Friday, July 9, 2010

Beginning Reading

For my second go-round with reading instruction, I decided to use the McGuffey Primer along with some CM-style activities. (I do not pretend that I was rigorously implementing an exactly-CM reading program!)

For each McGuffey lesson, I typed up word cards so that I had about three cards for each word introduced in that lesson. We would study each word, then dd would find the matching word cards that were mixed in with the other word cards. She would also try to write the word on a white board without looking at it. Sometimes I had her spell the word in the air with her arm–I should have done that more often, actually. Sometimes I would put the cards around on the floor, call out a word, and have her hop onto that word card.
We would play with word families. If we learned the word “cat”, I would write “at” on the white board and then add different initial letters and have her tell me what the new word was. When we were looking at a new word in our lesson, if it contained a “word chunk” we had studied before (like “at”), I would bring that to her attention to help her identify the new word.

We’ve spent a complete school year using these types of lessons. Because dd was not truly ready for them, her progress was slow. At times we had to backtrack. But we have completed through lesson XV pretty thoroughly and dd is now able to recognize words we haven’t studied and can read stories from other readers with simple vocabulary.