begin with are X and O, then you can teach them hugs and kisses! OOO XXX). Many times you can also find dry erase boards that are magnetic! Then use magentic letters (found at dollar store, Staples, educational supply stores) to go over letters. You will also use this later when making words.

3. Make the letter in playdough. While playing with playdough, casually make the letter and show it to your child. They may not be able to make it themselves at first! I also have letter cookie cutters I found at a local store.

4. Write the letters outside using sidewalk chalk!

5. Use an alphabet stamp set like used in scrapbooking to stamp letters. Make sure they are block lettering that can be recognized easily by your child.

6. Show them letters while fingerpainting! Make a letter, let it dry, and use it to teach the letter again later.

7. While it is messy, you can put shaving cream (On a surface that can handle this material), and make the letters in shaving cream.

8. Make the letter using your body!

Other ways of teaching letters (including TV and technology):

1. Sesame Street- whether on TV, the computer, or a video, Sesame Street has been teaching children letters and numbers for over 30 years! In our area, its usually on the Public Television Station at 7p.m. You can also access the website here: http://www.sesamestreet.org/

2. Leapfrog Video- "The Letter Factory" can be found at Target and some Walmarts, but can also be purchased online here: http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=letter+factory+video&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=4386154005&ref=pd_sl_4yhcfg9d2b_b

3. You can always visit http://www.starfall.com/ to practice letters and sounds!

4. A more traditional way to teach the letters/sounds would be using a workbook that could be purchased at a local store like Walmart. The Dollar Tree also has cheap workbooks!

Welcome!

I'm so glad to finally be writing a blog in my field. I won't reiterate the "About Me" part, since my credentials are listed. However, I do want you to know my teaching background. In regards to what I teach, I currently service 70 students in my county and travel between several schools. I help students who struggle in Reading and Math, and I also teach gifted classes to students in 3-8 Grade. I have taught students in K-8 through my job, and have tutored students all the way into 10th grade at home in various academic areas, including Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Algebra II. However, my PA certification is in K-12 as a Reading Specialist. I have also taught at both public and private schools, which includes a Montessori school.

I'm hoping to use this blog to help educate parents in the various areas of learning, and help them teach their children the necessary skills in various learning areas. This is not a website about my classes - that can be found here: http://www.schoolrack.com/mrsbrandt. If you are a parent of one of my students, please not the difference between my blog and the class website. Thanks!