Large Movable Alphabet
Independent Word Building (Pink Level)
PLACE IN THE CURRICULUM:
- At some point, the teacher decides a child is ready to build
words without her help. To maximize the child's success, we begin
with two or three letter phonetic words. An attractive material
is provided to enable the child to work alone within this limitation.
- 1. Pink boxes containing attractive small objects whose names
are three-letter phonetic words. Example: cat, box, cup, pig,
pot, fan. Include a variety of phonetic vowel sounds in each
PRESENTATION 1: Word building with objects
- The teacher takes a large movable alphabet and a pink box
of objects. A green mat is spread on the floor. The alphabet
box is opened and set in its lid on the mat. The teacher shows
the child how to take an object, put it on the mat and build
its name beside it, and then take another object and put it under
the first one and build its name. As soon as the child has understood
the exercise, he works alone. He puts the objects down one at
a time on the mat and builds their names. The child can use any
of the pink boxes in the same way. The blue boxes of objects
and pictures are also used for word building. The child uses
these when he has had sufficient practice with the pink boxes.
- Do not kill the child's enthusiasm at this
stage by correcting every spelling error. As long as a child
is working with interest and obviously understands what he is
doing, do not interfere. He will improve quickly with practice.
If he obviously does not understand what he is doing, give him
a new lesson the next day before he has had time to take the
material out for himself. If he repeatedly misspells the same
word, he can be shown the correct spelling politely.
- Do not ask the child to read the words he has composed,
even when they are correctly spelled. He usually cannot do
so because reading is an entirely different process to word building.
- Some children begin to attempt words of their own choosing.
They will choose words they cannot really manage and try to spell
them phonetically. Give them any help they ask for, making suggestions,
but not over-correcting. If he is worried about spelling at this
age, he may stop working. He may become a bad speller or turn
against reading and writing. When a child has built words successfully,
the teacher should, if possible, go to his mat and read the words
back to him. She should say the phonetic sounds of each word,
then, say them quickly, fusing them together to make a word.
This is valuable, as hearing the teacher sound and read phonetic
words prepares the child to do so.
- The child is free to build words using any of the pink object
PRESENTATION 2: Word building with picture cards
- Pink boxes of pictures mounted on pink cards whose names
are three-letter phonetic words. Example: pig, six, cup, rat
sun. Do not choose pictures that represent verbs (dig, sit, etc.)
because they can be confusing. Choose nouns that are clearly
represented. It is best to use beautiful realistic photos or
pictures rather than cartoons.
- This material is used for additional practice, after the
children have completed building words with all of the pink object
boxes. They are used in the same way as the objects above.