Day 31 – Blending sounds
Today’s focus is the opposite of yesterday’s.
Today we are talking about BLENDING sounds.
This is the act of hearing spoken sounds and forming words with them.
Again, there are lots of games you can play to impress this upon your student, and these are things you can do even while driving or waiting in an office for an appointment.
One way to teach the blending of sounds is to pretend you are robots… You speak stiffly and disjointedly to the reader, and ask them to “interpret” what you are saying. You can even speak in complete sentences. Just make sure to talk “like a robot” and create natural breaks between sounds. You student then has to interpret what you are saying – for example, after introducing yourself (as the robot), you could say, “I like yellow cars, do you?” (which would be I-like-ye-llow-cars, do you?) and so on. You can ask the student to pick up a toy, describing it, and the child’s responses show that they understand what you are talking about. And gets them on the way to more complex sound structures!
If you are interested in learning more activities like this or others I have written about, feel free to email me, or try searching some of the keywords that I’m writing about.
You really CAN make a difference in your child’s development!
Thanks for your patience in playing along with the 31 Days of Reading series! Stop over occasionally and say hello!
Day 30 – Fluency
Fluency is the ability to read with efficiency and ease.
Fluent readers can read quickly and accurately and with appropriate rhythm, intonation, and expression.
Fluency promotes comprehension: when a reader is fluent, the reader can grasp the meaning of the written word more easily.
Can you guess what one of the biggest tricks to fluency is? Yup, you guessed it…
READING! READING! READING!
…and, of course, being read to.
One of the reasons for this is that listening to someone else read models appropriate phrasings. And reading aloud with someone nearby offers the student the input that can help them feel successful with reading – a listener can enjoy the story, give tips for challenging words, and help them phrase the structures. In addition, reading often – as well as listening often – provides the student with context clues to help them decode the challenging words they are hearing.
Just another reason to read to your child (or adult learner), and why they should read to you!
Day 29 – Skills, or, your Bag of Tricks
Teachers use a bag of tricks to keep their student’s captivated. For substitute teachers this includes activities on paper that can keep student’s busy, and maybe even candy (if allowed in the school district). when I was substitute teaching I kept a book of riddles to read aloud, packs of pencils and erasers, a newspaper (excellent for interactive activities), and a list of activities and educational games to play when the lesson left by the teacher was finished quickly.
As a parent, you can do the same!
Keeping educational toys and books in a bag in your car, learning word and math games that can be played during waiting periods – which are so hard for our kids! – and having a routine board game night (at all ages) are great tricks for your own bag.
And there are other tricks you can add to your bag…
There is a story in my family about my dad fixing our broken down car in the middle of the woods on Cape Cod. My dad whittled a part and stuck it in the car and was able to drive the family out of the woods. Really! Of course this was before EFIs and computer diagnosis… But he learned about the innards of his car from a book. He also used a book to learn how to put a roof on our house, fix our water heater, and put in kitchen cabinets. He always said The Library was his source for everything!
* * * * *
Like my Dad, my husband borrows expensive books from the library when he needs to fix our cars (notice I don’t say “wants” lol). These books are Chilton Manuels and there is one out for every car detailing what you will find in their engines. And of course, now that we have the information on the internet, that, too, is an amazing resource!
Finally, don’t forget to ask friends, your Sunday School teacher, and your librarian for tricks to add to your bag about including reading in your family!
How about that for a bag of tricks?
Day 28 – Phoneme segmentation
For adult learners as well as younger readers, breaking words into sounds using finger taps is a great way to teach the sounds in words.
One example is showing the student cards with the letter sounds, and tapping out the sounds as you make them and say the word. Here is a video I found online that uses pennies as markers, and you don’t need letter or sound cards. All you need for this are pennies.
At your house you will lay out the pennies (or whatever marker you want to use) in front of your learning-reader, and you will voice the word, as the instructor in the video does. Your student will listen to you and move the markers appropriately.
Your student will be listening for the number of sounds, and what the sounds are. Multiple skills! Have fun!
Day 27: Reading to make travel arrangements & reading during your escape!
Today I am going to recommend 2 books – one book for adult readers, and one book series for teens and advanced juvenile readers.
I can’t believe this is a first novel – I laughed throughout this book and felt that it was so smoothly done that it couldn’t be a debut novel! Natalie finds out that it might be possible that her husband has gotten them into debt, and pawned her jewelry to try to cover the debt. And when Natalie’s husband is in an accident and she is called to the hospital, she finds out that he had never divorced his first wife, and in fact had also married another woman – he was a polygamist! And when he suddenly dies while in the hospital, Natalie becomes a suspect in his death. The three hoodwinked wives end up having to work together to prove their innocence – or to cover their crime…
Despite the subject, this book was really funny, and I wouldn’t call it a romance as it is advertised, but a comedy with a mystery, as I have seen others call it. And it’s a steal at $2.99 from Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle, remember, you can download it to your computer and read it there, or to your smartphone, or to your tablet. It doesn’t cost a thing other than the cost of the book!
If you or your teen haven’t read any of Rick Riordan’s books yet, you really should. Captivating and fanciful, the books roll with a fast-pace and fun references. Great books for teens and pre-teens. Outstanding sentence structures and grammar, and delightful plays on words. These books really are the whole package. Don’t be put off by the “Gods” and “Goddesses”, your children should already be aware of that time in human history when cultures believed in multiple gods*.
I am proud to say that I have been sharing this series with teachers and parents for years, and I’m so excited that Mr. Riordan is getting the attention he deserves for these great books.
*If they aren’t, it is a great time to teach pre-teens and teenagers this fascinating history. Honestly, in man’s search to get closer to God it is natural that polytheism is an outgrowth of the world around them.
Day 25 – Vocabulary
Think of your vocabulary as your weapons cache.
Weapons for protecting yourself, for power, and for the pleasure you get from owning them.
Increasing your vocabulary clearly helps you communicate, but it also helps you learn. It helps you think – it helps you develop concepts.
Talking to your children develops their vocabulary (and more), and gives them a start toward success in life. I may have stated this before, but studies show that children of families of lower-economic status speak less words to their children than children in other families – to the tune of a 7 million word difference! You can read this in the book that was written after this study, entitled, “Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children” by the study’s authors Todd R. Risley, PhD and Betty Hart, PhD.