Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Sharing Books With Children

One of my first memories of childhood is that of my mother reading Dr. Seuss books to me in a big brown recliner in our living room. That memory brings with it sounds and smells and a general feeling of safety and comfort that never fades, even after all these years. 

Naturally, one of the first memories I have of my own first born child is sitting in a big chair and reading Little Golden Books to him. Sharing books and reading with my children is as natural as giving them baths and making their breakfast. It’s just something I do everyday, and it’s one of the most pleasurable moments of my day. I love to hold my two year old in my lap while we snuggle up and look through his ever growing library of books. 

His favorite books change weekly as his interests broaden. Books open up the world to him and his imagination is bubbling over with new ideas every day. More than just telling a story, books help children better understand their own ideas and feelings and often calm an upset toddler when nothing else will work. They see and hear about other kids like them and others from around the world who are different. 

We’ve all seen little kids acting out the stories they hear. As a child I spent many afternoons pretending to be the characters from my favorite books. Just recently my son was playing ‘Dr.Dan. The Bandage Man’, a current favorite Little Golden Book. 

 Although reading with children is so very rewarding for both adult and child, little kids need time to look at books alone. This allows them the opportunity to look at the pictures and develop the habit of ‘reading’ even though they can’t yet read. In my Family Child Care, I have different ‘libraries’ available in different rooms in my home. 

The kids have labeled these areas ‘libraries’ themselves, and will often rotate the books from room to room and act out ‘going to the library’ daily. Imagine my surprise when I first witnessed a three year old taking the younger kids ‘to the library.’ Because books are a very user-friendly activity and require no prep or cleanup other than returning them to the ‘library’, parents can and should use any opportunity to share books with their young children. 

Long car or plane trips, waiting rooms, in shopping carts, you name it, you can hand a child a book and make just about any transition or otherwise boring activity exciting. Books and reading can be both a group or individual activity, and many children who are normally shy in a group setting will sit in the reading circle and share story-time while making new friends. 

 By sharing books with your young child, you are planting a precious memory that will last a lifetime for both parent and child. They in turn will continue the tradition with their own children and remember those special times. A world of experiences and ideas are waiting for you to introduce to them. 

Games For Children: How To Develop Their Analytical Skills Using A Deck Of Cards

One of the most investigated subjects currently is children’s mind development and analytical skills. More and more studies are being made and more lessons, programs and games are being developed in order to boost early stages of growth and increase existing skills. 

 There are more options and possibilities now than ever, starting with different educational facilities suited for different levels of development, and carrying on with special TV shows, books and games. These games are especially built to work on the growing and developing areas in a child’s mind. 

 These skills can be developed in all kinds of different ways and not necessarily in a structural program or a special kindergarten. It can also be done in the simple and fun way of gaming. Considering the fact that there are hundreds of mind developing games for children, in this article, we will focus on card games.

Card games can come in different shapes and sizes and at different difficulty levels. The most basic card game is the card memory game. The game is played with half a deck or less spread on the table, while each card is facing down. Each player, on his turn, chooses to peek at one card at a time in order to eventually form couple or groups (based on what was decided earlier to be a group). 

This game helps to develop the child’s memory skills and his ability to divide logically the symbols into groups. Another game similar to the memory game, but one that focuses and handles a completely different area of your childs brain is the group game. At this game, the deck of cards is divided to the number of player so all the players receive an equal amount of cards. Each player on his turn form groups (based on what was decided earlier to be a group) and place them on the table. T

he players’ goal at this game is to get rid of their entire cards by adding them to the groups already exists on the table. The players have the total freedom to change the position of the cards on the table as long as none of them gets left out of a group. This game is more complicated then the other card games and therefore it contributes more to the child’s growth more. The game teaches the players to make decisions based on optional following moves and to solve problems using their giving cards, which is in this case literally speaking. The game is highly recommended for children and adults as one, for it is competitive and suspenseful as much as it is friendly and fun. 

 Another popular game that most kids enjoy is war. But do not let them play it the usual way where the stronger card beats the weaker one. Instead, set different rules for each round. You can determine such things as that a two of clubs and a six of hearts beat any cards. You could even make it more challenging by setting a range of cards as jokers. The variety of these kinds of games is relatively big and it is growing more and more as people are constantly looking for new games to play. 

As for the kids, the may be participating for a whole different reason, but the outcomes are the same. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Do Not Start Teaching Your Child to Read With Sight Words!

