Monday, December 7, 2009

Reading Lessons, Continued...

I took a bit of time to reorganize the index cards that are taped to the bathroom wall. Now they are organized into categories according to their "word families."

"Word families are groups of words that have a common feature or pattern - they have some of the same combination of letters in them and a similar sound. For example, at, cat, hat, and fat are a family of words with the "at" sound and letter combination in common." (Enchanted Learning)

After I organized all the words, I added a few new words that Kira has not yet read to me. I know she is able to read them, we just never actually sat down and read each word in that grouping. I added a couple of extra "families" that I know she will have no trouble with, also. 

In the morning, I will show her how I have rearranged everything. Kira is somewhat resistant to the process of reading out loud. She likes to claim that she can't read or that she's not in the mood. In order to get her to be a bit more interested, I will be pulling out the shiny stars. Each time she reads a word for me, she will get to pick a star sticker and place it on the word card to show that she has read that word. I will make her put her stars on the cards in an even interval to prevent her from focusing on one word at a time. In this manner, I hope to give her some motivation to do the reading and reinforce that she is able to do it without any complaining. 

Now I know Kira will be reading all these words whenever she happens to be in the bathroom. It's just the nature of the human brain to find something to occupy itself during times of stillness. (not that my 5 year old is EVER still...) What I need, though, is a way to get her to read those words to me. That's why I'm bringing out the stars. 

I will continue to add new words to the wall throughout the next few months. As each word card accumulates a certain number of stars - FIVE maybe - then it will be "retired" to a different location. Maybe we will create a "word families" box and let her keep her retired cards in that box so she can still practice the reading skills with those cards whenever she wants to pull them out. 

Feel free to throw me a few suggestions. While I'm pleased with how readily Kira is grasping this particular concept, I am also completely open to any and every possible idea to make it better for us both.