Thursday, March 1, 2012

Two Language Works

Two more language works from our week! One from each boy :)

 As you saw in our last few "school days" posts, Me Too has been working on matching letters from his movable alphabet box to the sandpaper letters. We used our black movable alphabet with the single sandpaper letters. Today he used our red movable alphabet and matched letters to the phonograms.

(oops, I see someone absconded with an "i" before I snapped this photo.)

We did it this way to reinforce the idea that the two separate letters make a different sound when they work as a team.  I also hope that it will lay some of the groundwork for when we use the two alphabets together in this way during future word study.  When he is writing freely with the movable alphabet I leave it up to him whether he wants to use two colors or one.  From my experience with Kal-El I will say that sometimes he used one color, sometimes he used two.  Most days it seemed (and logically) that the two alphabets together was too cumbersome.  Other days, it seemed as if the phenomenon of  the two letters working as a team to make a different sound was specifically what he was interested in and then he would choose to use both alphabets.  It will be interesting to see what Me Too chooses to do.

Yesterday Kal-El held up a book titled "Asia" to show Me Too.  Me Too tried to sound out the title!  He was spot on, "\ a \, \ s \, \ i \,  \ a \".  Poor unlucky little guy!  I would just figure that the first word he ever tries to sound out would break the rules of simple phonics on EVERY SINGLE LETTER.  So, Kal-El tells him that it's a "naughty word."  He meant "disobedient word" which is what we call words that don't follow all of the rules.  But, he also knows that "disobedient" means "naughty" and exchanged the words.  Me Too only knows two "naughty" words that he could think of so he tried to guess the title of the book, "Is it 'stupid'?"  (The other naughty word he knows is "hate".)

 Kal-El wrapped up a series of word studies that focused on reviewing the different spellings for long-o.  We ended with a Pictionary-esque game.

I created 25 index cards with words or phrases that used different spellings of the long-o.  He chose five cards at a time.  First, he read through the cards so that he knew what the choices were.  Then, I used a dry erase board to draw a picture that matched one of the cards.  His job was to figure out which card matched my drawing as quickly as he could.  When we had whittled the selection down to one card, which is unsporting, he chose four more from the deck to add to the choices.

Tomorrow we will play the game again, except Kal-El will do the drawing and only he will be able to see the cards.  Wish me luck!

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  1. What other things do you do to encourage treating the vowel digraphs as individual sounds?

  2. Wow! That is amazing work! It is so inspiring to see what you have been doing! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Liz,

    The main thing is not waiting to introduce them. We didn't just focus on the sounds the "letters of the alphabet make" when we played sound games, we listened for the "ee" in "sheep" and the "ai" in "rain." On the VERY first day the child is presented with the sandpaper letters I use three single letters. Starting the second day and continuing every other day after that, at least one double is in the mix. This helps the child think \ch\ every time they see C and H together rather than \k\ \h\, etc. A little later on, some of the materials (I'm thinking of the booklets in the reading folders) the single letters are black and the doubles are red.

    It works pretty well. Kal-El has always been quite good at automatically pairing the letters and pronouncing the phonogram when one occurs. When he misses one I always just say "...but when those two letters are together what sound do they make instead?"

  4. Do you think the more traditional red and blue moveable alphabet is better suited for the PBG method of reading? I was trying to remember what Kal-El started with. While more work up front I do think that the work on blends will pay off later. The long-o game sounds like fun!

  5. Anon,

    Not really? Most people like having the red/blue versions in the very beginning when they are only doing cvc words. That stage goes REALLY fast and then you are into blends and phonograms. As soon as people get to that stage I usually hear them say that they wish they had purchased two different colored alphabets instead. "Dwyer kids" don't have an official CVC stage with the movable alphabet.

    In the end, all that really matters is that you have a movable alphabet and the rest is just splitting hairs. I wouldn't agonize over it or anything.

  6. Anon,

    Oh, and Kal-El started with red/blue because we used PBG for a couple of weeks before I switched to Dwyer. I didn't get the new alphabets for a few months after that. Like I said, no big deal.

  7. Anon,

    Oh! I thought of one more thing! If one was to buy two separate color alphabets they can be used both ways. You could take out the black vowels and put the red vowels into that box for the CVC stage. When they get to the blue and green series you could resort the boxes back to normal and teach them how to pull the double letters from the red box.

  8. You had me totally laughing at Asia. What a funny story. Thank you for the tip on moveable alphabet colors, too.

  9. Ah darn. We got the Letter Factory dvd from the library since my daughter likes frogs and was asking about the alphabet and she went and learned the single letter graphical symbols before I could finish our sandpaper letters. And now she's being incredibly slow at learning the vowel digraphs because she insists on treating them individually.