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23 May 2015

Free Reading Lessons for Bob Books Set 2, Book 2

Book 2 of Set 2 is all about possession. It introduces the apostrophe-s and then uses it over and over so that our students get accustomed to reading it.

You can read my suggestions on teaching the possession concept here, and also get the binder card.

This book also uses the word uh-oh. I try not to teach this as a sight word. Usually, I just add it to the short-u card that we've already done. Something like this:


Yes. I really do write directly on the card. I don't see a reason to make a new card. So I tell my student that the h is silent, and really this is a funny sort of a word, but does he remember the sound the u makes? And we go from there. I don't spend a lot of time on it because, due to the context, most students don't stumble on it anyhow.

Lesson One
  • Introduce new concept: 's
  • Introduce new word: uh-oh (add it to the Uu Ff card)
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 2, Book 2 ("Up, Pup") pp. 1-3

Lesson Two
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 2, Book 2 ("Up, Pup") pp. 4-9

Lesson Three
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 2, Book 2 ("Up, Pup") pp. 10-ff

Lesson Four
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 2, Book 2 ("Up, Pup") pp. 1-6

Lesson Five
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 2, Book 2 ("Up, Pup") pp. 7-ff




22 May 2015

Basic Reading Skills: Apostrophe-S and Introducing Possession

I truly believe that conversation is one of the most effective ways of teaching new concepts. And by conversation, I mean real conversation, not scripted conversation.

When I suggest conversations, then, I do not mean for you to follow them word for word. I want you to engage with your student -- personally. All I'm offering here is a sort of a model, to help you imagine what it could be like to have a conversation about this sort of subject.

For this conversation, I like to lead with the binder card. Here it is:

I start by having my student attempt to read the words on the card. Some of them can do it, and some of them are tripped up by the presence of the apostrophe. No matter.

I point to the apostrophe in Mom's. "Do you know what this is?"

"No."

"Well, let's think about it. What does this word say?" We read it together.

"Now I'm going to use it in a sentence: 'Don't touch that cup. That cup is Mom's.'"

Silence.

True story. They don't usually say anything about this.

"What do you think this word means?"

Silence again.

Don't be discouraged. They're thinking, and most of them won't figure it out on their own.

"Who does the cup belong to?" I ask.

"Mom," he answers.

"That's right! Mom! The cup is -- whose cup is it?"

"Mom's."

"Yes! Do you see how you added the s on the end there? You said it was Mom's cup." (Really make that s loud when you say something like this.)

"If the cup belongs to Dad, whose cup is it?"

"Dad's."

"Yep! There's that s on the end again." When he says "Dad's," I point at the word on the card.

"If the cup belongs to the dog, whose cup is it?"

"The dog's." Again, I point when he says it.

"That's right! We almost always add an s on the end to tell us when something belongs to someone. Now, what if we wrote it like this?" And I write on scratch paper moms. "What does this word mean?"

Here I get a variety of answers. Some students say that it belongs to Mom, and others say they don't know. Only rarely does a gifted student tell me that it means there is more than one mom.

So I write out these sentences: Jill and I went. Our moms went. "What does this word mean?" and I point at moms in the sentence.

Usually now they say there are two moms.

"Yes! That's right!" Now here is the clincher. I refocus them on the binder card for this lesson. I point at one of the apostrophes. "What do you think this is for?"

They aren't sure. They might not know. They might be afraid to venture a guess.

"Well, here" -- and I point at moms in the sentences I wrote out on paper -- "you said that this means there are two moms. There is more than one mom. So we added an s on the end, right? And over here" -- and I point at the Mom's on the binder card -- "if I added an s all by itself on the end, wouldn't that mean the same thing?"

He nods. He gets it!

"So what do you think this thing is for?"

"To tell us that it means something else?"

"That's right! It tells us that the cup -- or whatever it is -- belongs to Mom. It is Mom's cup. That little line thingie is called an apostrophe. Can you say apostrophe?"

"Apostrophe."

"Good. And can you remember what it is for?"

"To tell us it belongs to Mom?"

"Right! And we use it whenever something belongs to someone, so that is why we can also say Dad's or dog's."

And so on and so forth. Use your discretion and simply try to have an intelligent conversation with the child.





20 May 2015

Free Reading Lessons for Bob Books Set 2, Book 1

Today, we're starting Bob Books Set 2, and the first thing you need to know is that these books are longer than the Set 1 books. This is good, because we want our students to slowly get used to the idea of reading longer and longer books. So whereas the Set 1 books were only 9 pages, these are 12.

For this book, you need to introduce the word was. This word uses what we call the schwa sound. You can read more about the schwa sound and get the binder card for the word was here.


Lesson One
  • Introduce schwa sound: was
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 2, Book 1 ("Fun in the Sun") pp. 1-6

Lesson Two
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 2, Book 1 ("Fun in the Sun") pp. 7-ff

Lesson Three
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 2, Book 1 ("Fun in the Sun") pp. all




18 May 2015

What You Need to Know About the Schwa Sound

Have you ever heard of this -- this phenomenon we call the schwa sound? Basically, all the vowels in our beloved English language can have this lazy uh sort of sound. I say "sort of" because the sound varies a bit with each vowel, while the mouth still holds the same loose-jawed position. Most commonly, we see it in two-syllable words where the unaccented vowel is the one that makes the schwa sound.

But we first introduce this sound near the beginning of our Bob Books journey, in Book 1 of Set 2.

It's the word was. Hear the a make that uh sound? That's the schwa sound.

Now, I don't think we need to spell out to our students what the schwa sound is and how it works. But it is good for us as teachers to have a handle on how the language works. You can't teach well if you don't understand it.

Here's a funny video on the schwa:


He he.

What I try to do is not make too big of a deal out of it, especially early on when our students are easily overwhelmed by too much newness in a single lesson.

But, as I said, you should know it's a thing.

For introducing was, then, I use this card:


Clever, I know. The thing is that other words in which a makes the schwa sound are at a higher level than we're ready for. Our students have already learned the hard-s sound, so they're good in that department. They know the w sound. 

So I just say, "In this word, a says uh." And they accept it, read the word, and they're good.

Later on, when I introduce a bunch of a-as-schwa words, such as about, I'll simply add a whole new card.