Struggling 6 Year Old Girl **Discussion - Visual Problems**

This forum has been created to provide a non-challenging environment for teachers and parents new to using synthetic phonics.

Kelly
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 9:50 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Struggling 6 Year Old Girl **Discussion - Visual Problems**

Post by Kelly » Fri Oct 26, 2007 3:08 am

We have a young girl that is struggling. She has just turned six. She knows 42 sounds, but seems to have 'reached her limit'. She is confident at both blending and segmenting. Perhaps it should also be noted that she has only ever been taught synthetically.

She is currently having some speech therapy, recently had grommets put in and has had eye tests. She is easily distracted, prefers not to do anything if she doesn't have to! Even at 9 in the morning she is yawning (I was convinced that she had low iron as she is so tired and despondent (at times), but I have been assured that this has been ruled out).

She can be very stubborn so at times it is difficult to know if it is a case of 'can't' or 'don't want to'. She comes from a good family that are supportive. Homework is done every night with either Mum or Dad.

She is finding it very difficult to get fluency and is definitely not ready to learn about 'magic e' or any rules/generalisations.

We have stopped teaching any new correspondences and are just trying to get some fluency.

What does everyone recommend? I am wondering about a fresh new approach something really different e.g. BRI? What are other's thoughts? Product suggestions.
Last edited by Kelly on Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jenny
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:23 pm
Location: Leeds

Post by jenny » Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:43 pm

Does this little girl want to read? Does she see the point of it? It sounds to me as though what she needs is access to plenty of good decodable texts at her present level to improve fluency and increase motivation. That is the unique selling point for me of RML -the appealing texts!
Jenny W

User avatar
Maltesers
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:28 pm

Post by Maltesers » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:30 pm

I work with 5 and 6 year olds so am very used to this year group.

How about some games?

A treasure hunt around the house with decodable sentences to read.

Bingo games

Get a puppet(who is really poor at sounds/blending/segmenting)

A sand tray with some coins (I use 2p's) stick some nonsense words and some real words, child has to sort and put in a rubbish bin or a treasure box.

Give child a whiteboard and get her to draw two or three vertical lines depending on whether you are doing 3 or 4 sounds.

Give child a start word for example 'fun'
She write it on her board one sound in each section
ask her to change the word to 'bun' by only changing one letter
then change it to but, bat, bad,sad,sat,sit,fit,fin,fun

You just have to think up lots of cvc or ccvc words that where you change one letter each time and get back to the original.

Write some simple sentences for her to read and draw what she has read

A cat on a bed
A doll in a cot
A cat in a hat

http://www.senteacher.org/Worksheet/23/Literacy.xhtml

Make some of these dice or make your own by putting stickers on each face.

http://www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/games/index.htm

There are a few games here that you could play if you have access to a laptop. Most of the games are downloadable so you dont need internet access.

Good luck
www.freeforum101.com/hltastaffroom

www.hltastaffroom.blogspot.com

chew8
Posts: 4183
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Post by chew8 » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:33 pm

Ideas for several of the above activities are given in 'Letters and Sounds' - e.g. strings of words where one letter/sound can be changed at a time.

Jenny C.

User avatar
Maltesers
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:28 pm

Post by Maltesers » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:46 pm

Yes phase 2 has lots of cvc word strings

I have been playing this for years though ;-)

You can download some from here, you will need to join the tes site to do so but its free.

http://www.tes.co.uk/resources/Resource ... urceId=580
www.freeforum101.com/hltastaffroom

www.hltastaffroom.blogspot.com

JAC
Posts: 517
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:51 am

Post by JAC » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:14 am

IMHO BRI is just the ticket for a 6 year old. I always consider using BRI first with this age group.
Do you know there is a list serv for people using these books?

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Beginning ... struction/

Kelly
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 9:50 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Post by Kelly » Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:03 am

Thank you everyone for the ideas.

I appreciate it.

Judy
Posts: 1184
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 9:57 pm

Post by Judy » Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:26 am

Sorry to come in so late on this, Kelly, but as far as the yawning (possible anaemia?) stubborness etc are concerned, she sounds just like my soon-to-be-twelve pupil used to be - and sometimes still is with her mum.

I'm coming to the conclusion that some of it can be genuine, but some of it can also be an unconscious 'ruse' to get out of doing things they find difficult. In fact I'm compiling quite a list of strategies children use to hide the fact that they are struggling. She might do better if someone could manage some one-to-one with her till she gets going again, so that she doesn't have to feel embarrassed in front of other children.

Kelly
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 9:50 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Post by Kelly » Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:13 am

Thanks Judy for that. I think you are probably right.