SIGHT WORDS 
by 
Jim Yang

Sight words are high frequency words that should be known by "sight". With that broad definition, up to 75% of all the words in beginning children's print material are sight words! I have a very different definition where only words that cannot be decoded easily are considered sight words.

In schools and everywhere else, children are encouraged to memorize the configurations of words. In the earlier grades, children bring home from school a handful of "sight words" to memorize each week, and I get a good chuckle as I skim through the sight words my kids must memorize. Using my definition, almost none of these words can be considered sight words, and besides, my children could read all of these words at just 2 years old.

So why is it a bad idea to start teaching using sight words? Great question!
You see, English is an alphabetic language where the words we see comprise of individual letters or a combination of letters which represent different sounds, and these sounds combine together to form the words we hear. When you teach the memorization of sight words, you are in effect teaching English as if it were an ideographic language such as Chinese, where each character represents a meaning, and the only way to learn is to memorize the shapes of the characters.

When a child learns to "read" through memorizing word shapes, that child must rely on visual cues to try to figure out what a word is, and this quickly leads to confusion and frustration. The key stumbling block is that there are so many words with similar shapes that look alike! This method also puts severe limitations on how many words a child can learn to "read", or memorize.

The confusion of word shapes is often a cause of reading difficulties leading to skipped, inserted, and substituted words. And so often, when I work with students with reading difficulties, I have to first break their habit of seeing words as a whole, and show them that there is a simple and effective way to figure out what a word is by its parts.

ENABLE YOUR CHILD TO BECOME A FAST AND 

FLUENT READER

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Friday, 17 April 2015

2 Year Old Reading!

              



How To Teach A 3 Year Old To Read!



Click Here To Find Out More!

Phonemic Awareness Research

By: Tony Teaching Children to Read 



Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds which make up words. In the past few decades, large amounts of research have improved our understanding of phonemic awareness and its importance in helping children learn to read. 

There are hundreds of research studies conducted on all aspects of phonemic awareness, and how it affects and benefits reading and spelling abilities of young children. The National Reading Panel of the US have stated that phonemic awareness improves children's reading and reading comprehension, and that it also helps children to learn to spell. Based on the research and reviews done by the National Reading Panel, they have concluded that teaching phonics and phonemic awareness produces better reading results than whole language programs.

When teaching phonemic awareness, children are taught the smallest units of sound, or phonemes. During the teaching process, children are taught to focus on the phonemes, and learn to manipulate the phonemes in words. Studies have identified phonemic awareness and letter knowledge as the two best school-entry predictors of how well children will learn to read during the first 2 years of instruction. In a review of phonemic awareness research, the National Reading Panel (NRP) identified 1,962 citations, and the results of their meta-analysis were impressive as stated in the NRP publication:
Overall, the findings showed that teaching children to manipulate phonemes in words was highly effective under a variety of teaching conditions with a variety of learners across a range of grade and age levels and that teaching phonemic awareness to children significantly improves their reading more than instruction that lacks any attention to phonemic awareness (PA).
Specifically, the results of the experimental studies led the Panel to conclude that PA training was the cause of improvement in students’ phonemic awareness, reading, and spelling following training. The findings were replicated repeatedly across multiple experiments and thus provide converging evidence for causal claims. [1]
As can be clearly seen, teaching children phonemic awareness early on significantly improves their reading and spelling abilities. Furthermore, the NRP research stated that these beneficial effects of phonemic awareness teaching goes well beyond the end of training period. The NRP phonemic awareness research also found that the most effective teaching method was to systematically teach children to manipulate phonemes with letters, and teaching children in small groups.

Phonemic awareness (PA) teaching provides children with an essential foundation of the alphabet system, and a foundation in reading and spelling. The NRP has stated that PA instructions is a necessary instructional component within a complete reading program.

Below are two other studies done on phonemic awareness, and its effects on reading abilities. In a study involving children aged 6 to 7 years old, researchers found that the few readers at the beginning of grade one exhibited high phonemic awareness scored at least close to perfect in the vowel substitution task, compared to none in children of the same age group who could not read when they entered school. The research also stated that phonemic awareness differences before instruction predicted the accuracy of alphabetic reading and spelling at the end of grade one independent from IQ. Children with high phonemic awareness at the start of grade one had high reading and spelling achievements at the end of grade one; however, some of the children with low phonemic awareness had difficulties learning to read and spell. 

