Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. I’ve been busy differentiating instruction for a wider range of ability levels than usual, and I haven’t had much time for blogging.
I’ve created a pretty hefty stack of materials to help new readers, along with a handful of math-enrichment tools for younger students.
I’m a big fan of Glenn Doman’s approach to teaching kids to read. Mom used it with me when I was little, and I read fluently by age 2. She got similar results using the same method with my younger siblings.
Doman’s approach is based on sight words. I like it because it’s quick, painless, and capitalizes on young children’s tendency to be concrete thinkers.
What Doman lacks is a phonics component. I wholeheartedly believe kids should learn to read whole words before they learn phonics, for reasons I’ll outline in a future post, but there’s obviously a place for phonics in the curriculum, especially as kids start to get excited about reading and begin seeking out books that may include a lot of unfamiliar words.
One tool I’m using to for supplementary phonics lessons is a sensory bin. Each item in the bin starts with a different letter or diphthong. I labeled the bin “Treasure Hunt” and wrote the letters and diphthongs on the lid with a Sharpie. Students have to go through the bin and find an item that starts with each sound listed on the lid. Depending on how advanced your students are, you might ask them to write down the name of each object after locating it.
This activity worked very well and should appeal to visual, auditory, and tactile learners, as students see the letters and the objects, say the words and sounds, and touch the items in the bin. With a larger group, you could add a kinesthetic component by setting up two or three bins, dividing the kids into teams, and turning it into a sort of relay race to find all the items.