/, Early Education/Follow the Child–to Reading.

Follow the Child–to Reading.

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For a bit of spare time, a book is always a good choice.

For a bit of spare time, a book is always a good choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the Child–to Reading.  You may have read our earlier post, “Follow the Child–to Writing” and wondered about this.

 

 

 

Q:  How long have we wanted to read?

A:  From before we were born.  We heard the words of songs and felt the laughter of our parents reading a cartoon in the news. We wanted to be a part of it all.

Newborn sister of two Northwoods' children visits in the office. Think of the stories and songs she has already heard!

Newborn sister of two Northwoods’ children visits in the office. Think of the stories and songs she has already heard!

 

Wanting to read what's on those pages.

Wanting to read what’s on those pages.

 

Q:  How long did it take?

A:  Seemingly forever.

 

First, we listened, watched, memorized and followed along wondering what would come next.

 

Eyes, nose. . .

Eyes, nose. . .

Looking at a favorite book and talking it through.

Looking at a favorite book and talking it through.

book corner III

Engrossed in a book that tells a well-loved story.

reading music

Turning a page with each new repetition of the scale, repeating experience at others’ performances.

in hte book corner

Finding a moment of peaceful solitude with a book.

 

We played with words and sounds, finding sounds in words and words that had certain sounds at their beginnings, middles or ends.  The information we got from these games, and from the Sandpaper Letters, got us going with the Moveable Alphabet:

 

getting out a few letters that we know. . .

getting out a few letters that we know. . .

 

With the Moveable Alphabet, we began making longer and longer words and then rhyming words, naming words, descriptions and stories.  Sometimes we tried to transcribe all the words to a new song we’d learned or we wrote a small poem.

 

A little story.

A little story.

 

The first day of school was awesome.

The first day of school was awesome.

 

A little flower-arranging story.

A little flower-arranging story.

 

Happy Birthday message to transcribe.

Happy Birthday message to transcribe.

 

"Multiplication blank chart" in one phonetic spelling.

“Multiplication blank chart” in one phonetic spelling.

 

Sometimes other people could read what we’d written and we couldn’t.  Sometimes no one—not even we could read what we’d written!

 

It does flow, but not quite sure what it says. . .

It does flow, but not quite sure what it says. . .

 

One of the first things you see on the Language shelf in our classrooms is a pretty little box with a lid.  It has some ordinary-looking small (or toy) objects inside–maybe a bug, a nest, a basket, a cup, a cap and a bucket.

An example of what could be found in a Phonetic Object Box.

An example of what could be found in a Phonetic Object Box.

 

The lesson for this material is more exciting than you might think. The teacher doesn’t do it all by herself; you get to participate.  She’ll name all of the objects, so you know what they are all called, and put them away, closing the lid.

 

Then, she’ll write something on a small piece of paper while you watch, and fold it a few times, making it pretty small.  “Would you please get me this object from the box?” she’ll ask.  Then you have to unfold the piece of paper and figure out what she wants.  This isn’t hard since you know what she’s calling each object and you know the sounds.

 

At first it seems surprisingly easy.  Then you realize you’re reading—the very thing you’ve been waiting so long to do–and it seems it’s been there, all along, in a little box!

 

You can get this box any time you want, then, and practice on your own. The objects change from time to time and there’s another little box with printed tickets you can read.

 

We later learned that sometimes our teacher would go to the office and tell everyone there that another one of us had “exploded into reading,” but in the room she remained rather quiet and didn’t make anything of it.

 

Practicing with a phonetic reader.  These words can be figured out!  Just blend the sounds. . .

Practicing with a phonetic reader. These words can be figured out! Just blend the sounds. . .

 

After that, there were a lot of other things we could do to practice and to improve on our ability to read and understand what we were reading.

 

There are the books in the reading corner.  These can be hard to figure out because not all of their words are phonetic.  Sometimes they are stories we know by heart, though, so it’s worth trying to read them.

Many of the books in the book corner are familiar and have predictable text.

Many of the books in the book corner are familiar and have predictable text.

 

There are also sets of books with a limited number of words.  They sometimes contain mostly words with a particular sound for practice.  We get to read them to our teacher, to a friend, and then take them home to practice on our parents. The stories are rarely all that exciting, but our parents and grandparents usually like them.

 

Small books with few words make good first reads.

Small books with few words make good first reads.

 

We practice sorting words into singular and plural, masculine and feminine, adult and immature (for names of the animals).  We sort them as to names of actions and names of things.

 

We practice reading words with sounds made of more than one letter.  “Igh” and “tion” are especially helpful.  The more of these (“phonograms” we call them) that we know, the easier it is to decode the longer words.

 

Then, we can also guess the word, if it’s a word we’ve heard, from the context in which we find it.

 

Reading to someone younger.

Reading to someone younger.

 

Finally, there are some games with The Farm and its animals that explain the different kinds of words–not only actions and things, but describing words, words that tell whether you’re talking about just one or one of more than one, words indicating position, connecting words, words showing excitement.  These involve lots of guessing, reading, walking back and forth to the farm, labeling the farm animals walking, running, swimming, feeding, etc.

 

Thinking of words to describe the dog and pony exactly. ( Later, we read the printed tickets and label all of the animals with those.)

Thinking of words to describe the dog and pony exactly.  (Later, we read the printed tickets and label all of the animals with those.)

 

And we learn how to cut sentences into parts to see how they work.  We label the action, “Who (or what) is it that?” sometimes “To whom or what?” and other parts of the sentence.  We learn about punctuation of items in a series, and really, once we’ve done all of that, we can read almost anything.

 

Cutting up a sentence to separate the action, "Who is it that" and "To what or To whom?"

Cutting up a sentence to separate the action, “Who is it that” and “To what or To whom?”

 

The teacher reads to us sometimes when we’re resting after lunch and playing outside.  These stories can become quite complicated, so we usually talk them over when the younger children have gone home or are asleep.

 

It still seems more a matter of wanting to read than a matter of being taught or of working for it. It still seems that one day we simply could read.  The games with the sounds and the different kinds of words did help, though, and now, reading and talking about what we read seems to be most of what we do.

 

A real "chapter book!"

A real “chapter book!”

Reading Experiment Cards together to repeat a favorite demonstration.

Reading Experiment Cards together and repeating a favorite demonstration.

Reading together.

Reading together/learning more Geography together.

Reading for fun.

Reading for fun.

 

Once you can read, it seems there’s a book about everything.  We like to go to the libraries nearby to get more books.

 

going out

We interview and make notes when we go out on walks and to museums and we are already writing some books of our own.

going out with clipboard

At the Botanical with clipboard for drawings and notes.

 

 

Book with notecards.

Book with notecards.

 

Composing a report from notes taken.

Composing a report from notes taken.

 

A draft.

A draft.

 

A final draft that has been typed for publication in a folder for others to read.

A final draft that has been typed for publication in a folder for others to read.

 

Do you remember learning to read?  Did it just seem to happen?

 

Reading while the muffins bake.

Reading while the muffins bake.

 

Reading to travel back into time and see what happened.

Reading to travel back into time and imagine what might have happened.

Whichever it is, thank you for choosing to read our blog!

 

 

 

 

 

2017-11-14T22:22:44+00:00By |Classroom Stories, Early Education|