She is currently having some one-on-one and always has. It was very obvious early on that she was going to have trouble so we have worked closely with her.

It has taken a lot of time and energy to get her to this point. ;-)

I suppose our current problem really is the lack of new resources. She isn't quite far enough through our curriculum to 'unlock' most of our books. I also admit that I don't have enough time just at this particular moment to make her up a heap of new interesting resources (although I just might have to make the time).

I have also noticed that you only really get five minutes (sometimes 10) of quality concentration from her before she starts finding it too much/difficult. :roll:

Kelly
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 9:50 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Post by Kelly » Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:16 am

Kelly wrote:I have also noticed that you only really get five minutes (sometimes 10) of quality concentration from her before she starts finding it too much/difficult. :roll:
I just wanted to add, to be fair, that being able to apply herself for five minutes is only a new thing so she is making some steps in the right direction. :smile:

User avatar
Maltesers
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:28 pm

Post by Maltesers » Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:31 pm

She is ONLY 6! I would expect the concentration span of most 5 or 6 year olds is about the same in minutes as it is years so 5 or 6 minutes sounds just fine to me.
www.freeforum101.com/hltastaffroom

www.hltastaffroom.blogspot.com

mtyler
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:56 pm
Location: Minnesota, USA

Post by mtyler » Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:40 pm

Dear Kelly,

My little five and half year old starts to fling her body around when she hits her limit-for the last few months it has been about 3-4 minutes into a lesson. However, she is reading simple sentences now, so the few minutes seem to be enough.

You might try a few games:
1. Honk which is adapted from Phonics Pathways. Have several flashcards for each sound your working on, as well as a few flashcards with a funny face or sticker. Shuffle, then flip the cards over. Say the sounds with her as they come up. When the funny face comes up, do something silly. my kids liked acting like a monkey, or pinching their nose and screaming honk! at me. :smile:

2. Memory

3. Sound Bingo, adapted from Reading Reflex. I use a five by five grid, usually with multiple instances of each letter, so that they have to search through the board for the correct sounds. Have them trace over the letters and say the sounds.

4. Hangman. I have a list of the correspondences next to the hangman board. Then they pick from the sounds. When they get the word, they blend through the letters and say the word.

5. Spelling activity with clipart. I have found clipart of words that contain the correspondences my daughter knows. I have guide lines below the picture. We work through segmenting the word and she writes the letters in sequence. If she picks the wrong sound, I say "That would spell /kt/, not /kat/, what sound do we need next to spell /kat/?" My daughter has really enjoyed this activity. I just used free clipart off of google.

As for reading material, while I like the BRIs and recommend them, they have not worked well for my daughter. She finds the pictures distracting, as she has a hard time with this anyway, I have chosen not to use them at this time. Also, the stories don't seem to interest her--perhaps its a gender thing. I have used my readers (found on the decodables page) and had my 9 yr old illustrate--but not on the same page. She has responded to these much better--the stories are about girls and sisters. I know these are written at a level far below your student, but perhaps something similar would help.

As a six year old she is doing great! Perhaps, as you say, just sitting back and letting her become more confident for a time might be just what she needs.

Good luck, Kelly.

Melissa
Minnetonka, MN

Kelly
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 9:50 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Post by Kelly » Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:48 pm

Melissa, thanks for those ideas.

Maltesers, I probably didn't word that well. I realise that her attention span is probably quite 'normal'. I was actually trying to point out that five to 10 minutes was a positive thing! :grin:

Up until now she has had no attention span. It has been difficult to just get her to concentrate for 10 seconds, one-on-one. She could be regularly found in her own 'world' (probably to do with glue ear) and difficult to 'snap out of it'. This was a problem across the board not just in literacy/phonics time.

Why I was writing about attention span in my first post, was probably because I was thinking out loud that those five to 10 minutes need to be used wisely.

willow
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:29 pm

Post by willow » Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:21 am

My son has hypoglycaemia and can easily lose concentration if he does not eat regulalry - perhaps you could try some fruit or something to boost blood sugar before a session and see if that does the trick?

He has certainly come on tremendously since we changed schools and he is getting the regular snacks he needs. :grin:

kenm
Posts: 1495
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: Berkshire

Post by kenm » Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:59 am

willow wrote:My son has hypoglycaemia and can easily lose concentration if he does not eat regulalry - perhaps you could try some fruit or something to boost blood sugar before a session and see if that does the trick?[...]
Bananas have both sugar and starch, so some quick release energy and some slow. They also contain natural beta blockers, so reduce the effects of nervousness; consequently popular with performing musicians.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests