Today’s free reading lesson is for Bob Books Set 1, Book 6, which is called “Dot and the Dog.” Again, we don’t introduce new sounds. Instead, we introduce a couple new concepts.
The first is the concept of having more than one sentence on a page. Some students freak out about this. They think it looks “hard” and that they “can’t” read it. This is why it is important that there are no new sounds — so that they become convinced that they really can read a page with more than one short sentence on it.
The second concept we introduce is the question mark. This really must be introduced before they try reading the book. I have had so many children try and sound it out like an “s.”
So put a question mark on one of our handy binder cards like so:
I usually say something like this:
This is a question mark. We put one at the end of a sentence so that we know it is asking a question.
Then I give some examples. You can see the card. I wrote the second sentence first with a period and then added the question mark when it was evident to the student that the question mark made sense — that it made it easier to know the meaning in the sentence if we used the mark.
I think it’s important that we convey to our students that we do these things for a reason. We don’t want them thinking that English is something mysterious. English makes sense.
So here are the lessons:
One more thing. Some students will mix up their lowercase b’s, p’s, and d’s. Please know that this is normal. I don’t make a big deal out of it. If they say the wrong sound, I just tell them what letter it is and ask them to sound it out again. Those three letters (along with q, which we haven’t introduced yet) all look the same to a child because the child hasn’t quite learned that the placing of the shape of the letter has significance. This takes time. Stumbling on this does not mean the child is dyslexic. So help the child, and don’t worry. This will take care of itself in time.
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