Friday, January 30, 2015

Letters and Maps

School these days is all about letters and maps, maps and letters. We have now done 13 of the 40 sounds, or about a third. I'm really impressed with DJ's memory for sounds. And I'm beginning to catch him outside of school time exploring words on his own such as h-h-hat. And we haven't even done /h/ yet!

A new addition to our language shelves is a sand tray. It is used to practice writing letters without needing to use a pencil. DJ was *very* excited to try it and he did very well at first but then got silly. His first letter that he wrote was a D but I didn't get a picture of it then he wrote a C which you can see here.

The sounds that we added this week are F, E, R, W, N and Th. I hadn't planned on doing a 2-letter phonogram yet but DJ pulled it off the shelf and insisted on it. Most of my miniatures came from these Alphabet Sounds Teaching Tubs, which I bought secondhand for a great price. But, they only include the 26 single letter sounds so my box of Th sounds doesn't have as much as others. What I do have is: thimble, thread, three, thick, thin, Thor's hammer and Thursday. Thick & thin are represented by the biggest & smallest Brown Stair prism which were used to teach those words. The picture of Thor's hammer came from our calendar and we use it to represent Thursday. Unfortunately, I also don't have an Alphatales book for the Th sound. Those books are so great, I wish I had one for every sound!

This is a new activity that I tried and DJ did surprisingly well with it. This is a sound sort by ending sound instead of beginning. So for N, I have pen, vitamin & train. And for T I have cat, boat & net. I started by asking if DJ could hear the T in cat. At first he said c-c-cat and shook his head no. So I said cat-t-t, really emphasizing the T and then he agreed there was a T in cat. When I asked him to place the Boat on the sound it ended in, he put it on the N. So I asked him, "Oh, it's a bone?" He thought that was very silly but he got the point. The rest were sorted properly. For all the struggles we had with sound games over the months, he is really getting it now and having a good time with it too.

This is not a great picture but it's the only one I could get. DJ was pretty much done with this project by the time I had a chance to grab my camera so I had to ask him to pose for it. We've been working on the countries of North America lately so I printed this North America map and Central America map and put them on cork board. Then I pulled out the North America continent box that has a collection of toothpick flags and we matched the flag to the country. DJ was really into it at first but when we got down to the tiny Central America countries that all have light blue & white flags the project got tedious for him. That was when he found the space shuttle from the Safari Space Toob that I have in the North America box because it represents an achievement of the US and he was lost to me, pretending to fly it around the room. Yes, he is still 3 years old.

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