Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Blog Post to Answer Some Early Reading Questions asked by a Reader.

Earlier today someone reading  my blog left a comment & asked some questions.  My response became so long winded, that I decided to put it in a blog post in case others are interested too.

hi there, just wanted to ask how you choose the words you teach you dd every week.. do you choose a subject and make all the cards accordingly?

When K was really little, we choose words that were exciting to her such as the names of her sisters, & grandparents. 

Then we started with common, familiar nouns like animals, foods, pets, & toys.  We continued to use nouns for quite a while because K refused to read words only & insisted on seeing a picture too, although it became harder & harder to find interesting ones, hence the video I posted  here of her reading world monuments. Thankfully Brill Kids has an extensive set of flashcards (literally thousands).

Next we started showing her the Dolch sight words, which kept us going for quite a while & then we taught K a list of dolch phrases.

About this time, K started to be able to read simple library books, so we started to take individual books that were a little above her reading level & teach her the words she didn't know.  

We still teach her words from new, more advanced books, but now we are also doing word families so I am trying to do this with phonics readers.  I have been noticing for a while that K is starting to figure out words that she hasn't been taught.  I am encouraging this skill by moving to word families & teaching them as sight words.

 i just wanted to ask where you got the words from.. do you sort them according to subject, and how you selected the subject?

In the beginning we sorted them by subject, but now we are sorting them by sounds as we are doing word families.  Sometimes we just throw random sets in just for fun or because it is relevant at the moment.  For example, we went to the circus with friends a couple of months ago. I blogged about how I checked on BrillKids & found some circus flashcards which we taught to K on the way.

also, how do you know that she will be able to read and remember all these words later on? i mean after 6 months for example, do you go back to the older words and check to see if she still remembers them?

In the beginning, we  had no idea if K was even learning any words, let alone remembering them for any period of time because we were careful to foster a love of reading by not testing or pressuring her.  Around the age of 2, however, she started to quite happily volunteer the word each time.  Around that time, I started putting one old set of cards in with her new  ones each week.  She never had any trouble remembering the old cards, so finally, by the time she was reading about 700 or 800 words, I quit doing that.  Occasionally we get out her old cards for her to read for fun, but she doesn't have a problem remembering even cards she hasn't seen in 6 months or more.  I know this is a problem for some kids, and I am talking about typical kids when I say this, only because I haven't talked to enough parents of kids with DS who are reading at this age.  I do recommend reviewing old words until you are confident as I am that forgetting words is not a problem.

how do you organize the new things she learns along with the old things she already finished? thanks:)

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by organize, but I'll try to answer.  First of all, I confess.....I am not an organized person!  The Doman method suggests teaching so many words each day & retiring old words & adding new ones each day.  I am not organized enough to do that, so I teach a series of cards for a week, retire all of them & start a new set the next week.  I just store the olds cards in sets with an elastic around each set to seperate them & put them in rectangular baskets.  When I was reviewing on a regular basis, I would set them in the baskets in chronological order, so I was always reviewing the oldest words, & transfer them to a new basket after reviewing them, so I knew which ones I needed to review.

I hope this answers all of your questions.  If you  have any more, please feel free to ask:)

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