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Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer School: A Label of Love…

So are you finding times in which you can do some “educational” things with your kids?  The key is to make it fun so that they don’t even realize you are trying to teach them something.  The lessons I taught in the classroom that always went well were the ones in which I let the children believe they were actually deciding what we were doing.  I threw out the bait and let them feel as if they were directing the rest of the lesson.  The best way to do this is with questions, lots of questions.  Think of it as payback to your 4-year-old for the 5 million questions he asks you everyday (sorry, was my personal vendetta a little too obvious right there??).

To continue a little letter/word recognition review, I came up with this labeling activity.  I used to do something similar in the classroom so I figured why not apply it here at home?  In “teacher terms” we used to call this a readable environment.  It just means creating reading opportunities at every turn.  The key to learning new things is repetition so the more your kids see letters, numbers, and words the more they will be able to recognize them.

You will need:
index cards (or any scrap paper but something sturdy)
*laminating machine

Step 1:  Choose one room in your house to be labeled.  The child’s bedroom is a great option because they spend a lot of time there. 

Step 2:  Get your child excited by telling them you are going on a scavenger hunt in their bedroom.  Get cheesy, get excited, make it fun for them.  Tell them to point out as many things as they can while you make a list of the words.  Obviously you want to start with words that are on their level.  If your child points out “comforter” you can skip that one on the list!

Step 3:  Give your child the pieces of paper and do one of two things:

1.  Write the words lightly in pencil and have them trace with the marker
2.  Dictate the words to them, letter by letter, and have them write them first in pencil then trace over again with marker. (Pencil first gives them a chance to correct if need be).
        (This step will really depend on your child’s ability at this point.)

    *Step 4:  I would suggest taking the cards to Office Depot or Kinkos and having them laminated for durability but this is totally optional.

    Step 5:  Let your child go around the room and tape the label to the item.  Once again up the cheese factor and make this the most exciting thing you’ve ever done! 

    For the next few weeks have your child read aloud the label anytime he or she encounters it.  For example, when he turns on the light, have him point to the label and read “light”.  Over and over he will read these words and will be building a foundation for reading.  Now give yourself an A+ for taking the time to do this with your child!

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