Showing posts with label multi-sensory. Show all posts
Showing posts with label multi-sensory. Show all posts
Friday, 17 November 2017

Using an Effective Method to Teach Sight Words

Writing Sight Words in Sentences is Effective

Have you ever had a student read a sight word with you perfectly well on a flash card and then later when presented with the same word in the context of the story not be able to read the word? This is happened to me so many times as a reading teacher. One of the things that I found that has helped my students immensely is writing their sight words in the context of a sentence. I don't just have them copy the word over and over again. Not only is that boring and demotivating, it doesn't really work.

Sight Word Sentence Fun

I created a  fun product which encourages children to write their sight words in the context of a sentence. However,  especially for the younger students I didn't want it to be overwhelming. That's why I made it gradual.  In my first level pack the students begin by writing one word of the sentence each subsequent sentence they add another word that they need to write.

A Specific Method-Whisper Writing

I encourage students to read the word and then say the letters as I write them each time. If they're doing this all the center then I have the students whisper read the word and whisper the letters as they write them.Sometimes I give students and sight word sentence buddy somebody that they can do the center with that will make sure that they are reading the word and saying the letters as they write them. The students take turns writing their sentences whispering as they write.

Helpful Variations

Another variation . Students often enjoy  is stamping out the word with stamps and colored ink word building the word with plastic letters. But If you are using this in an intervention group, I encourage you to at least at first have the students write out the sentences and not just write with plastic letters or with stamps. This kinesthetic experience of writing the words is extremely powerful to help students take the word from their short-term memory into their long-term memory. If you're working with a student with dysgraphia and the student really struggles with writing then perhaps it would be a good idea to have them write out the sentence at least once but for the other times you stamps or plastic letters so that the student doesn't become too frustrated.

Better than Flashcards

If you send the sheets home for students to do for homework I would suggest instructing the parents to have the students read the word and write the word saying the letters as they write them. If students write the words within the context of a sentence they're more likely to be able to recognize their sight words again in the context of their reading.

The first pack covers 93 words you can get it here  and the second pack covers 83 words and you can get it here.

Happy Smart and Special Teaching!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Winter Fun Solving B and D Confusion

Winter is one of my most favorite times of year.This year  I was thinking of what I could do to incorporate winter activities and multi-sensory teaching. I mainly work with dyslexic students, who really benefit from hands-on learning, but I firmly believe all children benefit from incorporating as many senses as possible during learning experiences. This is especially true of beginning readers

I just finished a great winter-themed pack to help with b's and d's and I wanted to add other Christmas themed activities to go along with this pack.This year I decided to have the children decorate Christmas cookies with b's and d's.I squirted on the frosting and the kids built the letters with colored candies. This was great fine motor activity too.

While not quite as sweet as the real thing this gingerbread cookie sort is also great. Like all my resources it comes in color and black and white. Perfect for literacy centers.

We also built a red and green play dough bed for our kitty friend. This is a great way for kids to get a 3 dimensional image of these tricky letters.

Another activity I just love that combines reading, fine motor, and visual tracking is line and loop. Students start at the beginning of the line and loop the correct word, but never take their pencil or crayon off the paper. I have many of these types of activities in my new B and D reversal pack for winter.  All ready to print and use. I laminate mine so they can be used again and again.

Sand trays are fun and a great sensory activity. This is  a Christmas twist using red and green and the kiddos had a blast making b's and d's with this sparkly floral sand stuff.
Multi-sensory learning is fantastic. Why not try some of these activities with your students who struggle with B and D confusion.

B and D fluency is so important because if kids aren't able to tell the difference it really slows down their ability to read, That is why I made another fun pack of great Christmas activities to excite young learners.

In addition to the activities, I shared there are also fun mazes, word fluency practice, B and D line and loop, and B and D word match sentences. I also have included a phonemic awareness activity with b and d gifts for Santa's sleigh.  There is even a free winter b doesn't bump his belly poster. There are so many activities this pack will last you through the winter months. If you think these activities will help your students you can buy them here.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Teaching Digraphs Sh, Th, and Ch through Multi-Sensory instruction

Some children struggle with learning digraphs when they begin to read. They sometimes confuse the sounds of sh, th, and ch. Consonant digraphs occur when two consonants that are next to one another represent a single sound.  The most common consonant digraphs are: sh, ch, and th.   

