My Dyslexia Resource Kit

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I’ve had a few requests to fill you in on all of the resources I brought with me to my dyslexia talk. Here it goes people… I’m going to list them by table starting with the back left one:

I hope that you find this useful in your classroom/home. Leave a comment below if you have any resources that you think should be on my list!!!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Dyslexia Must Buy Resources

I was delighted to have the opportunity to hold a talk last night on Dyslexia. The Wexford Library Service have always been a great support and encourager mine. It was great to get to “talk” and demonstrate rather than just blogging. It was actually really, really hard to keep to time and I had 1.30hrs!!! There was just soon much to cover. I tried to have a good mix between understanding the neurobiology and what you can and should actually do in a classroom or home setting. I lugged as much as I could from my personal resources.

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Here are two of the key resources that any teacher or indeed parent should have. Knowledge is power. These little gems will be a great reference tool to add to your collection. I’ve had both of these for years and they are pretty wrecked from use. I really struggled to find a ‘clean page’ to photograph. By this I mean a page that didn’t look worn,  selloptaped etc. I really, really use these: Jolly Phonics Word Book and Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials.

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The Jolly Phonics Word Book is a fantastic resource for phonetically regular word list. Here is a peak at the menu:

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I always keep my Jolly Phonics Word Book by my side for literacy lessons in class. I actually am the proud owner of two of these. I have a copy for home use as I find the Jolly Phonics Word Book so vital for my fortnightly planning and literacy schemes.

The Jolly Phonics Word Book is worth its weight in gold for your phonics lesson or indeed home practice to support classroom learning. It’s simply a compilation of word lists that correspond to the phonemes and digraphs (a.k.a “sounds”) taught in Jolly Phonics. It’s worth noting that the Jolly Phonics Word Book would be a great buy even if you are using an alternative phonics programme.

You will never again run out of or blank on words that contain the chosen sound. When you have 34 kids in your class and you are looking for a different word per child then this is “the bomb”.

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Click here to purchase the Jolly Phonics Word Book. It costs 3.47 Euro and the postage is free.

Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is another god send for lesson planning. It’s more a great reference for lesson planning or homework support. It helps to explain all of the most common and important spelling patterns that we need to teach all readers but especially those with language processing difficulties such as Dyslexia.

Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is a really easy to use reference tool for parents, teachers and kids. It is extremely comprehensive as you can see from the image of the index:

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Here is an even more detailed look inside the front cover of Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials:

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These spelling rules, taught in a multi-sensory and systematic way would make a huge impact on reading, writing and spelling.

As you can see, Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials, is like a dictionary for spelling rules. Find the rule in the index and refer to the relevant rule. This could be an indispensable reference tool for an older child to check if they are spelling a word correctly.  I think Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials would complement any instructional programme. I wore this book out when I was studying for my Masters in Special Education and tutoring children with Dyslexia.

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It’s hard to believe the price of this book. Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is 2.99Euro!!! I know, it’s incredible!!! Click here to purchase from the Prim-Ed Website.

For less than 7.00Euro you can  have an amazing amount of information at your fingertips. I hope that you find these books as indispensable as I do.

Do you have an essential that you would like to recommend? Please leave a comment below or message me on Facebook. I’m always on the hunt for new resources.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

For Parents of Junior Infants: Brush up on your (Jolly) Phonics!

This one is especially for parents of children who have just started school. If your child’s school is using Jolly Phonics chances are your child has already begun to learn his or her sounds.

Jolly Phonics is a form of synthetic phonics. This means that it  first teaches the letter sounds and then teaches children to “blend” sounds together to read and write words eg. cat = caat. Blending is often referred to as “sounding out”. Children are also taught to “segment” which involves breaking words up into sounds eg c/a/t. We do this when spelling words.

Your child will probably already have completed the Sounds in Set 1 and perhaps Set 2 at this stage. Here they are:

Click here to download Glance Card

Download this free glance card and save it for when you are doing homework.

You can use it in 2 main ways:

  1. Randomly point to a letter and ask your child what sound it makes.
  2. Call out a sound and ask your child to point it out.

You now have an easy way to check your child’s sounds 🙂 Just remember that it is letter sounds and not letter names that children learn in the beginning.

Be careful when pronouncing these sounds. Think of a simple 3 letter word eg sat and sing it rather than say it! It is easier to hear the constituent sounds if you do.