The study suggested that phonemic awareness is the critical variable for the progress in learning to read. [2]

Another study looked at phonemic awareness and emergent literacy skills of 42 children with an average age of 5 years and 7 months. The researchers indicated that relations between phonemic awareness and spelling skills are bidirectional where phonemic awareness improved spelling skills, and spelling influenced the growth in phonemic skills. [3]
It is clear that with the conclusions made by the National Reading Panel and other research studies on the benefits of phonemic awareness, children should be taught PA at a young age before entering school. This helps them build a strong foundation for learning to read and spell.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Teaching Phonics to Children


Phonics is a necessary part of any good method of teaching children to read. Teaching Children phonics and helping them develop phonemic awareness is the key to mastering words, which is the first key step toward successful reading. Children need to develop a knowledge of the letters, the sounds represented by the letters, and the connection between sounds created by combining the letters where words are formed. This is an essential part of mastering reading, and enabling children to become independent readers. By learning phonics and phonemic awareness, children gain the ability to pronounce new words, develop clear articulation, improve spelling, and develop self confidence.
When it comes to teaching your children to read, it must include three basic principles:
1) Reading for the child, whether it's a word, sentence, or story, must appeal to your child's interests.
2) Never pressure or force your child into reading, turning it into a negative "event" in their life. It should be a fun, enjoyable, and rewarding experience. This will take ample amounts of patience on the part of the parents, and some creativity.
3) Teaching your child to read must begin with the mastery of the phonemes - the individual sounds which makeup the words.
The basic process of teaching phonics and phonemic awareness to children includes teaching them the letters and letter sounds; then you teach the child to combine (or blend) various letter sounds together to form words; which is then followed by reading sentences and simple stories. This is a logical progression for children to learn reading, where they develop accuracy in decoding words and pronouncing words. This method of teaching also helps the child to spell correctly. Gradually, the different elements of phonics are combined to produce new words, and leads to the discovery of new words by the child using this process which becomes an "automatic reflex".
Teaching phonics to children should take 10 to 15 minutes each day, and these "lessons" should take place in several small sessions each day - such as 4 or 5 session lasting 3 to 5 minutes each. For older pre-school children, lessons can be slightly longer; however, several minutes each session is all that's needed.
One way to start teaching phonics to children with with ear training - by helping them develop the understanding that words are made up of smaller units of sounds, or known as phonemes, and when you combine these sounds, a word is formed. You can start this with very short sessions, as already mentioned. A few minutes a day is all that you need. The key, however, is consistency and patience.
During these short sessions, sound out words slowly and distinctly. You can do this without even making the child aware that you are trying to teach them. Simply take words from your everyday speaking to your child and include oral blending sounds into your sentences. For example, if you wanted to ask your child to drink his milk, you could say: "Joe, d-r-i-n-k your m-ilk." The words drink and milk are sounded out slowly and distinctly. The level of sound separation can be set by you to increase or lower the difficulty. Thus, if Joe has a tough time figuring out that d-r-i-n-k means drink, you can lower the difficulty by blending the word as dr-ink instead.
Alternatively, you could simply pick different words and play blending sounds games with your child. You simply say the sounds of the word slowly, and ask the child try to guess what you are saying.
This concept of individual sounds forming words may take some time for your child to grasp. Some children will pick it up quickly, while other children may take longer, but one thing that's certain is that if you keep it up, your child will catch on. Below are some sample words which you can use to play blending sounds activities with your child.
J-u-m-p   J-ump
R-u-n   R-un
S-i-t   S-it
S-t-a-n-d   St-and
M-i-l-k   M-ilk
S-t-o-p   St-op
The first word is more segmented than the second word, and will be more difficult to sound out. Please note that hyphens are used to indicate the letter sounds instead of slashes.
ie: J-u-m-p  /J/ /u/ /m/ /p/
This is done to make things easier to read; however, when you read it, you should not read the names of the letters, but instead say the sounds of the letters. This type of ear training for phonics and phonemic awareness should continue throughout the teaching process, even well after your child have grasped this concept. It can be applied to words with increasing difficulty. Again, please always keep in mind that not all children can readily blend the sounds to hear the word, so you must be patient, and drill this for days, weeks, or even months if needed. Consistency and frequency is the key to success here, and not sporadic binge sessions.

Teach Your Child To Read

Teach Your Child To Read

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