Friday, January 30, 2009

Fridays are for Phonics

I love teaching! I love reading! and I love teaching reading! Over the past few months, I have been praying about what to pursue as my PhD dissertation creeps closer and closer. I feel like the Lord has truly answered my prayers in recent months as I have fallen in love with teaching reading to four-year-olds!

I thought that this blog would be a good outlet for me to share some of my teaching ideas for reading and explore some new ideas!

So, from now on, Fridays are for Phonics.

Here are some of my initial thoughts...

Every child needs a reading corner! A place where he or she can reach all the books and just snuggle down and read for awhile. We have a few reading corners in our house for Austin. The first one is in his bedroom (not pictured because I don't want to clean it today). The second reading corner is in our playroom.


I also have a basket in my bedroom (under my bed) full of books to read with Austin for those moments when we are curled up in bed and just need to read together.

What should my child be reading?
Here is a closeup of some of Austin's books from birth to two years.

Can a one or two year old really "read"?
Of course! Reading is so much more than words in long sentences. Reading is turning pages. Reading is exploring pictures, lifting flaps, moving things in the book. Reading is beginning to understand that some of the strange shapes they see actually make sounds and eventually words.

Quick story: On my first day of school this year. I asked my four year olds to choose a book and sit down and read. Several turned to me and said, "But Mrs. Q, we don't know how to read!" Oh, yes they do! Maybe not reading in the same sense, but children as young as one need to understand that they can sit in a corner and "read" books!

Would you recommend any books for two year olds?
More than I can put here... but I would definitely recommend alphabet books and textile books at this age for their independent reading time. For family reading time, I would suggest reading books that rhyme.

This John Deere book is still one of Austin's favorite books because he can feel the corn, the hay, turn wheels, etc.

I also love books that he can manipulate and change. At this age, you want two and three year olds to play with lots of playdough and build their small muscles in their hands. They will not be able to hold a pencil or crayon correctly until their muscles develop through these motions.

Here is an example of this type of book.

What about you? Do you love to read? Do you have any favorite books for you or your children?


Christie said...

I know that reading is the most important thing regarding phonics. But both of our kids learned their letter sounds with the Leap Frog Letter Factory video. Joshua started his reading with Bob books a couple of years ago and is now flying through his readers in Kindergarten. Thanks for the tips!

Mom2Drew said...

I discovered the same thing. Drew is obsessed with the Leap Frog Letter Factory and now knows all his letters. I'm tempted to let the Leap Frog family teach him how to read.... BUT you've inspired me to have a more active role. These are great - I can't wait for more Fridays! And what's this about learning the alphabet out of order. Will you cover that sometime in one of your Friday sections?