Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Explode the Code

How I use Explode the Code with a child too young to write.

Diana turned four in January. She has been reading since before she turned three. However, her writing skills were not at the same level. She is now working on her penmanship and can write most of her lessons. But here is how I use the curriculum without requiring any writing in the books.

Scrabble Letters
 Scrabble letters worked great on pages that require children to fill in the blank or write a word.

Diana arranges the words in order.

I write the words for mixed up sentences on small pieces of paper or a cut-up index card. Diana can then move the words around until she has a sentence that makes good sense.

Which sentence goes with the picture?
 Some pages require the child to read two sentences and then choose the one that goes with the picture. The children love some of the silliness in these sentences. I have the child read both sentences to me and tell me which one is the correct one. I like having them read both sentences to me. I catch any words they may have difficulty with.

Which word matches the picture?
Again I have the children read the choices to me. This prevents them for just searching for the word they see pictured. I know that they can read all the words...more practice for them.

Which two words are the same?
 Reading all the words to me before they point out the matches gives them good practice...more than just being able to find the two that look the same.

Scrabble letters to fill in the blanks, then read the sentence to me.
 Again I want to hear them read the sentences. We can just do the page orally, but I like them using the Scrabble letters to fill in the blanks. Taking note of each letter in a word in this way seems to be making all of them very good spellers.

Diana takes a spelling test...
Most days all the children want to play this game using words from their pages for the day. They simply line up across the room from me. I give them a word to spell. They spell it and then say the word. If correct, I tell them how big a step they may take. We have lots of fun kinds of steps - baby steps, giant steps, alligator steps, hops, twisting jumps, closed eyes steps...and anything else I can think of. If they have troubles with the word, I help them until we have gotten it right and let them take a baby step. Then I add the word to the end of the list and have them spell it again later. When they get to me, I give them a big hug and they usually want to go back to the start and do it again.

Diana takes a "walking step."