Saturday, January 24, 2015

More Letters - up to 7

We continued our sandpaper letter work this week. The Keys of the World albums I use suggest that once you start, all the letters should be completed rather quickly in just a few weeks. We started with three (a, c & m), then added two more (d & t) and today added two more (s & p).

Before adding the latest two, we did a review of the first 5 by playing a sorting game. I piled all our objects in the middle and surrounded them with the 5 letters. Then DJ helped me sort them. He had no trouble with a, c or m. But he kept getting d & t mixed up which frustrated him a little until I told him he was right, they DO sound a lot alike so you just have to listen close and be careful. That actually helped and he was much more successful.

DJ had a lot of fun having the dinosaur eat the donut.

Here are what I have in the object boxes for these letters:

Apple, astronaut, alligator, Allen wrench, ax, anchor & ant. Although I include anchor and ant, to my ear, the /a/ sound is very different when it's followed by n. But all the phonetic lists I've seen seems to ignore this. Is this just a regional dialect issue or am I imagining this? (For those who are wondering, Montessori teaches only the short vowel sounds, long vowels and alternatives like ar & au are taught later.

Cactus, cookie, cat, camel, camera, card, crab, coyote, cartridge & corn. Again only the hard /c/ is taught. Soft c will be taught as an exception later and ch is taught separately.

Duck, dog, die, donkey, donut, dinosaur, domino & daddy. The picture is a picture of DJ's daddy. Oh, and he refused to put the dime on this letter because he insisted it was a coin and didn't fit.

Magnet, mop, milk, mummy, motorcycle, mountain cat, mouse, mommy, mug, mirror. The mug is a little hidden behind the mirror and yes, that is a picture of me, mommy. 😉

Tab, tag, turtle, toothpick, tweezers, train, toothpaste, top, turkey, teeth, tomato & towel. Again th is taught as a separate sound later.

After reviewing the first 5, I did the 3-period lesson for s & p. DJ already knew s somehow and picked up p very easily.

After reviewing the objects, I read him the two Alphatales books for these letters. I have to say that these books are really great and I highly recommend them. They are fun stories to read and do a good job at highlighting the letter sounds.

However, I have to qualify that by saying the vowel books do mix all the different vowel sounds, long, short, ar, er, oo, etc. It's annoying because their teachers manual does say to teach short vowels first but then their books mix them all up. *sigh*. When I read them, I only emphasize the short vowels, which works but makes the book less effective. I can see though once he's been taught all the exceptions, these will be good books to go back to for practice.

All in all, DJ is loving our foray into sandpaper letters, which I am so relieved by. I was nervous to start because he is still so young and hadn't done all the sound games according to the albums. But I just had this intuition that he knew the sounds and just wouldn't tell me, so I took a chance and I was right. Whew!

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