This week in Literacy class we covered reading. Did you know that 130,000 children in the UK every year leaving primary school not reading as well as they should? We learnt about letters and sounds. It was explained that our school teaches reading by using phonetics. That it is really important that we make the right sounds when talking to our children and helping them to sound out words. We covered blending, digraphs (2 letters together that make a single sound, these can be at the beginning, middle or end of a word), trigraphs (the same but with 3 letters), split diagraphs (known to most adults as the magic E). We also covered the Year 1 Phonics screening test and tricky high frequency words.
Activities to help aid reading
Making the link between letter sounds and shapes – by point them out when you see them in the environment. Our Sensory Seeker recognises the letter M for McDonalds – but then thinks that the M in Morrisons is also McDonalds! We are currently explaining to him that they are different colours. If your child struggles to blend sounds then say the sounds yourself slowly. Flashcards are good for teaching tricky high frequency words. I show him on one page and say what the word says and show my Sensory Seeker the same word on another page so that he can see (visually) that they are the same – and ask him what it says. Reading, reading and more reading. Let your child pick their favourite books – they are easier to engage if they are interested. Teach them to write – then they will learn the letters shapes – and if you say them at the same time they will learn the sounds. It is important to let them talk about the book – and don’t worry if they guess the words. We did an exercise where we “guessed” what some of the missing words would be. This showed us how we rely on grammatically rules, the story etc to fill in the blanks.
All the children picked a letter and then they had to think of a food beginning with that letter. For each food the children got that was unique (no other child had it) they gained 2 points, and 1 point if another child had it. Our Sensory Seeker struggle with this a bit. I think a good idea for him would be to have pictures of food so that he could match the picture with the letter.
Then the children made their own bookmarks. This was really good for fine motor skills, as well as to help encourage a love of reading. I was really proud of our Sensory Seeker’s bookmark – I only made the holes (with a hole punch) for him – and he did the rest.