To connect literacy to alliteration, disconnect it from reading.

by Babs Hadjusiewicz June 10, 2009

If you remember reading last Thursday about my visit to Lilac School in Valley Center, Calif., you'll understand what Peacock Dena (shown here in the photo with me and the snake) has to say here about last Tuesday's post. Hmmm...Dena & python and Babs Here's her news!


I was the Lilac mom dressed up like a peacock. I have the names of the animals. Tega lizard named Tyrone; Capachin monkey named Mojo Jo Jo; Hedgehog named Casper; Ferret named Mercedes; Burmese Python named George of the Jungle; Chinchilla named Dusty; Parrot named Genral Confussion.

Thank you for the great web site!!!


Thank you, Dena, for helping me hold that heavy snake! And to you and your animal-dressed parent-team for all those enticing foods on that jungle lunch buffet! And hey! It's good to have all the real names of those wild, wild animals...along with their "stage names." WOW! Today is Wacky Wednesday already! And though I'd promised that we'd be meeting three young ladies named Grace today, I have to report that two of those three aren't quite ready for their pix to be posted. Gracie grins!My mother Gracie, however, was captured on camera when she did what she always does whenever there's a smiley face around. Gracie grins! So it was a grateful grinning Gracie when she received this smiley basketball a couple of years ago. And Gracie's grin, along with Smiley's grin, begged for a camera's snap. Know what? Gracie uses that basketball! She even put up her own goal! It's a basket!This week, however, Mother Gracie is grinning between groans. Most unfortunately, she fell, broke a hip bone, and had her second major surgery this year. But I could already hear her grinning over the phone today! On her way to recovery. WOW! So she can bounce and throw that ball into the hoop! Wish her well, won't you! So, when the other Gracie ladies' pix come in, then we'll circle back to have more fun with the sound of /gr/. That's for another day in the near future. But, today's is Wacky Wednesday. So let's do more sound play with words, like Wacky Wednesday. Words that begin with the same sound. It's called alliteration. And it trains ears and tongues to the sounds of language. WOW! Go ahead and call it by that long name...alliteration...whenever you hear it: Bouncing basketball. Weeping willow. Wonderful Wednesday. Creepy Crusty Crud. Take it to the hoop!Have fun modeling how to simply make up two or three words that begin with the same sound. Then call out that sound. Note I said, "call out that sound that makes words alliterative." Yes! Even with your child as young as 2 or 3, hearing an alliterative phrase like grateful grinning Gracie, wants to get noticed as being special––and not just because this grinning Gracie happens to be my mother, either! No, do call out that repetitive sound. Doing so models listening for words and phrases that sound special. Not the letter or letters that represent that alliterative sound. No!Focus on the sounds! Not the letters! We're not stopping to recognize the letters with a young child. And maybe not with an older child. That is, unless that child of yours is already confidently whizzing through those books from school and is grinning when reading is mentioned and is relishing free time to curl up for some pleasure reading. Right! Point out the sound to your child. Listen for the alliterative sound!You are modeling. And modeling. And modeling. And being patient. Patient because your child will show you when you've modeled enough. You'll know because your child will begin calling out alliterative sounds being heard! Yes! Only when you are positive s/he can respond successfully, will you be expecting that your child will call out an alliterative sound. WOW! Very important literacy tip there. If a child dreads reading, it's generally because reading is such hard work that the child feels prone to failure. Who among us ever wants to fail!? So you the parent (or any citizen spending time with any child!) will want to spend lots of time engaging children in rich conversation. Why? Well, during such conversation, you two can focus on specific oral skills. Yes! Gaining oral mastery––that's what's happening. Just like in today's fun with calling out alliterative sounds in wacky phrases or not-so-wacky phrases! book opening pic 4 And yes! It's a very important reading skill that leads toward successes in decoding (reading) and encoding (writing)! Such conversations also make learning feel all wacky and fun. Plus...those conversations you have with your child help you realize far more... WOW! You are "connecting" with your child! Yes! Nobody loses. Everybody wins! Tune in tomorrow for THINKING Thursday. Till then, enjoy getting wacky with words!

Babs Hadjusiewicz
Babs Hadjusiewicz


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