As we remain inside during these uncertain times, caregivers have become teachers—and Commonwealth Learning Center is here to help with some hands-on literacy practice ideas for young learners. Alphabet Work Here are a few activities kids can do with plastic letters or letter cards, shaving cream, and clay or pipe cleaners: Arrange letters in alphabetical order, with a model if needed. Devise a memory game to match uppercase to lowercase letters. Form letters out of clay, pipe cleaners, or Wikki Stix. Practice handwriting in a multisensory way: Place a small amount of shaving cream or flour in a baking tray. Have children form letters [...]
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So far Lisa M. Brooks, F/AOGPE has created 9 blog entries.
The rationale for explicit and multisensory phonics instruction can no longer be ignored. Science tells us that most kids will benefit from a structured, code-based approach to learning how to read words.(1) Students with dyslexia certainly require this type of teaching, and no child is harmed by learning the sounds and syllables types of his or her own language. When students are learning to crack the code of English, we use decodable text to help them apply learned skills to reading in context. In this type of text, the majority of the words follow the regular patterns of English. Practice with decodable [...]
“Dad, I have to practice my sight words for homework.” What is a sight word? In the elementary grades, we use several different terms to categorize types of English words: decodable words, sight words, and high-frequency words. Let’s unpack them: Type of Word Definition Examples Decodable Words Follow the regular patterns of the language. Students can “sound out” these words, so there is no need to memorize them. run, spin, make, sport, she, team, spoil, fly, bubble, harvest Sight Words Don’t follow the regular patterns of English. They don’t sound the way that they look; therefore, they must be memorized. [...]
Start the academic year off stress free with these back-to-school organization tips! Display a household master calendar. Discuss it with your child each day. Not only will this help with mastering the ideas of time and time management, but knowing what is coming up reduces stress for everyone. Color code school events, sports, doctor appointments, play dates, etc. Set up a designated homework area. Having a quiet place to work with school supplies at the ready will set your child up for successful homework completion. Place lined paper, a stapler, ruler, timer, index cards, and other tools in a bin. [...]
Dyslexia Awareness Month has us thinking about our bright and resilient students who work so hard to succeed despite learning differences. We have come up with a list of uplifting books that celebrate this spirit of tenacity. Happy reading! The Back to Front World of Azzie Artbuckle Written by Beth Montgomery Azzie wishes she could spend every day at school drawing and painting, but the teachers make her read. The trouble is, she struggles tremendously to read letters, words, and numbers. This makes her feel stupid. But she knows that she isn’t. Recommended for Grades 1-2 Help! Somebody Get me Out of Fourth [...]
What is Orton-Gillingham? To begin, a different question might be: who were Orton and Gillingham? Dr. Samuel Torrey Orton was a neuropsychiatrist and pathologist who, in the 1920s, became interested in studying children and adolescents who were not reading as expected despite average or above average intelligence. He described the students as having streshosymbolia, or “twisted symbols,” because many of them reversed their letters or read letter sounds in the wrong order in words.(1) Dr. Orton hypothesized that the brain organization of these students was different, and he experimented with multisensory methods to teach them to read and spell. Later, Dr. Orton worked with Anna [...]
Planning a family road trip this month? When you want your child to take a tech break, here are some engaging language activities that require little preparation and are sure to bring out the giggles: Tell Me a Word That Rhymes With… Phonological skills—rhyming, syllabication, blending, and segmenting—are vital “playing with sound” skills for reading and spelling success. Try some summer theme words to practice rhyming skills. See how many rhyming words your child can generate for your target word. Nonsense words are allowed! For example: Pool: stool, rule, fool, school, spool Ice: mice, twice, rice, price, slice Sunny: bunny, [...]
Learning how to write letters, words, and sentences on paper has been an important part of American schooling for hundreds of years. However, with increased use of personal computers, laptops, and tablets, many educators and policymakers question the usefulness of spending valuable class time teaching handwriting to students who have been born into a digital world. At the same time, reading and brain research points to the educational value of handwriting in ways that extend beyond being able to read cursive or take notes without benefit of a laptop or tablet. In her recent article for the International Dyslexia Association, Write Makes Right, Type is [...]
Dyslexic second grader Olivia is learning to read and spell words with the digraph ch. Her learning center teacher asks Olivia to trace the letters ch with her fingers while naming them. She teaches Olivia the key word chin and the sound /ch/. Throughout her reading lesson, Olivia works with this new sound: she points to and reads ch words in isolation and in sentences, selects pictures that begin with /ch/, and writes dictated words with the target sound on dotted lined paper. When she spells a dictated word, Olivia segments the sounds in the word with plastic chips and then names the letters while writing them. Olivia’s [...]