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Lesson One Phonogram Test

September 23, 2010 Leave a comment

As the blog has reported, Ella has been working on the lesson one phonograms.  I was finally able to get video of her showing that she knows the first four phonograms.

I know she has a long way to go to reading, but this is more evidence that she is getting closer. When I ask her what a phonogram says, she normally gets c, d and f. But a’s three sounds are still a challenge for her. I’m thinking about moving on to lesson 2 and continuing to work on a.

Ella’s talking continues to improve. I was keeping a list of words, but once she got to 100 words, I gave up. She has reached the point where she can repeat almost any word under three syllables. So the first 100 words will be interesting to have for posterity.

Lesson Strategies

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Ella asked me again this morning to work on the phonograms.  While we worked, we used a couple of strategies that I want to share.  Below is a screen shot of the lesson one phonograms page for reference.

Lesson One Phonograms Page

The first strategey we used was to mute the volume when pressing the Play button.  This way the individual phonogram page comes up, but the sound doesn’t play and Ella can try giving me the sound without hearing it first.

On the lesson one page above I had Ella point out the phonogram that goes with the sound(s) I gave her.  She actually got all four of these correct, which I didn’t previously know she could do.  We chanced into this when Ella was holding a telescoping backscratcher and was pointing at the screen with it.  I told her I’ll have to get her an actual pointer because using a backscratcher will be tough on my monitor.

Later today I will use the phonogram cards to simulate what we did on the computer.  I’ll lay those four cards out and then ask Ella to choose the card that goes with the sound I give her.  This will be much more concrete, which is a good thing when working with toddlers.

As I work with Ella, I discover things in the program I never thought about before.  I created the program after teaching the first two kids to read so I’ve not had this chance before.  It was a great deal of work to create this program and I will want to redo it soon, I’m afraid.

Working on Lesson 1

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

We continue to informally work on Lesson 1 of the phonograms.  As I mentioned in the previous post, Ella started having a desire to see the phonograms on my computer.  She continues to crawl up on my lap when I’m at the computer and ask to see the phonograms.  I still haven’t taken her past lesson one because she doesn’t know all four of them yet.

Ella has been drawing with chalk on the driveway a lot recently and always wants me to draw with her.  Naturally, I can’t pass up the opportunity to work on the phonograms while we are at it.  You can see below a couple of pictures of us working on the phonograms from lesson one.

Practicing the Phonograms in Chalk

Done Practicing the Phonograms in Chalk

We worked our way down that list of phonograms, going over each of the four and then moving on and doing it again.  During this session, she was able to remember the sounds of c and f on the last few groups.  This is another exciting breakthrough.

As you can see, on the last group Ella told me that she had been working long enough by using the blue chalk to mark out each of the phonograms.  Of course, I didn’t push her to continue after this.  It is not always so apparent that a child has had enough!

This is supposed to be a reading blog, but I’m going to give an update on Ella’s talking.  Last post I mentioned that Ella was up to 55 words.  She’s now up to 89 words.  Now she is at the point that she can pick up words the first time she has a desire to say one.  Still not to where it is easy for her to convey her wants, but it continues to get better.

Ella still has a long way to go before she reads her first word, but observing the process so closely this time sure is fun.