Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Literacy and Phonetics - Alphabet Shirts

Children learn in a variety of ways. It's a good idea to incorporate different activites when teaching reading. It helps to reinforce the text when there is an activity to connect the reading to, other than just what is visual on the page, and the sound of one's voice.

This fun activity involves the kids coloring in letters on a shirt that they can wear.

If you notice, the alphabet letters are shown in three different colors. The consonants are in red. The vowels are in blue. And then there are crossover letters, in purple. Crossover letters are letters that act sometimes as a consonant, and sometimes as a vowel.

Most people are taught that the letter Y is sometimes a consonant and sometimes a vowel. Now Y has a pal.

W is also a crossover letter. The W acts like a consonant in the word - who. The W acts like a vowel, in fact like a silent E in the word - flow.

Y can represent a variety of sounds. Y is a consonant in the word - yellow. Y acts like a long I in the word - fly, and like a long E in the word - baby.

A coloring alphabet shirt is a fun way to reinforce this concept. Teachers can wear alphabet shirts too.

Whether you're ordering a shirt for a teacher and/or student, I recommend Elmer's Painters to color them in with. The paint markers are quite permanent, and it's pretty simple to apply.

Happy reading.br />
Cheryl Paton

Literacy and Phonetics - Making Reading Fun for Kids

Part of learning is to make it fun. My daughter loved reading before starting school. She loved being read to and was learning how to sound things out. She had favorite books and looked forward to more. When she started elementary school, the school had a Book It Reading Program. The kids were rewarded for reading a certain number of books, and she loved that too.

Then came a higher grade, and the school wanted the kids to do timed reading. Tell me, do you want to be timed while you read? Do you think that would be fun? Well I know that my daughter didn't. She was pretty quick at reading; she had been reading pretty fluently for her grade levels and beyond for a while. But having to be timed, took the fun out of it. Reading became a chore.

After that class was over, she eventually learned to put the fun back in, and began to enjoy reading again. If you have any kids in grades that are doing timed readings, you might want to have a chat with the teacher. It's more important to give kids a reason to read, than to time them.

My daughter is in college now, and recommends that the kids keep a reading journal instead. The kids read for a block of time and then write a summary or a couple of sentences about what they've read. She remembers doing this in first grade. Thanks for listening, or should I say reading, and onward to an enjoyable reading day.

Here is an activity book that incorporates various senses with reading, a way to make reading fun for pre-school age:

Cheryl Paton