Vanessa-Ann Younis (happy)
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Date Posted: 08:35:01 03/22/07 Thu
Just completed assignment 3 and I have been asked to share some ideas again, although I know that you guys are already doing this... so I think once again I will be preaching to the converted.
For this assignment I have incorporated some of the practical exercises from the workbook. The first practical exercise was to use a multi-sensory approach with the children when teaching phonics, spellings, reading and writing. Some of the approaches that I have used are as follows:
1) Writing ¡V Fill a tray with sand and practice writing letters, names or words with either a lollypop stick or your fingers.
2) Phonics and Spelling ¡V use magnetic letters to practice letter sounds and names or to blend together to make simple CVC words.
3) Phonics and Spelling ¡V make some playdough and either mould the letter shapes manually or use letter shaped cutters. These can then be used to practice letter sounds or again to make up the children¡¦s names or words. When making the letters manually with younger children we have sung a simple song. For example (Mulberry bush tune) ¡§This is the way with make an ¡¥a¡¦, make an ¡¥a¡¦, make an ¡¥a¡¦. This the way we make an ¡¥a¡¦. La la la la la la.¡¨
4) Writing ¡V make up cards that have the letters stuck on to them made from sandpaper or velvet, or textured wallpaper. These letters can then be used to trace over with your finger in order to practice letter formation.
5) Language ¡V make up a feely bag of items beginning with a chosen letter. Ask one of the children to put their hand in the feely bag, choose and item (without showing it to the rest of the class) and describe it for the others to guess what it is. It can be removed from the bag to see if everyone was right!
6) Writing ¡V whilst watching ¡¥Words and Pictures¡¦ BBC TV programme the children practice writing a specific letter in the air with their fingers. We extended this to writing the letter on each other¡¦ back with our finger.
7) Language and Art ¡V whilst working on the letter ¡¥s¡¦ with a Reception class (age 5) we took a trip to the seaside. I was fortunate to have a class of 12 children, and we are not very far away from a beach. We collected shells, sand and seaweed, made sandcastles, paddled in the sea, and watched the seagulls in the sunny sky. Back at school we made a sea side display using some of the things we found. We made our own starfish, seaweed, seagulls, and a ship on the sea with a sunny sky. The border consisted of lots of letter ¡¥s¡¦ shapes that the children decorated with things beginning with that letter, e.g., sand, sugar, spaghetti, shells and sequins. Some of the children chose to use different coloured felt-tip pens to practice their letter formation of their ¡¥s¡¦ shaped paper instead.
The next practical exercise that I chose to do was make a handy homework guide for other members of staff to consult. This consisted of a laminated A5 piece of paper containing the following bullet points:
„h Give plenty of time for homework to be copied from the board and highlight the key words. (Give help or a handout if necessary)
„h If appropriate, make the homework assignment shorter with achievable targets.
„h Enable children to contact one another about homework out of school or pair pupils to work together on an assignment.
One of the practical exercises encouraged us to make our own worksheets were appropriate. As well as designing worksheets for spellings and word shape (tall and short letters) I have made picture and word matching activities. This consisted of an A4 card with pictures down one side and words down the other side (not necessarily corresponding to the picture they are opposite). This card is then laminated. A hole is punched by each picture and each word. A shoelace is provided for each of the pictures and secured at the back. The children can then match the picture to the word by threading with the shoelaces. Depending on the age and ability of the children between 4 and 8 pictures can be placed on a card.
For older pupils, I have made ¡¥writing checklist¡¦ card, which again can be laminated and placed on a desk with a spot of blutack. This card is only small and consists of two written reminders with picture cues.
„h finger spaces (picture of a finger)
„h Capital letters and full stops ( The .)
For some children it has been a good idea to make a laminated paper finger to use when writing.
This leads to another practical exercise which looked at handwriting. Some children who don¡¦t have a special educational need can find handwriting difficult; some children just don¡¦t like it. Some strategies that I have used (apart from positive encouragement and rewards) are:
„h Use triangular shaped pencils or pencil grips. (Triangular shaped felt-tip pens and coloured pencils)
„h Large bubble writing letters for children to practice their letter formation without going over the lines (a green dot or start arrow) reduce the size as appropriate.
„h Trace over patterns of zigzag or wavy lines. This can be used for practice with scissors by cutting along the zigzag or wavy lines.
„h Trace over more complicated patterns without taking the pencil off the paper can help with cursive writing.
„h Progress to what my class call ¡¥dotty writing¡¦. This is the old favourite tracing over dotted letters to practice formation.
„h When practising letters sitting on the line I have used magnetic letters in the past, and as a class we have looked at where they should sit. E.g., Up in the air, down in the dungeon or sitting on the line.
„h Lined paper should be appropriate to the individual. A single ruled line, large spaces between lines or narrowed ruled lines or handwriting ruled lines. Writing can be boring, so it¡¦s nice to make sure that it is done in a fun way and for a rewarding purpose.
The last practical exercise that I undertook was to make a poster of famous people who have dyslexia. I borrowed a class of older pupils for this one. We did some Internet research and the children made their own posters called ¡¥Look what I can do¡¦. They compared themselves with the famous people and discovered that they had lots of talents between them ranging from art, playing musical instruments, singing, acting, rugby, roller blading, skate boarding to telling jokes and doing magic tricks. This was a nice activity for sharing personal information and comparing talents. This activity focused on the positive but caution needs to be taken, as some children don¡¦t like talking within small groups about themselves.
I have enjoyed the activities for module three and look forward to module four.
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