Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sun Safety!

Wow! A solar eclipse is coming to the United States on August 21st. What a great learning opportunity for children. Over the next few weeks, we will be suggesting a few activities that are meaningful and will guide children as they understand this unique occurrence. 

But before we learn more about the sun and its importance to life on Earth, a few safety rules are necessary. Let’s start with those. 
Begin by asking children to observe (safely) the sky. Remind them that they should never look directly at the sun. This is one of those direct instruction types of safety rules. In other words, be clear! Show pictures of people wearing sunglasses and then ask children to verbalize for themselves why sunglasses are important along with the idea that looking directly at the sun is never a good idea. They could create a paper plate depiction of themselves, wearing sunglasses as a reminder of this safety rule. 

You can help children understand (and see for themselves!) the importance of sunscreen by engaging them in a simple experiment. After this, you may never have those squirmy children who balk when the sunblock appears. Use a black piece of construction paper. Take a small amount of sunscreen and gently rub it on one side of the paper. I like to have children do this. Then leave the paper in the sun for a few hours. When you return, ask children to explain what happened to the side that did not have the sunblock (it faded!) while the side with the sunblock did not. Ask children to draw conclusions about another sun safety rule! 

Stay tuned for more as we approach the solar eclipse! 

Standards Alignment:
NAEYC - 2.G. & 2.K.03 & 04.
Head Start - I.A. & B.,XI.A. & B.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

PowerPoint for Looking at the Dolch Words with a New Lens

I had a great time at the ILA Conference -so much to learn and think about for our children. I will be sharing many new ideas in the coming weeks and months. For now, I wanted to post my PowerPoint. At the link below you will also find the lists of Dolch words that are confusing as to sequence. Let me know your thoughts as you consider ways to reorganize the way in which we present these sight words.

You can see Kathy's PowerPoint from the ILA Conference by clicking below.

Click here for PowerPoint!

I had mentioned affricates at the session. For more information, take a look at this blog entry by clicking here - AFFRICATES

Then browse the blog for more information on teaching ELLs and other ways to present sight vocabulary.

I will have more suggestions soon so please check back.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Looking At The Dolch Word List with a New Lens

We have discussed sight word lists and ways to help our children learn these words in other posts. We constantly question the way in which these lists are leveled. For example, there are 40 words on the preschool (pre-primer) list, ranging from the simple words (easily decodable) and or can to more difficult words such as where. This preschool list even contains two-syllable words like little or yellow.  Another color word, green, is not "taught" until second grade.

The number word, one, is a pre-primer word. This word bears little resemblance to the sound/symbol relationships children need to learn. While the easily decodable number word, ten, appears in the third grade list. This does not make sense.

In my session at the International Literacy Association, I will discuss reasons such as these to envision (finally!) a new sequence for teaching these sight words. My belief is that when we pair auditory and visual skills, we help children to understand connections.

In preparation for the session, I am sharing my lists to demonstrate some of these "disconnects."

Click here to see our lists that show some issues with the leveled Dolch Word Lists.

I hope to see you in Orlando!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

ILA Conference!

Happy 4th of July. Hope everyone is enjoying a special day with family and friends.

I am getting ready to attend the International Literacy Association Conference in Orlando. I hope you can join me at my session as I discuss phonics and sight words. I'll be presenting on Saturday, July 15th at 11:00 in W106. Hope to see you there!