Tuesday, April 8, 2014

V is for Vegetables

Learning about letter V is so much fun!  It makes our lips tickle to make the sound!  We started off our day working on puzzles, a fantastic tool to work on visual perception, fine-motor skills, thinking, reasoning and logic.  We're attempting to make the jump from 12 piece puzzles to 24 piece puzzles.  The 12 piece ones are still a challenge to a few of us so we'll keep working on those.  We also took the time today to let the preschoolers update the calendar to represent April (a little late I know).  It was a great counting and number placement activity for us.
Today we also started work on pre-reading books.  Pre-Reading skills are the skills that a person needs before they can become a reader.  Many of these skills are learned through natural introduction from the adults and “big kids” in a child’s life.  We have started more formal guided reading lessons using the Scholastic GRL A book set.  This set is helpful because there are multiple copies of each book so everyone can have their own to read.   There are a few goals I have in mind with these books:

·        Direction: Text goes from left to right.  We read books from left to right.
·        Concepts of print: How we handle books is a skill.  Can you hold it right side up?  Can you turn the pages the correct direction and only one page at a time?  Can you find the text on the page?  Do you know that the words tell the story?
·        Patterns: Literature often has rhythm and patterns in it.  These pre-readers are set up with repetitive text and a predictable picture-clue to the new vocabulary on each page.
·        Memorization: In order to be successful readers we have to memorize certain things like letter names and sounds.  The first step to this is memorizing the repetitive text.
·        Acting like a Reader: Reading is fun when we are successful.  It can also be really frustrating if we aren't being successful.  By memorizing the text and acting like a reader before being able to actually read the words we can be successful with just the basic skills.  Please don’t correct a child if they say the words differently than the text; praise them for their story telling and read the book again and again to them and they’ll pick up the memorization on their own.
·       Utilize our reading strategy known as "Get Your Mouth Ready".  While pointing at the words we get our mouth ready to say the beginning sound of the word.  Even if we can't yet successfully decode the word we can remember the rhythm and rhyme and be prompted by the beginning sound.

Find a set of free printable pre-reading books here.
Based on our theme we also read tons of books about vegetables, including our favorite "Tops and Bottoms".  It's a fantastic book about the parts of each plant that are considered food.  Be sure to check out the blog for upcoming posts for a book giveaway of this book and one other!

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