Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Giggly Connections and Teaching Reading

     I love teaching Phonics! That's a bold statement, I know. But I do. I not only love it because it's fun to teach kiddos how to put decipher those squiggly things called letters. But because it's fun and exciting when they start putting it all together to make meaning out of their world. I love the wide-eyed, wide-mouthed intake of breath when they all of a sudden...stop... stare at you...and declare, "Teacher look the naughty letters!"
(for those of you who are wondering...TH are the naughty letters. When you make the sound of them it's the only time you can get away with sticking your tongue out at your Teacher!)
I love to sit back and watch the intense scrunching up of little faces as they sound out every...single...solitary...letter...and...fffff...iiinnn...aaaaalll...yyy...finally, yell out their discovery!
     Sure, sometimes it can drive a Teacher nearly nutso when he or she has gone over the same group of letters and practiced the same group of letters and sounded out the same group of letters and the little darlings still insist that cccccc...aaaaaa....tttt says DOG!
(and what if c-a-t did spell dog? Thoughts to ponder...and name that movie!)
But today I re-discovered another reason to love Teaching phonics and which basically reinforces why I love what I do.
 Because I get to laugh!
This is what happened...
     As I was sharing my extensive knowledge of the silent e at the end of a word and creating word families with my little darlings. I glanced down at two of my "proximity controlled" lovelies.
(Proximity Controlled: Teacher talk for those kiddos who need to be placed practically on top of the Teacher in order for her to get anything done)
     They were busy at work. They had the whole tongue hanging out, finger tapping the forehead, intensely concentrating and working on the task at hand body posture that tells me they are getting it.
Or that they've just perfected "The Costanza".
(The Costanza: Seinfeld fans will remember the episode in which George Costanza walks around with a piece of paper, rubbing his forehead and sighing in exasperation in order to trick his employee into "thinking" he was overworked, then locking himself in his office, crawling under his desk and taking a nap for the entire day!)
     Everyone was busy and productive. I felt successful and I asked everyone to give me examples to add to our list of words. We were a bunch of rhyming fools! And as we were all doing this, I caught two typically quiet, shy, can't get a word out of them little kiddos giggling hysterically together. Then I overheard what the subject of the chucklefest was all about. "You name is say the same as hose!" (JOSE)
The Lesson
     Somedays I forget this one. Do whatever it takes to get kiddos to burn knowledge into their little cerebrums. Humor is one of the best ways!
     So, whattaya waiting for? Go out and channel your inner Dr.Suess and make up as many rhyming words as you can with your own name!
Feature, Creature, Screecher-Mom! 


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