Monday, October 26, 2015

Paw Print Blend Matching

It's no secret: phonics is not taught in the every day classroom.  I didn't even learn phonics until I started teaching it to my son.  

And it was no picnic teaching him those first blend ladders.  I didn't have curriculum, so I wasn't sure how fast he should learn them.  All I knew is that I wanted him reading, and I wanted him reading yesterday.  That meant a lot of drilling for that little guy.  I put the blends on diecuts I purchased from the dollar store and drilled him.  If he got it right, I gave him a piece of candy.  As he started learning the blends, I started teaching him word families.  

Was my effort successful?  Yes!  He was reading books in 3 months.  But I breezed through those early skills.  I stressed more on the word families than the blends.  That has been a huge hindrance to him now.  Thankfully, with me teaching his younger brother properly, he is filling in those learning gaps I created for him.  (Aren't you glad for second chances?)

So what are beginning blend ladders, and why the importance? 

This is a blend ladder.

You can visit Confessions of a Homeschooler to download your own copy.  

I personally teach blend ladders before words or word families.  For instance ma, me, mi, mo, and mu.  If a child can learn to read the beginning blends, then they can add on any consonant and read it.  

If you teach ONLY memorizing words, the child has to memorize every single word individually and doesn't make connections between words- at least not right away.  In my opinion, that makes for a very long road to learning to read!  

And if you teach word families- for instance the -at family, you can teach your child eye regression.  In other words, you could be teaching your child to read backwards!  The first day I started teaching my son to read, I started to teach him exactly that.  I read Phonics for Dummies and found I was doing it backwards.  Sure enough, when I watched his eyes read cat, fat, and mat- he was reading the END of the word FIRST!  After asking a fellow teacher for some help, I backed up and started teaching blends first.  

If you teach phonics, then this is the blog for you!  I have scoured the internet looking for fun ways to teach my 2-year-old son his blends.  

I quit looking.

Because I can't find any!

And so Training Treasures was born.

Enough back story, on with the fun!

First up: a matching game using a FREE ten frame and some cute puppy paw prints from Teachers Pay Teachers.  

Ten Frame, you say?  Yes, a ten frame.  There are 5 blends after all, and one ten frame makes 2 ladders.  I printed a ten frame, laminated it, cut it down the middle, and programmed it to have the blends my son needs to work on.  I printed and laminated the paw prints, and wrote the matching blends on the backs.  My son absolutely loves math.  If I can make reading math related, he is sold . . . 

And he was!

Second: Another matching game from the same download.  I laminated the puppy rectangles and wrote a different set of blends on the back.  Although the games last but a minute or two, they get the point across . . .

Reading the matching blends.

He's TWO, folks.  Not a genius.  Not a child prodigy.  Just a child who is presented with fun ways to learn.  And those fun educational games bring him back to me, begging (morning, noon, and night!) for more!  What more does a home educator want??

Ashley Moore

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