Thursday, December 03, 2009

Why It's Easier to Teach the Littles

We're using new curriculum at school to teach reading. I find it to be remarkably cool mainly because it teaches children how to figure out for themselves how to spell because we teach them the rules of the English language. Things I never learned in all my education classes.

While I have a remarkably gifted child who is currently completing Junior/Senior English as an 8th grader, he cannot spell for the life of him, so I've been teaching him the new curriculum as we go to help him become a better speller and to understand the way our written language was developed.

Tonight, putting before him the word 'crinkle', I asked him why the 'c' said /k/ and not /s/ in this word.

My gifted child's answer?

"Um, because 'srinkle' just don't sound right?"



Myra said...

What is this curriculum? I'd love to look it over...if I can find it online. Certainly my kids need it in 4th grade! And what is the rule about the c in crinkle?
Love you! Myra

Amy said...

Myra, we're teaching curriculum designed by a woman at a local school district based on the principals that you can rewire the brain and that we need to teach reading by allowing children to discover how sounds are made in their mouth, then how the sound sounds, then how it looks when we represent it on paper. Kind of the reverse of phonics (instead of "B" says "buh", we teach the sound /b/ and then talk about how we represent it (because many letters have MANY sounds!)

The rule for "c" is that you have to look at the letter following it (same with the letter "g"). If it is followed by an a,o,u or a consonant (or if it's at the end of a word) it will say /k/. If the "c" (or "G") is followed by e,i or y, it will say the "s" sound. So, in the word accentuate, the first "c" is stealing the /k/ sound, because it is followed by a consonant. The second "c" is making the /s/ sound because it is followed by the letter "e"!! We're teaching syllable types, sounds of the language and that allows students to KNOW (or re-discover if they forget) how to spell based on the sounds!! It's really cool!

You can look up Neuroplasticity for why we believe we can "rewire" their brains even as adults!