Slowly, Surely Getting There!

Greetings! Have some good news and pictures to share; also, don’t forget to pick up my gift at the end of this newsletter! For you with warmest regards from Teacher Sue!

One of my classes recently crossed a big milestone: blending regular 3-letter words. It’s definitely a milestone to celebrate, because it opens up a world of words that up till now have been undecodable to them!

In a society where whole language is so mixed with phonics (I was so tempted to say “mixed UP with phonics”, because it is!), people sometimes don’t realise the significance of crossing this milestone. Here is what it means: the child who can blend 3-letter words has crossed the most important, most pivotal milestone in all of his reading experience.  From here on out, reading will simply be a matter of tweaking the strategy he is using for 3-letter words, to blend other more complex words. In a sense, it’s comparable to learning to walk.  Once you have learned to walk, all it takes is a little tweaking of your “walking strategy” (!!) to be able to run, gallop, skip and hop. So celebrate with me! :)

I won’t write much more today; the pictures speak for themselves. :)

Incorporating kinesthetic skills in blending with letter cards

blending "pen"

This series of pictures:

#1 – Find the letters on the card

blending "jam"

#2 – Put them in order

blending "jam"_3

#3 – Blend them!  We always start off with very concrete instruction and cover all bases.  Never take for granted that the child already knows that the word on the card says “jam”.  We adults sometimes skip steps children are still taking!

"jam" blended!

Now watch the confidence build!

By the end of the lesson, he could draw a picture and write the word without my spelling it to him.  The only support I gave was to help him sound out the word (a higher processing task we’re now working on).

writing words

This was very high performance for one day!  We went all the way from 2-letter blending to writing 3-letter words, a task that normally takes children at least two lessons.  And here let me put in a word:  IT PAYS TO PATIENTLY BUILD UP THEIR FOUNDATIONS! :)  Especially when the rewards are as great as these, right?

Sorry for the word gun, Mummy, if you have any concerns about violence.  (I didn’t want to dampen his enthusiasm by refusing his word. And yes, Teacher Sue always emphasizes that guns are for policemen, huntsmen and soldiers ONLY! *grins*)

Here’s also a word of encouragement for those who may be still slowly, surely building skills.  Don’t give up and don’t let impatience or anxiety get the better of you!  Continue to let the child lead the way in setting his learning pace.  It’s something you cannot dictate.  And one of these days, you’ll see the rewards for your patience.  I. P.R.O.M.I.S.E.  All the best!

Since we’re celebrating, allow us to share a little gift:  I’m Reading 3-Letter Words.  A little printable that comes in handy for practising 3-letter word blending.  Hope you find it useful and thank you for reading!

Get the link here: https://teachersuzannah.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/im-reading-3-letter-words.pdf

Enjoy! :)

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