Andrew has been learning to read this year. We aren't starting formal kindergarten curriculum until the fall, so I haven't been pushing very hard at all with our literacy practice. About three days a week, we do a lesson out of a book I have. It's great for working with preschoolers, and obviously gets results quickly. Each lesson consists of some phonemic awareness, phonics practice, reading a short story, comprehension questions, and then some writing. The lessons focus on letter formation, but I have been adding in some dictation for him.
Last week, I let him see how many -ot words he could write. I called out words ending in -ot, and he wrote down each sound to spell the word. He did great, and to say he enjoyed it would be a huge understatement. That was the first time we had tried that activity. He was very proud to show his words to Gigi and Papack and Daddy when they got here that day. Here are a few pics I took to document that first spelling dictation lesson.
That all happened last Wednesday morning. We haven't practiced it since. However, something has clicked in his little mind and he is now wanting to write non-stop. Last night before supper, he quietly got out a paper and pencil and sat working at the table while supper was fixing. I didn't know what he was up to, and he didn't ask for any help. When we sat down to eat, I was shocked to see that he was working on a story. He read the first few words to us, and then asked for some help in finishing his sentence. We made him put the pencil down and eat supper, and then he picked it right back up and kept working. He worked on his story until bathtime, and then came back to it after his bath.
I helped him listen for the sounds in a few words, and it is not perfect, but for a first story for someone who is not in kindergarten yet, it is awesome. It is so exciting to me to see my own child using that inventive spelling and big print style that I loved about beginning writers when I was teaching for a paycheck. Here are the pictures of our author with his first piece.
He included periods and quotation marks where needed. Those had been introduced in our reading practice, so I was tickled that he could use them in his own writing. At the end of his story, I showed him how to write "By, Andrew." I think if you click on the picture you can see the work close up and may be able to read it. You can also see where I went and wrote the traditional spelling for a few of his words underneath so we won't forget his thoughts.
In case you can't make it out, here's the story: the cat ran from the dog the dog the cat sed "I will tac the dog to jal" "I will se u hlucotrr" Eunudr hlccdr the m i it the min tooc the cat teo jal. the min sd jl tac a the cat to jal. By Andrew
Translation: The cat ran from the dog. The cat said, "I will take the dog to jail. I will see a helicopter." Another helicopter had men in it. The men took the cat to jail. The men said, "Jail. Take the cat to jail." By Andrew.
He was up early this morning and first thing dashed off another story. I can't wait to read it!