Seventh post in a series. See here for:
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In Part VI, I gave a script for the first two lessons using the "sandpaper phonemes."
- Lesson 1: /m/ spelled m, /a/ spelled a; introduction to sandpaper letters
- Lesson 2: /s/ spelled s, /o/ spelled o; word building exercise
The first lesson functions as an introduction to the whole concept of the sandpaper letters.
The second one includes the first of several types of exercise I use to review, the "word building" exercise. The Word Building exercise has several steps:
- Lay out several of the sandpaper phonemes where they are all visible, in random order
- Announce that we are going to use those cards to spell a word
- Speak the word and listen for the sounds in the word
- "What is the first sound?.... Find the spelling that spells that sound."
- Place the correct letter card
- "What is the sound that comes after? ... Find the spelling."
- Place the next card
- And so on until the word is built
- Read the word.
If you want to see how I used the Word Building exercise, go back to the last post and check out Lesson 2.
In this part, I'll give you a script for Lessons 3 and 4. Each one begins with a review of some kind, then goes on to add something new. In lesson 3, the review is very simple, just going over the previously learned sounds. In Lesson 4, a flashcard game called "Honk" is introduced. If the student is older, plain old flashcard-type practice may be preferable.
(I did not come up with "Honk" myself. It is adapted from one that appears in Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling, by D. G. Hiskes. The latest edition is the 10th, and was published in 2011.)
review of /s/ s, /a/ a, /m/ m, /o/ o
/k/ spelled c as in cat
/t/ spelled t as in cat
"You have already learned four sounds."
- Show the textured letter a.
"Read this card. What sound does this shape spell?"
- Show the textured letter m.
"Read this card. What sound does this shape spell?"
- Repeat with textured letters s, o.
- Spread all four textured letters on the table.
"Show me /mmmm/."
- Allow the child time to choose the letter m.
"Trace the spelling of /mmmm/ with your writing finger."
- Help the child to trace the letter m with the index finger of his writing hand. Encourage the child to say "/mmmm/" while tracing.
- Repeat with the other cards.
"Now you're going to learn two new sounds and the shapes that spell them."
"The first sound is this: /k/. Say /k/."
"Are my lips closed or open when I say /k/?"
"/k/ is a very short sound. When I say /s/ I can make it last as long as I want: /sssss/." But when I say /k/ I am done with it very fast."
- Show the textured letter c.
"Sometimes we spell the sound /k/ with this shape."
"Practice tracing the letter that spells /k/ with your finger."
- Help the child trace the letter c with the index finger of his writing hand. Encourage the child to say /k/ while tracing the letter correctly three or four times.
"Now we will learn another sound. The sound is /t/. Say /t/."
"Are my lips open or closed when I say /t/?"
"Can you feel where you put your tongue to say /t/?"
"How long can you make /t/ last? As long as you want, or is it over quickly?"
- Show the textured letter t.
"We spell the sound /t/ with this shape."
"Practice tracing the letter that spells /t/ with your finger."
- Help the child trace the letter t with the index finger of his writing hand. Encourage the child to say /t/ while tracing the letter correctly three or four times.
- Help the child complete a worksheet with the letters t and c to trace.
the game of Honk (or plain flashcard practice) with a c m o s t
reading mat and sac
Preparation for the game of Honk:
Get a stack of 21-25 index cards (or half-cards) and on the blank side of each, in pencil, print one letter. Draw a line underneath each letter to indicate orientation. There should be three cards each of a, c, m, o, s, t. On each of the remaining cards, draw a silly face or animal. These cards are "Honks."
Mix the cards, but ensure that the top two cards are letters and the third one is a Honk.
Prepare a worksheet with the word mac printed at the top and a place to trace it at the bottom. Prepare another sheet with the word sac. Or prepare a dry erase board, a magnet-sketch tablet, or a tablet of lined paper.
"You have learned six sounds. Let's practice them once."
- Help the child complete a worksheet with one each of letters a c m o s t, or have the child trace each of the textured letters a c m o s t with the index finger of his writing hand. Encourage the child to say the sound while writing or tracing each letter.
"Today we're going to play a game."
- Show the prepared stack of cards.
"I'm going to turn over one of these cards. Then we're going to say the sound that the card spells, as fast as we can. Like this:"
- Turn over the card to show a letter. If it is, for example, an m:
"I'm going to do it again. Ready?"
- Turn over the next card to show a letter. If it is, for example, an a:
"Just to make the game more fun, though, some of the cards are different."
- Turn over the third card to show a Honk.
"This is not something that spells a sound. But when we see it we will make a sound: HONK!"
"We will start slow and then we will go faster."
- Shuffle the cards and begin, dealing them one at a time. Try to turn them so the cards are right-side-up for the child. If one lands upside down, turn it immediately into the correct orientation. Wait to deal the next card until both of you have made the correct sound.
- After all of the cards have been dealt, play again, faster.
- Variations: Child deals the cards; parent lets child try to make the sound first; both play to try to make the sound first. For older children: beat the clock.
- Go through the deck three or four times.
"You are going to read two words today."
"Here is the first word. It has three sounds in it, and you know all of the sounds."
- Show the mat worksheet; or print the word mat on the tablet or lined paper.
"Read the sounds from left to right."
- Indicate the direction on the paper or tablet.
- Help the child to say "/m/, /a/, /t/" in order as separate sounds. Point to each letter as the sound is said.
"You just read all the sounds in order."
"When we slide the sounds all together, we'll be reading the whole word."
"I will slide the first two sounds together."
- Point to each letter as you say the sound, saying slowly: "/mmmmmmaaaaaaaaa/" without stopping between /m/ and /a/.
"Now I will slide all three sounds together."
- Point to each letter as you say the sound, saying slowly: "/mmmmmmaaaaaaaaat/." The /t/ cannot be drawn out, but it should be well enunciated.
"Now you say the word."
- Encourage the child to say "mat." Point to each letter as its sound is made as you tell him:
"The word is 'mat.'"
- Have the child complete the worksheet, tracing or writing the word mat once; or have the child copy the word on a tablet or paper.
- Repeat with the word sac.
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It's possible that this first foray into blending -- converting discrete sounds into smoothly pronounced words -- will not go very smoothly. After some experience working with five- and six-year-olds, I actually suspect that the ability to hear how the separate sounds blend together to form a word is something that has a developmental component. It's the kind of thing that they might not "get" for a while until it clicks.
I will add some notes on "blending" in a future post.