Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Teaching Miss K to read

One of Miss K's goals for the year is to read 22 high frequency survival words such as girls, boys, men, women, restroom, and words like information which she can't even really say. We have been working on these for the past few weeks and she has been started to read about 15 of those words. She is a visual learner which is typical of Down Syndrome children.

I started teaching her to read when she was about 10 months old. I was inspired by the book Teach Your Baby to Read. I followed the instructions and made the cards and used a red marker. We did those on a regular basis. I don't know that she was reading but it did give her mental stimulation.

I also had the DVD series Your Baby can read. She watched them but honestly I didn't feel that it really helped her. I sold them on ebay.

When she was 18 months she got the Leap Frog refrigerator magnets. My sister-in-law gave it to her maybe that is why is the her favorite now. I had asked for no noisy toys that year but she said it was educational. It really was educational it taught her the letter names and sounds. I know that she knows the sounds because I can hear her saying the first letter sound with some words. We also have the word builder but because she is not at the point of making words it annoys me.

When she turned 3, I decided it was time for a bit more structured learning. Just structured on my part. I worked in teaching her colors and other words. I used 4x6 cards and wrote the words on there and then she matched beads.

At times you could tell she was thinking. The book that was the most helpful at this time was Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome published be Woodbine Publishing. There were games and activities and encouraging stories. I started working with some of those ideas. Miss K was reading words that about the time she learned to say them. One of the things that we often do is put about 10 cards on the table and I will either say "hand me ____" or will give her a color bead and have her match color or put food on the words. This has been one way to test if she is reading the word.

One day when she was about 3 she did this letter mat -- sorting all the letters.

So now she is 6. She does a good job reading the words on cards and we are working on reading them in other places. The other day we saw a sign that said "Danger Playground Closed". Two of those three words were words that we are learning to read. It was good to reinforce her learning. I decided it is time to read Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome again. I also want to add some phonics type program into the mix. She knows a number of her letter sounds and I can hear her starting to sound out words.

Her official goal for the year is to be able to read 22 high frequency words. I would also like to get some books that she can read either find some or make some for her.

Learning was so much fun that she lined up her babies and taught them.

Learning is fun and it is also fun to watch her learn new things. Here she is working on shapes. I love those shapes. She is probably the only child to have maple shapes thanks to grandpa.

We continue working on this and are excited to she want she can do.

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