KC received the best card via snail mail ever today from her GiGi (my mom). Have I mentioned that my mom is a retired teacher/reading specialist and is also my partner in…c-rhyme behind this series of sight reading posts. She wrote an Easter card that included all of the high frequency/sight words we’ve learned so far so that KC could read along. I think KC even surprised herself a little and started comparing herself with her older cousins who can read. This is also when I discovered which words KC struggles with most. She knew “go”, “to”, and “the” but wasn’t so sure about “look”, “at”, and “in”.
Each time a word is read, it reinforces its connection in memory and eventually will become automatically recognized. The number of times it takes obviously depends on the child, how the word is presented, and how they are exposed to it. Six words in basically six days is a lot, so my focus for the rest of this week and weekend is to simply reinforce these sight words before adding more.
When KC woke up, one of the first things she said to me was, “Hey! We still need to finish our game!” I had already decided to take a backseat today and let her drive, so I said, “Ok! If YOU want to!” (but I was pretty giddy inside). She took the cards for our outside word search game and scattered them throughout our backyard. Before we played it though, I wanted to review the word “look” so that she could automatically recognize it during the game without being frustrated.
The two of us noticed the other day that the double “oo” in the word “look” looks like eyeballs. When my mom said this morning on the phone that a trick teachers use is to draw facial expressions with pupils and eyebrows using the “oo”, KC and I totally jumped online together to google “cartoon eyes” for ideas! She picked out a handful and I ended up writing “look” 11 times with different facial expressions. We headed outside and she lined them all up side by side. Then she stood in front of each one and said “Look! He looks embarrassed. Look! She looks mean.” etc. as she made her own versions of each expression (her faces were probably my favorite part). We turned the tables a little and I asked her to, “find the one that shows happy, find the one that shows sad,” etc. After that, she picked the cards up at random and pointed underneath as she said “look” outloud. I wasn’t sure if this game of reinforcement worked, but then when she walked over to the cards she had previously scattered throughout the backyard for our other game, and recognized the word “look” immediately. We definitely plan to use these “look” cards again because they are so much fun. You can make them a little fancy like ours, or keep it simple by drawing eyeball pupils inside the “oo” with expressive eyebrows above and a mouth underneath it. We’d love to see the expressions you draw and hear how it worked for you and your child! Have fun and we’ll see you again soon! – lifeasallison