September 29, 2003

Fun with Phonics... Thought I would give you a head's up on our plans for the week. For starters I will probably be blogging less as we have a lot going on here. I intend to start Phonics Pathways this week and work on the Bob books with Rhia, we sampled a bunch of different phonics books and these are the ones she seemed to like the best.

Ciaran and I are going to work on the letter A and E this week in much the same fashion I worked with Rhiannon on her letters during preschool years. We pick a letter or two for the week and we just play with it all week. We read the letter appropriate book from the Sound Box book series (a great series found at most library's), then we start a word list that I keep with different types of words (fruit, vegetables, actions, feelings, places, names, bible stories, people, flowers, etc) and we fill in all the words that start with the letter throughout the week. We also keep our own "soundbox" a cardboard box which we collect objects that start with that letter in throughout the week. We play games and learn songs that start with that letter, eat food that begins with it, do crafts appropriate to that letter and in general just absorb ourselves in that letter. Another resource we use is Letter of the Week I just incorporate much of her information into my days. At the end of the week we make a collage from magazine clippings of the letter and a writeup of the activities we did. Sometimes I also include a field trip or two that fit in well with the letter we are doing. Some weeks I also add a theme (Apples for A, Bears for B, Clouds for C, etc). This week we will be doing Apples for A.

The kids really have alot of fun doing this and it doesn't take much planning on my part. I usually spend about 15 minutes prep time for a week and then we just move through our days playing with the letter rather than structuring a particular time to do things. I also really like the end product we end up with in our little binder (a word list, a letter collage, one-two projects, several coloring pages and one writing sheet, and a summary of our work) and it is easy to do and maintain. Rhia is ready for a bit more structure so we are going to try Phonics Pathway and see how it goes. I plan to try to coordinate the kids letters as well so I can just do different age appropriate tasks with both and much of it will be done together.


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