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.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Teaching Reading with the Christmas Story

I absolutely love sharing the wonder of the Christmas story with children. Advent season is so special when children are young. I also adore teaching reading with Bible stories. When I was working as a teacher in public schools it was not possible, but  when I worked in a Christian school in Haiti and when I home schooled my kids having them read the Christmas story was a highlight of the year for me. One problem I found with reading the Christmas story with beginning readers was finding one written using decodable words for kindergarten and first grade. This year I decided to make Nativity Reader's Theater Unit with a mini-book that young students could read successfully.

 Then because I always like to connect reading and writing. I added pages that students could write on  themselves. If children are struggling with reading writing gives them a multi-sensory expression of the words.

 Children can copy from their mini-book or they can paraphrase and write their own sentence.

 A mini-book is great,but reader's theater is my favorite to help with reading fluency. If you want your children to practice reading give them a script and let them perform and you will see the magic happen. 

If you are reluctant to do Reader's Theater then below are some guidelines to help your students.

  Guidelines for Reader's Theater 

1. Every student  needs to follow along with the script, even when it's not your speaking part. 

2. When it is someone's speaking part, NO ONE is going to give  a reminder or even a little nudge. (This is difficult on the others that want to give a  pssstt!! to their friends. However  it builds much better accountability for the reader, and everyone follows along better.)

3. If  a student finishes reading their part, and  and the next person hasn't caught on that it's their turn to speak, just repeat your last line again until the next person realizes it's their turn. 

4. Students should use their best reading expression. If  someone makes a mistake, be calm stop, relax and reread the line again.

These Guidelines will make your Reader's Theater a joy at home, school or church.

 I  also included some character cards which you can attach with a template headband or make into a sign for the different children to wear if you don't have costumes. Or even if you do kids love headbands.

 If you would like them for your  students you may find them for FREE HERE at my store.

 I hope you enjoy this reading pack and stay please follow this blog because I will soon add other Bible Story Reading Packs. So follow my store to get these stories and other great freebies. Don't miss out. Merry Christmas! Rejoice!

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.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Hard and Soft C for Reading and Spelling

Students who struggle with reading and spelling are helped when we give them rules to follow. When students realize that reading and spelling has an order and logic to it they become more competent in their literacy skills. One of my favorite rules to teach students is the hard and soft c rule.  The reason I like it is because it is completely consistent. When C is followed by e, i, or y the “c” always says /s/like in “city”, “cent” and “ice”. My Students with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia are often helped by visual reminders when reading and spelling.

To download these posters, just click the following link or the picture below
Soft C is often a tricky concept for Students with Dyslexia and for beginning readers. They need a lot of practice. My favorite way to practice spelling and reading rules is with games. Students will play games much longer than they will stay engaged with a worksheet. I created a Reading a Writing Activity Pack to give Students a fun and engaging way to practice. Many of the activities are multi-sensory to help dyslexic students, but all children benefit from multi-sensory learning. Included in the pack are

10 Build a sentence puzzles both color and black and white use them as fluency strips without cutting
Build a word -20 cards multisensory literacy center with kid friendly directions
1. Read the word. 
2. Trace the word saying the letters as you trace them. 
3. Write the word. 
4. Close your eyes see the word in your mind and air write the word.
5. Say the word. 
6. Is the c hard or soft? Why?
Soft C Word Sort with Recording Sheet
72 word cards and 6 character cards for 4 reading games
Crazy C’s
Soft C’s Memory
Soft C Go Fish
Soft C Go Fish Rhyme Edition Instructions included
 You may use this as a Companion to my Smart Board Soft C Activities with decodable story and comprehension questions. 
If you would like to use these helpful resources please  visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store

Hope you find the freebies helpful.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Children Who Struggle to Spell Need Multi-Sensory Teaching

Reading and Spelling Are Linked

Help my child can't spell!  Even in the age of technology where spell checkers abound. Spelling has an important role in literacy development.* Research studies have shown a moderate to high correlation between spelling skills, phonological skills, and reading skills.  Studies have also shown that if children can spell better their reading fluency speed increases.

What Skills Does A Student Need to Spell Well?

In order to be able to spell well student must have two capabilities. The first skill that they must have is phonological awareness. This is the ability to hear sounds that make up words in spoken language. For accurate spelling, students must be able to hear the sounds in words and then write them down in the correct order in which they heard them. Another skill that students must have in order to be able to spell well is the ability to visualize words in their mind. They need to be able to picture the words that they spell in their mind as if they were looking at them on a movie screen. Dyslexic students often have trouble with these skills.

courtesy of Vecreezy

 Multi-Sensory Teaching

There is a six-step multi-sensory strategy which is I use to help students to strengthen both phonological awareness and visualization. Multi-sensory teaching involves the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic tactile pathways simultaneously. The first thing that the teacher will do is carefully dictate the word to the student assuring that the student can see the formation of the word on the teacher's lips. After the teacher dictates the word the student uses the following 6 steps to gain spelling and reading mastery of the word.

Six-Step Strategy

1. Say it out -repeat back the word to the teacher so that the teacher can determine if the student heard the word correctly.

2. Tap it out- the student says each of the sounds in the word the student puts a finger down for each sound. I often will use boxes for this part and have the student put a finger down in each box for each sound. Remember it is a finger for each sound not each letter. So in a word like peach they would put 3 fingers down for the 3 sounds.
When tapping out 2 and 3 syllable words have the student tap out each syllable separately. 

3. Count it Out- This step just reinforces the last step. Starting with the thumb the student says the word again and counts how many sounds are in the word. 

4. Write it out and Read- The student will write the word and name the letters as they write them. This way they see, and hear the word as they write. Then they read the word they wrote. This is an important step to multi-sensory teaching.  

5. Visualize and Draw- For this step I have the student make a mental picture of the word. If any sounds are difficult we draw them in a different color to create a stronger mental image. Sometimes we will add a sentence to go with the word and then draw pictures directly on letters that are difficult because they don't say their usual sound.  This is especially helpful for "sight words." This student was having trouble withthe word ground so he added rocks in the o and dirt and flowers in the u this helps create a strong mental image for the student.

6. Visualize and Air Write- After visualizing and drawing to get a good mental picture then the teacher should ask the student to close their eyes and "see" the word in their " mind like looking at it on a movie screen. They should write the word in the air with their index finger saying the letters as they write and then say the whole word.

Using this method consistently will help your students retain their spelling words if you allow for enough practice. 

I have made a poster and chart for student’s desks or notebooks that will remind them of these steps. There is also a recording sheet with visual reminders where the student can write their spelling words and check off each step in the process. You can have them free this week Here. If you find it helpful please leave feedback in my store. Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions please contact me.