Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Reading 1 - Spelling
I really love the way the Phonetic and Spelling book is laid out in the Reading 1 - Bible Blessing Readers curriculum. It is set up in a way that encourages success, especially for children with special needs. We start with phonetic spelling. Each lesson has at least two vowel sets. For example it might be a short e and long e vowel set like the one you will see below. Because there are two sets in a lesson we make sure we do each set on different days. I do not want to confuse Gess by doing two rules at the same time. (Remember that some of these are review from Beginning Steps to Reading that we completed last year)
I start by showing her the rule on the chalkboard and then share examples of how they are used in words. When we are ready for her to spell on her own we go to her workbook and have her write the vowel set at the top of the page. (The book has a "basket" of apples at the top of each row to write them in). This of course sets up the work in a way that encourages success. She knows what vowels we are focusing on and can therefore worry about "hearing" the sounds of the consonants. Even though she knows what vowels we are looking for, she is still learning how they belong in the words. Here is a page after we have completed both days.
Next we do more work with sentences. Like the lesson from last week where we Used Words in Sentences that were from our story, we take our vocabulary words and place them in sentences. However this time the sentence is already written for us, we just need to plug in the proper spelling word. So now she is not only learning how to spell a word, but also to define what it means. You really need to comprehend the meaning of a word to use it in a sentence. Again, this is set up in a way that makes it easy for her to succeed because she does not simply have to pull words out of her memory, but instead has the words written on the page next to it. (I will also have her read them off to me and write them on the board before we do this step so she can see them better.)
At the bottom of this page is a section for her to mark whether the vowels are long or short. I was not going to worry about this section but I changed my mind. We do this together and again I usually write the word on the board so she can see it better. It is a good exercise to remind her when a vowel is short or long.
Of course the thing I love the most about this curriculum is that Gess is really becoming a tremendous reader. She can pick up a book and read it to herself and you will find her doing that an awful lot! Not only is she reading books and understanding them, but she is reading everything she sees. Signs, items on the shelf in the store, banners, bulletin boards and even what I type on the computer. This Reading program from Eastern Mennonite Publications has been a tremendous asset to her success.