Here is an explanation of the sounds covered is Sets 1-2. It is always tricky to write down phonetic sounds. I hope that they make sense 😉

“s” is a long sound as in sssssnake and not suh

“a” is a short sound as in a/nt

“t” is a short sound as in t/ap and not  a harsh tuh ( the “uh” at the end in soft)

“i” is a short sound as in it

“p” is a short sound as in pig. It has a very gently “uh” sound at the end. Curl your lips in around your teeth & push them out like a little explosion. The “uh” sound is subtle rather than pronounced.

“n” is a long sound as in nnnnet and not nuh

“c”  and “k” are a short sounds as in cap and kit. It has a very gently “uh” sound at the end.

“e” is a short sound as in egg

“h” is a soft, short sound and not huh. Take a deep breath and sigh to hear it 🙂

“r” is a long sound as in rrrrip and not ruh

“m “is a long sound as in mmmat and not muh

“d” is a soft, short sound as in dip with a quite rather than pronounced uh sound at the end.

I hope that this helps :). It is so important to get it right in the beginning. If you have any further questions please feel free to email me info@missmernagh.com.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Even more books for emergent readers!

I have been flicking through my collection of children’s books for the last number of days to find the best ones for emergent readers. My study is full of children’s books and the over flow is between my attic and my parent’s house. I think that perhaps I have a small problem… What do you think?!

I really do love this Nick Butterworth series of books for beginner readers. When I saw that they are on sale at 28% off on Book Depository I just knew I had to review them for you! I think that you will like them too. The title is pretty catchy, eh 🙂

Nick Butterworth has produced a gem of a book for young readers or even preschoolers. The illustrations are big and clear. The text is written in a large font size on a separate, uncluttered page with a white background. All of this helps readers to predict ( clear pictures) and read the story for themselves.

Here is a brief synopsis of what this “fantastic Mum can do”!

It doesn’t stop there!

The book contains lots of Dolch words, many of which are constantly repeated throughout the short book  such as “and, she ,can”.

You may prefer some other titles from Nick Butterworth’s Series that are more relevant to your child and his/her special people. How about…

Book Depository are selling these titles for just 5.43 Euro each with their usual free worldwide postage. Please click here for a link.

Preschool children would also find this book very accessible and fun. The print is so large that your child could learn to “track” . ” Tracking” is the term that refers to the direction in which we read and write print. In our culture we read from left to right and top to bottom. This is not intuitive for young readers and needs to be taught by explicitly pointing to words as we read.  Our eye movements are too subtle to communicate that we are “tracking”. Children also need to learn about the “one to one correspondence” between the spoken and written word. This is that one spoken word ( phoneme) is represented by one written word (grapheme). Ok, enough science for now…

Do you have any recommendations for beginner readers? What is your child’s favourite ? Please leave a comment below and share with us.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Jolly Phonics Tricky Word Games 1-20

I have been busy planning another game to help reinforce Jolly Phonics Tricky words 1-20. Variety is the spice of life after all!

I have yet to try out the games with my class but am dying to do so. I am saving them up for my Gingerbread Man unit. I though they were too cute to keep and decided to share them with you guys!

There are a number of different ways to use these cards:

  1. A word treasure hunt
  2. Concentration game
  3. Snap or Old Maid
  4. Flashcards or a Word Wall
  5. Word Headbanz

All of these games are explained in my pack. I have created two for you to choose from: black & white or full colour. You choose!

Please click here to download Black & White Tricky Words

Please click here to download Colour Tricky Words

I hope that you have lots of fun learning and revising these Jolly Phonics Tricky words. Let me know that you think. I just love to get comments!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

ps Clip art by DJ Inkers

Monkey Match for Uppercase & Lowercase Letters

How about an online Concentration Game to help your child  match uppercase and lowercase letters? Children love this one!

Click on the coconuts to reveal a hidden uppercase or lowercase letter. When you make a correct match the coconuts disappear!

Drill and practice has never been so much fun! Monkey Match will have your child happily spending time developing both fluency and accuracy at upper and lowercase letter recognition. An added bonus, and the clue in in the title, is the fact that the game will engage your child and encourage the development of concentration and visual acuity (attention to detail necessary to see the difference between fat and cat, wish and dish, p and q, b and d).

