Monday, August 9, 2010

ABC Block

Last night I tried something new with Shane that worked really well. Our other three kids were running around and making a lot of noise; so, I gave Shane a small block structure and the ABC Block and told him to go into the study and learn a new word on his own. After a few minutes he came back and told me how to spell Goat. I wrote all the letters of the alphabet on a sheet of paper and put it up on the wall. I highlighted in yellow the letters he knows how to spell the words for and told him we will do one new word each evening.

When I woke up this morning the first thing he said to me was, “Daddy can we learn to spell after I get ready for school?” We didn’t have time and when I was leaving for work he asked if we could learn to spell when I came home. I came home around 6pm and the first thing Shane said to me was, ”Daddy, I have to tell you something … E-A-R.” After I praised him I said he needed to first spell all the other words he knows before we highlighted E on the list. He got two words wrong so I told him to go back to the blocks and find the words he got wrong. He ran off to stack the blocks and then came back and spelled all the words correctly and added a new one, Lion. He now knows 9 words and the best part is that he loves doing this.

The purpose of the ABC Charts is explained in the 3-2-11 post. You should be able to copy and paste these into a Word doc (or other program) and then insert your own pictures for Mommy and Daddy. Have Fun ...

1-26-10: Tonight I came home and the first thing Shane said to me was, "Daddy, what lives is the dark?". I said I don't know and he replied, "O-W-L." We went through all the other words he knows and then highlighted the letter O on the list.

1-29-10: Shane continues to be excited about learning a new word each day. The other morning he said, “Daddy, I am so excited that I can spell 10 words”. I figure I should not put a comment every time he learns a new word; I will just give you an update when he knows all 26 words. I can’t believe how well this is working … as a parent it really is exciting to watch your child be so excited to learn.

1-30-10: Now Shane is up to 14 words and after he learns a new one I have him write out on a piece of paper all the words he knows before highlighting the new letter on the list. Nicole is now trying to get in on the action and jumps up and down asking how to spell the differnt words and then repeating the spelling. She just came up to me, with a big smile on her face, asking me to help her spell apple.

2-5-11: Shane now knows 18 of the 26 words on the ABC Block. When I am reading to the kids at night if I come across one of the words Shane knows I ask him to read it. I have found that it is important to make sure kids can recognize the words. Aside from the stories we read, I will write the words on a piece of paper and ask him what they are.

2-8-11: Shane only has 4 words left. We started learning words that rhyme with the words he knows. For Cat, he now also knows Bat, Fat, Hat, Mat, Pat, Rat, Sat, and At. He knows 22 words from the block, 29 that rhyme with these words, for a total of 51 words. The great thing about all this is that it involves him working on his own and working with his parents; one without the other would not be anywhere near as effective.

2-10-11 Shane took on and learned the hardest word tonight: Ice Cream. Sometimes he wants me to help him find which blocks he has to stack the ABC Block on to spell specific words. I tell him he has to do this on his own because it is part of the learning process; that it is a puzzle and he has to use a process of trying all the different combinations to find the word he is looking for. Shane now has two words left. After reviewing all his words he always asks to spell and write the rhyming words and sometimes comes up with new ones on his own. I was amazed tonight when he came up with "brain" which rhymes with "train" I had not even thought of that one!

2-16-11 Shane finished with all the words on the ABC Block and I was lucky enough to capture him learning the last word on the video below. He has now moved on to learning the 7 colors the Color Blocks spell.

3-2-11 Shane finished with all the colors the Color Blocks spell a few weeks ago. We have moved on to using "sight cards" to learn more words. I have started working with Nicole on learning her ABCs. I created some Alphabet picture charts to go along with what the ABC Block spells - these are shown above. She can use these to learn her letters and then when she is ready we can start with spelling the words. I am sharing this with the idea that if you want to use these charts you can copy them. First you will want to cut and paste your own pictures for Mommy and Daddy and then print on standard 8.5" x 11" photo paper.

3-5-11 Nicole has finished learning her ABCs and wants to start learning how to spell the words. We put up the charts ... check out this pick to see the basic idea ... when she can spell the word we highlight the letter in yellow. Today she learned CAT and then she wrote all the words she knows on a piece of paper (Lion, Rose, and Cat) ... she wanted to learn another word but I said we would just do one a day. Actually, I am not really expecting her to learn one a day which is the pace at which Shane learned them ... Nicole is a year younger. We will just take it slow and make sure we keep it fun ... there really isn't any rush considering she does not start kindergarten for a year and a half.

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