Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Reading Readiness Summer Program

I've mentioned that we enrolled K- in a parent/child Reading Readiness program at the local university. The program that we enrolled in is through the Institute of Reading Development, which offers classes all over the US. Their classes are set up on "stepping stones" and K- is at the beginners level. Her class description is:

"Your child will develop alphabet skills, the ability to distinguish sounds in spoken words, beginning phonics and a love of reading. We provide you with guidance for reading aloud to your child."

Obviously, the reading aloud to K- I had down, but they give phonemic awareness games to use with your child. Believe me, K- doesn't realize that she is learning. She is just happy and having fun.

Ideas that are taught to us in class are the following:

- Dramatization. In class, we've enacted scenes from Eric Carle's A House for Hermit Crab, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and Else Holmelund Minarik's Little Bear story about going to the moon.
- Art Projects. This week, we were to create an art project with our child about Little Bear's trip to the moon. It was an open project, but I chose to have K- go through magazines and cut out pictures of things that she thought would be on her moon. What did she cut out? Bouncy balls in a gum ball machine to "Throw at Darth Vader." She cut out lipstick to "make her moon pretty," a silver tower for an Apple computer because it is a "Cheese Grater," "Popcorn for me, Diet Coke for Mommy and a pretty dress for Mommy." "Movies." "Toys." "A pretty lady and a pretty lady with milk." "Drinks and nice treats for everyone to eat." "[Wrinkle] Cream to make our skin pretty." "Chocolate." (It was dark, have I not taught her well or what?!)
- Riddles. For the letter "m," we would say, "I am something that is on your face. You use me to eat things. I begin with the sound /m/. What am I?"
- Sound catching. We play this all the time. Say a list of basic words. If the word starts with the sound that you are working on, have your child clap their hands, stomp their foot, wave their arm or something. Throw a word in every now and then that doesn't match your sound.
- Bingo. We did this one in class this week. The teacher had the adults write their child's first, middle and last names in capital letters on a piece of paper. She showed letters to the class and the children were NOT to announce the letter. Rather, they were to quietly tell their parent and to circle that letter in their name (if they had that letter.)
- Letter finding. We do this one a lot, too. Write a list of words with your letter in a variety of places in the word. "Is the letter "--" in the first, second, third or forth position?"
- Action letters. Help your child to physically create letters with your bodies. K- and I made a K- in class. It was hard to tell, but if I leaned back any further, I would have fallen on my behind!
- Nursery rhymes. Reciting to your child. Repeat and have your child fill in the blanks.
- Rhyming. Just the general rhyming with basic words.
- Critter feeding. Draw yourself a critter with a big wide mouth. "I want to feed - - -. My letter is - - - . " Feed your critter with pictures of food that start with your letter.

I gave K- and her friend, E-, a snack one Saturday. I decided to try to trick the girls and tell them that I had a snack for them. My snack was cheese doodles and cherries. What letter does your snack start with? In unison I heard, "C!" :) K- has been sounding words out with help. Hooray!

Like I said before, I know that we've seen some of our nieces and nephews struggle. I had no idea of what to do to help K- to have fun with reading. This class has worked well for us. For anyone contemplating it, we give it a thumbs up!
Smiles in my day:
- The shelf pegs from IKEA were in my mailbox.
- I celebrated Laurie's birthday with her today. I made brownies and everyone liked them.
- K- has this bed making thing licked. She makes it better than Hubs!


Jamie said...

Thy have one of those programs at the elem school here but the child has to be nominated for it by their previous year teacher. Sadly neither of my kids qualified for it because they were acing the age appropriate skills. It kind of stinks that only the kids who are not doing well can get the extra exposure, but we found ways to keep them sharp over the summers.

Did I tell you about that book that helped us? "How to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" ? I used it when Bailey was 3/4 to teach her how to read because she could not and would not wait until kindergarten to read. Worked like a charm!

Rach said...

What a fun program that is, Amy! :o) In a school, it's very hard to meet the needs of those children who are doing well but could use a boost because those that struggle typically are WELL below grade level. It was one of my greatest frustrations teaching in a primary school. Gr.

{ L } said...

What a good program, thank you for sharing!

Sharon said...

Excellent tips!! I'll look to see if we have a program nearby but most importantly, we can start using these at home!! Thanks a bunch!!!