Blending again!

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mtyler
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Post by mtyler » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:06 pm

Sounds like a good idea, Judy.

Melissa
Minnesota, USA

Kelly
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Post by Kelly » Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:55 pm

Judy wrote:Kelly, I do use a 'cursor' a lot and find it extremely helpful, even though some of the older, whole-word-taught children absolutely hate it! (One even told me she was allergic to cardboard to avoid it - so I made her a plastic one from an old credit card! Mean, aren't I!)
:lol: I would hate it to, but it could be the answer. Perhaps I need to try that for myself. :roll: :lol:

Judy
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Post by Judy » Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:10 pm

This week I noticed something I'd overlooked previously; the 8 yr old sometimes does such exaggerated mouth movements when she says the sounds that it's hardly surprising that she can't concentrate on hearing the word at the same time! For instance, when she says /e/, I can almost see her tonsils! I've discovered that someone at school is also teaching her some phonics in a group at last so maybe she's picking it up from there.

She's much better on the whole though. I also noticed that when she writes a word, saying the sounds as she writes and then says the whole word, she has no difficulty in hearing the word. Maybe because she forgets to do the oral gymnastics while she's writing! :???:

It might be worth trying this (the writing first) with the 14 yr old to see whether he can hear the words without my help that way.

Judy
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Post by Judy » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:57 am

Great progress with the 14 yr old - he actually managed to say the sounds himself and hear the word several times today!

I think what did the trick was goodenough's suggestion of getting him to say them as fast as possible. (This is not easy for him as he does most things quite slowly and if he tries to speed up and makes a mistake, he panics.)

As with the little girl, he was much better at the beginning of the lesson than towards the end, when he started guessing again, using a few letters to form a word that he knows as a 'sight' word so I used the cursor for every word and although that slowed things down rather a lot, it did seem to make things easier for him.

I wasn't able to persuade him to say the sounds out loud as he writes though. He seems very embarrassed at the idea of doing that and I don't want to push him on all fronts at the moment!

The other good news is that he seems to already know a lot more of the correspondences than I originally thought. I think he must have been too nervous to remember when I checked his knowledge of them when we first met. He already knows 'ay', 'ee', 'ie' and 'oe' pretty well, so if we can keep up the progress on the blending, maybe we'll be able to move faster than I anticipated.

So thank you all very much for your suggestions! :grin:

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:43 am

That's good news, Judy. My feeling has always been that if one perseveres with blending, all children will 'get it'.

I started with four weak seven-year-old readers in mid-September who, like your pupil, knew more grapheme-phoneme correspondences than I expected but who had not been taught to use their knowledge systematically in reading by sounding out and blending. They caught on to blending very quickly when I taught them, but I still find that they are better at recognising isolated GPCs on flashcards than at applying that knowledge in word-reading. Their old 'sight'-word and guessing habits tend to surface when they read words (whether single words in games or strings of words in texts), though they are getting better.

Jenny C.

Anna
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Post by Anna » Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:36 pm

Hi Judy,

I also find my guessers tend to revert back more to guessing later in the lesson when they get tired. Last week my 6 year old who is working on the early BRI books (and is only able to concentrate for 10 minutes or so on a task) was sounding out and blending well and self-correcting if she blended incorrectly for the first few pages. Then all of a sudden we were back to gobbledigook and she couldn't even focus on the words - and she said 'I'm tired' so we stopped at that point. It feels like 2 steps forward and one back sometimes but suddenly there is a breakthrough and we can see that learning has been going on 'under the surface'.

I think the process of correcting a sight word reading 'reflex' and guessing habits is very tiring for the learner as we are basically having to establish new neural pathways. I'm sure those will scientific understanding can explain this better but the point has been really hit ome to me reading Mona's new book.

I also find that pupils find blending words in text harder than isolated words. That is why I think reading lots of decodable texts is vital to keep applying the blending skill until automaticity is reached.

Judy
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Post by Judy » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:12 pm

I also find that pupils find blending words in text harder than isolated words
I have woncered whether this is because they have also been trained to guess from the context?

I had a boy who is usually very good about blending substitute the word 'lilypad' for 'log', when reading 'the frog sat on the log', probably because we had previously read a poem about a frog sitting on a lilypad! :shock:

Kelly
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Post by Kelly » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:11 pm

Anna wrote:I think the process of correcting a sight word reading 'reflex' and guessing habits is very tiring for the learner as we are basically having to establish new neural pathways. I'm sure those will scientific understanding can explain this better but the point has been really hit ome to me reading Mona's new book.
I personally think you are right Anna.

Anna
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Post by Anna » Wed Nov 14, 2007 1:21 pm

Judy wrote:

'I have wondered whether this is because they have also been trained to guess from the context? '

I'm sure you are right Judy but also and when faced with text they have a harder challenge as there is much more 'reading' to be done. The more tired they are the more they seem to revert to the guessing habits or read a word as another which they have learned by sight.

One pupil commented to me yesterday that 'Beth' was tricky because he kept thinking of the character from his school story book - the infamous Biff! So I explained that is why he needs to sound out through the word.

JAC
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Post by JAC » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:57 pm

I think some children 'guess' even if they have not been taught to do so. The urge to say a word in a sentence sequence that "fits' is very powerful. It's a bit like filling in the last word in a rhyme or poem, it just pops out.
I am working with a five year old, at present, who does this, and I don't think she has had enough 'bad' instruction to account for it, who knows?
What I do know is that she has two 'dyslexic' older sibs and it is critical to not let her 'guess'. For now I have left off reading 'sentences' and am sticking to words only to see if that helps.

I also have an older student (13) who routinely substitutes words of similar meaning, (eg boat for ship, ) and these substitutions also just pop out quite instantaneously, even before she has had a chance to think, seemingly. She is a child with a limited vocabulary, and it seems there is more to it than simply guessing from the first letter, because often the substition is visually quite dissimilar, and the first letters are different.

Judy
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Post by Judy » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:15 am

A twelve year old who rarely, if ever, guesses made us both laugh today by reading 'the farmer went to get his brazil nuts' instead of 'the farmer went to get his bulldozer'! She has always had difficulty with tracking and I think it was a lapse in concentration because she was tired which made her home in on the 'b' and the 'z'.

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