Friday, November 27, 2009

Early Readers & 3rd Grade Grammar Block

If you are looking to invest in a good set of early readers, the one I like best (and use in my classroom) is made by EPS and it's called Primary Phonics. The complete set of 80 readers is $127.15 which is actually very reasonable and there are lots of books for the CVC (consonant, short vowel, consonant) reader before going on to practice with long-e and other more advanced concepts. The back of every book has a detailed list of what sounds are used for decoding, plus the sight words, so you can see what skills are being reinforced. The books also actually have plots to them! And students love them. It is a truly excellent classroom material. Better than Dick and Jane, better than the Bob books, better than McGuffey's 1st.

Highly recommended!!!

The second part of this post is about the 3rd grade Grammar block which is what I usually recommend for this time of year. December is a bit of a void for homeschoolers so I think that letter writing (i.e. thank you notes) or story writing (creative writing for those long boring cold windy dark days when there's no snow yet) is the way to go. I am thinking of a Story Writing block. I just bought a fresh new batch of main lesson books from Paper Scissors Stone plus a few packs of size 38 felting needles. We did the wet felted mice for the Hospice Tree so I am ready to move on to more felting projects with my group.

Here are my thoughts:

cursive capital and lowercase
parts of speech (4 - from Dorothy Harrer's English book)
use of a dictionary & thesaurus
adjective webs
4 kinds of sentences/ending punctuation
capitalization rules
quotation marks & dialogue
elements of a story: setting, characters, conflict, solution

I was thinking we could wet felt flat wool pictures (scenery -- a meadow, a forest, a field, a pond) and then use them as story mats and make little needle-felted characters to move around on them.

By the way, for the Dialogue element, the book What Do You Say, Dear?would be PERFECT. This hilarious book of manners is a must-have for the younger set. My daughters loved it.

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