Friday, 20 August 2010

First & final sounds - and a tummyache

Another mind-melting day up here in the high hills...don't know why I am always so surprised by the intensity of the heat here. Twenty years and still one the wiser!

Our pre-schoolers started thinking about initial and final sounds today - does a particular sound start a word, or finish it? I have realised that getting 'in' with phonics before their brains are pulped with ridiculous katakana and all the implications that has for poor, bad, mis- and mal-pronunciation, intonation, stress & timing is a wonderful bonus: I don't have to unteach much (OK, maybe parents muddy the water a bit, but nothing systematic at this early age.)

 Important - dealing with the sounds letters represent, not the 'names' of them.  And be consisitent. Pointless if you are going to introduce 'ice cream' as part of your set for single /i/ sound. Think about it - or say "ice" a few times. It does not start with the same sound as {iguana, igloo or  insect}, does it?!

Likewise, we are not talking about spelling. Words like {dog, bag & log} all in in a hard /g/ sound....but so do {vague, league & plague}. Worry about pointing out the challenges actual spellings provide learners with later!

Getting ahead of ourselves a bit there. All our pre-schoolers needed to do was pay attention, best as possible in the heat, and decide if a sound we were focusing on began a word or finished it , and then to colour the picture of the word one of two colours - then all the words beginning with the sound are all the same colour, and all the words ending with it are another. Then maybe we can see a link. Teacher (pre-writing as yet) writes the letter under the picture to the left, or to the right. Which? Let you think about it!

Today's new game was 'Around the houses', which I described in detail a day or two ago. This followed up our first proper turn taking game 'Tummy ache' from Tuesday. Turn-taking, passing things, remembering where you were on the board & which way you were going...and having to put up with something you don't like eg Not having a hissy-fit just because you got boring milk while your nemesis got grape Fanta!

Best part of the game = kids teaching Naomi sensei, who came back from her Tokyo studies today and noticed how much we've all grown!