Teaching digraphs is fun and effective for children if we teach them using multisensory activities.  Using salt dough or play dough gives a 3 D representation of the diagraphs which often helps students remember these letter combinations better. Another helpful multisensory activity is to make tactile letters using sandpaper or felt. I have included a play dough mat in each multi-sensory digraph pack I made. Also,as an educator, I  find it helpful to  to have key pictures and words to associate with these tricky sounds.  I designed posters specifically for introducing this concept to students. If you would like to use them in your classroom or homeschool you may download the for free here

Other great activities to practice digraphs can be found in the Multi-sensory packs I made for teaching my students. There are a lot of activities available out there, but many activities focus just on the auditory aspect of the diagraphs. I designed my practice packs so that my students must decode the words in the worksheets. 

I specifically used short vowel words with diagraphs so students must read the words and pay attention to the vowels and not just match pictures. I also have included a specific phonemic awareness word list and sound mat for teachers to help children to focus on the sounds in words. If you would like to use these materials with your students please go to my store and check them out for yourself. Here is the bundle of all 3 packs and each pack is also sold separately.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Helping Children with B and D Letter Reversal

Struggling with Letter Reversals?

Many children struggle with letter reversals in a child’s mind they flip the b and it becomes a d. Beginning readers or dyslexic students may not realize that the direction of the letter matters, or he may not be able to remember which letter is which.
Certain letters that are mirror images of each other are often confused, including letters b and dp and dp and q, and n and u.

What Is Considered Normal?
If your child is struggling with letter reversals and is between the ages of three and seven and is just beginning to read this is considered quite normal. A letter confusion or reversal problem does not necessarily mean your child has dyslexia or a reading disability. But if your child is seven to eight years old or older and has had reading instruction, and is making frequent reversal errors, this may be a problem. It is important to take steps to solve the letter confusion.
Parents and teachers have two jobs to do regarding letter reversals:

1.   Try to prevent confusion.
2.   Where confusion exists, resolve it.

Preventing Letter Confusion Before It Begins

One of the first ways to help children avoid letter confusion is to make sure the child is forming his or her letters correctly. When your child is learning to print, teachers need to be sure to teach correct letter formation. When children habitually form letters incorrectly this sends confusing messages to the brain. 

According to a very interesting article by Betty Sheffield in the Annals of Dyslexia   "The  special needs of left-handed children and dyslexic children are seldom addressed. Yet, these children need to be taught handwriting meticulously. When forming the letter b, start with the stick first, followed by the circle. The star indicates the starting position.

To write the letter d, start with the circle first, followed by the stick. Again, the star indicates the starting position. If a child has been forming letters incorrectly it might take a while to retrain the brain. For this reason, a teacher or parent should supervise handwriting practice and not just leave a child alone to practice to avoid forming letters incorrectly.

Strategies to help solve reversal problems

When children are writing I teach them to self-talk. For the b we say “go down back up and around.” For the d we say “push like for a c, go up, then back down.
These strategies can help any reversal problem, but I will concentrate on b and d because they are the most common letters which cause confusion.

Strategy 1: Use the sense of feeling

 Get students to feel the difference by using tactile surfaces such as salt trays, gel boards or sand paper letters. Using the pointer finger of his dominant hand, have your child trace the letter b on the textured surface or in a salt tray like the one shown. Be sure that he starts and ends in the correct place. Practice until he can easily write the letter b.

Strategy 2: Use “air writing” 

Another powerful method for correcting letter reversals is “air writing.” Air writing is simple: using the writing hand, the child uses his hand and arm to write letters in the air as he says the sound of the letter. The child uses his hand like a pen.
Saying the sound and using the major muscle groups to “write” the letter  this is a very helpful multisensory activity. It develops a students ability to mentally visualize the letter.

Strategy #3: Use mnemonics.

Some children are helped by first the bat and then the ball. Others find it helpful to remember b is the first letter of bed and d is the last letter.

Strategy #4: Use the shape of the mouth and tongue.
d mouth
b mouth

When we say /b/, our lips come together in a straight line. Point out that the straight line comes first when you write the letter b.

When we say /d/, our lips are open, and we curl our tongue and tap the roof our mouths. Our tongue makes a circle. Just like, the circle comes first when you write letter d.  Helping students become aware of these differences when they say the sounds can help.

Use Games to Practice, Practice, Practice

It is important to give students enough multisensory practice to become fluent in telling the difference between these letters so that this confusion does not slow down reading fluency. Another resource filled with fun games to do this practice is the B and D reversals activity pack that I use with my students who struggle.  Here is a maze game for practicing this concept.

 I designed a complete pack of activities to help children practice mastering this concept. You can get it here.

Article Cited: Handwriting: A neglected cornerstone of literacy

Annals of Dyslexia, 1996, Volume 46, Number 1, Page 21
Betty Sheffield