Click here if you are just dying to play!

Why not take a visit to your local Euro Shop and search for some cute notepads or cut-out and make your own “non-digital” version? You could then make the game into a competition to see who can match the most!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

p.s Keep your comments coming. I am always delighted to hear how you are getting on

Learning the alphabet with Sesame Street

Wait until you see this cute, cute game from Sesame Street!

Cookie Monster tells your child the name of the letter that he wants to eat. The game has helpfully highlighted the beginning/initial letter in each word.

Your child just clicks and drags the correct food to feed Cookie Monster. There is a lovely help button too and Cookie Monster is really sweet if you make a mistake!

Don’t you just love it! Click here to play Cookie Monster’s Letter of the Day

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

How do I pick a book that my child can read?

How hard should the book be?How do I know if I am buying the right one? I am probably asked this question weekly by parents.

Picking a book to read to your child is pretty easy, finding one that he/she can read independently is a little trickier. Often parents think that should be stretching their child with a “hard book”. I get complaints about school “take home books” being “too easy”!

Children will learn sight words from regular reading. No one is disputing this. It is recommended that children read for up to 10minutes daily.If the books that they read are always challenging it may actually turn them off reading.  Reading at home should mostly be about “reading for fun”.

You might actually be surprised by the rule below. Only 2/10 unfamilar words  per page is considered the perfect level for both learning and enjoyment.

The 5 Finger Rule

Open a page in the middle of the book and read it using the 5 finger rule:

  • Make a fist.
  • Hold up one finger for every word that you find tricky

 

a) Too hard: 5 tricky words = Frustration

4 tricky words = Challenging/instructional level that we would use in school

b) Too easy 0-1 tricky words

 

 

c) Just right 2-3 words = Interest level

I made this cute little bookmark for you to downloadand stick into a book or onto a noticeboard for reference.

It is a really great idea to use this rule with your child so that in time he/she can actually make informed choices about what to read.

Clipart by DJInkers

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Word Slide for tricky words (the, then, them, there, they, these)

Some of my students are having terrible trouble with the following tricky words:

  • then
  • them
  • they
  • there
  • these

The don’t call them “tricky” for nothing! They look similar, too similar, and only some can be “sounded out” correctly. So, where to begin?!

It is important to draw their attention to the familiar chunk in all these words :

  • then
  • them
  • they
  • there
  • these

I have created a word slide to help make the similarities and differences between the words more obvious.  I also think that it is kinda cute! What do you think?

You just slide the letter up into the window to create a “tricky word”. Generally, after doing this for a few days the penny will drop 😉

To download your free word sliders please click on the image below. There are two different images to choose from, a Gingerbread Man and Monkey Business.

It is pretty easy to put together. Just have a look at the photo. Fold it in half across the flap. Cut out the window and a tiny piece from the top to allow the letters to slide up and down.

Note: When downloading don’t forget to have your gmail or google docs account open. Click save when requested to do so at the bottom of your screen ( the warning is because the document is large, not because it is unsafe!)

I really hope that you find this useful. Please let me know if you would like me to create some more word sliders.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Clipart by DJInkers

Free Phonics Fun for Little Kids

Starfall.com is just a brilliant way for beginner readers to learn their sounds. I just love how easy it is to use. You just click on whatever sparkles. Cute! It is always really, really popular with Pre-schoolers and children who have just started school. It would also be useful for a slightly older child as a way to revise or to get some extra practice.

Click on the screenshot below to visit the site 🙂

Your child will learn:

  • to recognise the capital and lowercase form of each letter
  • it’s phonetic sound
  • to recognise what begins with that sound

Each time you click on the letter or the navigate button you will hear phonetic sound of that letter. This encourages quick and easy learning.

The illustrations are bright and cheerful to look at. There are games built in to the end of most of the lessons. It is also a great way to check that you are pronouncing your sounds correctly.  Check out my previous blog on the Top 7 problems when teaching phonics to learn a little more about this.

The only negative about this site is that pronunciations are American and can therefore be slightly different to Irish pronunciations. This is only the case for a small few letters, though, and it certainly hasn’t stopped me from using it.

Starfall also offers free ABC Printouts for each letter of the alphabet. They are of a really high quality and are great for writing practice too.

It is worth reading the bottom of each printout for more game and activity suggestions

Have fun 🙂