Few things exemplify and anticipate the joy of the upcoming summer as much as a beautiful garden. Flowers lift our senses in countless wonderful ways.
My little friends and I are having a lovely time this week as we create a Little House garden. We have been examining the root systems of the flowers we have planted, spending time discussing what plants need to survive and enjoying the marvels of plant life. The Little Learners and I read the story “I Am a Leaf,” by Jean Marzollo, and learned about how leaves make plant food both for trees and flowers. They were really engaged by the story which is narrated by a leaf. I loved the astonished and joyful expressions as they realized: “Wait! The leaf is telling the story?! Whoaaa!”
The garden is truly a lot of fun, but it is still business as usual for our Little Learners and our main focus is always on building literacy confidence and skill. This post will share one of the literacy practices that our Little Learners engage in on a daily basis–sight word recognition–and offer ways that this learning can be continued at home. Recognizing sight words is a critical step in the reading process. Sight words can be thought of as the Rosetta Stone of reading, offering a strong clue into the not immediately visible connection between text and the spoken word. I assure you that if you passed me something written in Mandarin I wouldn’t know where to begin looking, let alone connecting the characters to sounds. Our Little Learners are worlds ahead of me in this regard and have been doing so well with connecting sounds with letters through phonics practice.
Sight words bridge the gap between blending sounds together to form words and recognizing a specific group of letters as a word. At Little House, we use rhymes and pictures to build a story around sight words, making the words easy and fun for the Little Learners to learn and remember. We build upon sight word recognition and move into sight word spelling as the kids gain confidence with their reading. In the gallery, you can see photos of the books and posters our Little Learners use for their reading, ideas which you can replicate to practice at home.