I'm putting my "teacher" hat on for Monday morning. It was a rainy, indoor kind of weekend and my daughter spent a lot of time drawing and creating little books. Labeling and explaining her pieces was a critical part of her process, and "how do you spell...?" was asked every few minutes. I knew it was time to make her a "key word ring" and thought I'd share it with you, too.
I used word rings for my son when we were trying to help his writing abilities catch up to his reading level at age six. For my daughter, who has early writing skills, these rings will aid her in learning sight words (recognizing familiar words). They also help her gain some independence and keep me from spelling the same favorite words over and over again. Word rings are great for everyone...and look they're portable (you know I love that)!
They are based on Sylvia Ashton-Warner's work with Maori children in New Zealand in the 60's. She was an educational pioneer who wrote the book Teacher in 1963. In it she says, must have an intense meaning...they must be already part of the dynamic life of the child." Warner recommended beginning reading instruction with a "key vocabulary"... a child uses in conversation that have deep emotional meaning for him/her.
You don't typically think of a three and a half year old writing (attempting) the word unicorn, but unicorns are my daughter's passion so she constantly wants to draw and write about them. She's so proud of her unicorn "word" on her ring! We chose words that had significance in her life and that she asks for repeatedly. We keep a couple blank ones on hand...ready for a new word request.
If you have a new reader/writer I urge you to make them their own personal ring to keep close to their writing and drawing supplies.
-binder rings (2 inch is a perfect size)... shower curtain rings can work also!
-paper cutter for quick halving of the cards (optional)
Hope you have a great start to your week!