Friday, June 21, 2013

Phonics Friday: Sound awareness & Working Memory

Here is a great exercise that targets reading, spelling, sound awareness and working memory. It is slightly confusing to explain, so lets try a practice round:

1. You tell your child to put the letters B A T in the air.
2. Child has to write that word in the air with his finger and try to read it while holding on to the visual imagery of the letters in the air 
3. After child reads first word, tell child to erase the B and put in an R and ask "now what does that say?".
4. You keep working this way making only one change at a time.
5. You can target only first, middle, and last sounds or for a more advanced child mix it up.

Here is a short example with a model of how to correct errors as they occur:

I wasn't able to film the continuous of the chain of changes that should follow because little sister decided to hit big sis in the face which cut this exercise short. Hopefully the chaining of changes will be clearer in the video below.

To make this task target spelling, you do the same thing, but instead of giving the letters, you give the child a word to spell.
1. Tell child "spell BAT in the air"
2. Now tell child "spell RAT"--child has to physically erase the /B/ from the air and put in the /R/


The challenge is holding onto the letters in their memory long enough to then manipulate the letters to either spell or read words. This is what working memory is all about.
The length and sounds used in your exercise will vary based on the reading level your child is on.

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