There was a lot of trouble with sharing at our house today, and this game provided just the change in mood we needed.
Inspired by ABC Slam!, I wrote the lowercase letters we’ve been learning on cups, spread the cups around the table, and got out the girls’ Dollar Tree golf clubs. I told the girls to say the sound the letter makes, then knock the cup off the table without knocking off any other cups. They squealed with delight and proceeded to play through all the letters two or three times before adapting the game to their own play purposes. This game got VERY loud, which is allowed at my house during play time, if no one is trying to eat, work, sleep, etc.
This has been our favorite alphabet learning game for a while. I think they’re getting tired of it, but that’s okay, because they’ve almost got their letters down! I made a copy of flashcards for each girl, by simply typing capital letters in about 500 font size, printing them out, cutting them apart, and gluing each letter to a piece of construction paper.
To play the game, I say, “When I say, ‘Go!’ everybody find me a G. Ready, set, go! G!” It isn’t a competition to see who can find the letter first, but I sometimes say, “Okay, this time, let’s see who can be the fastest!” Then I don’t say who was the winner; I just say, “Wow! You were really fast that time!” My girls have a naturally competitive nature, compounded by sibling rivalry, so I don’t encourage winning and losing, but just a tiny competitive element can give them a little extra motivation.
We tried spelling clothespin CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words for the first time today. The idea is from a blog called Creating a Learning Environment. I wrote out words that end in -at or -an on craft sticks, then wrote the letters a, b, c, D, f, h, m, n, p, r, s, t and v on clothespins. Then I sat on the couch with the materials and asked Miss Giggles (3 years old) if she wanted to play. She did, and we started sounding out and spelling words.
The Singer came over and wanted to try, too. For this first time, they only spelled two or three words each. They were both very proud of themselves, and The Singer saved her “flag” to show Grandmama.
Today’s was the first reading lesson with my four-year-old (henceforth known as The Singer) that I’ve been happy with. The first few times we tried using Hooked on Phonics, we went too fast. Today’s lesson went as follows:
- I read Dr. Seuss’s ABC to her, pointing to each word as I read. She recited along to about 60% of the book.
- We ran around the house 3 times.
- We went through her alphabet flashcards, with her holding the cards to take ownership of her learning.
- We ran around the house 3 or 4 times.
- We practiced with our word family eggs (found here).
- We ran around the house 4 times.
- We read two pages from the Hooked on Phonics level 1 Workbook (-at words only).
- We read only the pages about Pat from Hop on Pop. She was able to do this easily, with her reading the -at words and me reading the rest.
- We ran around the house 5 or 6 times.
- She read the first “story” in the Hooked on Phonics workbook.
- We high-fived, and I gave her stickers.
I think this is the pace that is going to work for us.