My daughter has amazed us with her ability to pick up reading at such a young age. She can sound out any three letter word. Of course her three year old attention span allows for small moments of reading time, so we don’t push it or make reading something that is not the wonderful thing that it is! (Complete random side note: I have been reading the Anne of Green Gable books again and I can not stop!! Reading is a blessing but can be such a time thief!)
We have spent the past week reviewing some of the -at, -an, -ag, and -ad words. We will read a list of words, then play an activity that relates with one of the words on the list. For example, after we read a list of -at words (cat, fat, hat, sat, mat, rat, and pat) we played a hat game. We ran around a bunch of hats until the music stopped- then we all had to grab a hat. One hat was taken away each time (like musical chairs.) After reading -an words we threw bean bags into a pan. After reading ag words we played tag (and wagged our tails!). These were all fun, quick, easy, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants games.
Some other fun reading things that we have done include our latest learning toy- education cubes. If you are interested in purchasing some, I would recommend visiting this site quickly since there is a promotion going on. These blocks have been a lot of fun in our house! We have used the cubes to make simple three letter words. We have also been using the word family cards to play 2 different games.
The first one we throw the cube, run to it, and then my daughter reads the word.
In the second game we have all four cubes out with different word family cards. I would tell my daughter, where is the word “can”? She would then read all four words on the cubes, find the word “can”, and tell me the color of the cube “can” was in. She would grab that corresponding color of bean bag and throw it at the word. (Phew! The second game took forever to explain and I am afraid it makes no sense!)
I am so excited to continue working with my daughter in the realm of reading. There may be bumps ahead in this adventure, but I am SURE we will find much joy in this journey.
Those familiar with the educational reading battle “phonic vs. whole language” may have a view point on the correct way to teach reading. Phonics programs teach how to connect letter (or groups of letter) sounds- or to be able to manipulate phonemes in words. The National Reading Panel gave us the following about phonics instruction: “It is important to recognize that the goals of phonics instruction are to provide children with key knowledge and skills and to ensure that they know how to apply that knowledge in their reading and writing. In other words, phonics teaching is a means to an end. To be able to make use of letter-sound information, children need phonemic awareness. That is, they need to be able to blend sounds together to decode words, and they need to break spoken words into their constituent sounds to write words. In implementing systematic phonics instruction, educators must keep the end in mind and ensure that children understand the purpose of learning letter sounds and that they are able to apply these skills accurately and fluently in their daily reading and writing activities.” And they are right- the reason we read isn’t to practice our phonics skills. We read to gain meaning. This is an important part of the whole language philosophy. Whole language instruction focuses on a child’s motivation, having access to a variety of good reading materials and the time to read them, and focusing on a word’s meaning and using meaning clues to figure out the pronunciation of unknown words. Whole language looks at making meaning in reading and expressing meaning in writing.
I could go on about the two perspectives- but the point is, reading is not an easy thing to teach!!! Although I know 2nd grade readers, I was petrified about teaching early reading. That is why I was so happy when I found this gem at a yard sale in Seattle:
Cost?: $15! This kit has never been used, and everything is just right there to help me teach my daughter to read. And you can bet we have already started working on mastering letter sounds! Curriculum makes my heart sing!
Just a reminder that today is read for the record day! Take the time to celebrate the JOY of reading with your little one- we all know not only about the importance of reading in furthering education, but the journeys we take while engrossed in a good book. SHARE that love of reading with your kiddos today!!! This is an international campaign- people pledging all over the world to read the same book on the same day. This years book pick? The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Once you have read it, visit this site for a great list of printable extension activities! (you may need to scroll down a bit on this page)