Friday, August 13, 2010

Here's a Mindblower for that resistant reader

I was thinking about how important it is to know how to read...and I thought about a fun game to do with your kids. Have them take one day...or even one hour...and tally how many times they do something that involves words, letters, and knowing how to read.

Oftentimes kids are so inundated with worksheets, questions, and tasks surrounding reading that they feel like reading is simply something done for someone else...for school, the teacher, grades...

But it would be interesting to see what kinds of things they do that involve reading every day...and to think about how it would be challenging not to be able to read. They would find themselves limited. I think it would show them how vital it is to everyday life...and how, even though it might be tough now, they need to keep practicing and working through it so they can improve and do it with ease.

When I did trainings for teachers in California, I would type "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on the computer and then switch all the font to "Wingdings" or some other symbolic font. I would give it to them and ask them to read it to me. Some would give me quizzical looks, some would shake their heads, and some would start working to decipher what it was.

JUST LIKE FIRST TIME READERS. And that was why I did it. I wanted them to remember the helplessness...and remind them that their kids go through it with new content every day. My next step would be to scaffold give them bits and pieces to support them. I would continue this help until one of them would yell out in pride, "I've got it!" And share with the others.

I think I will have my boys try it for the morning tomorrow. I want to see how big our list is and how many tallies we get!

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