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  1. #1

    Default Help for 4th grader who can't decode

    I have a student in my class that has all of the reading skills you could ask for. She connects what she is reading to other stuff, she asks questions, makes predictions and inferences, etc. There's just one problem...she can't decode words at all. She takes most of her cues from pictures and can figure out some words based on the context of a sentence, but given words in isolation or a simple word like "hen" that she's not expecting, and she can't read it. (On a pre-primer level with words in isolation Any suggestions on activities/websites that will help her? She's a super hard worker and I hate to see this get in her way of being a successful learner! Thanks in advance!!!!

  2. #2
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    Do you have anyone who can work with her one on one? Title I help? Are there issues with vision? How's her speech and language? I know www.Reading A-Z.com has leveled readers and fluency passages-there is a subscription fee. You might be able to download some materials free. It is a great site. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition is important--Sight words, familiar text, poetry.

    It's heartbreaking to see a student struggling when they are giving it 100+%. Hope this helps.

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    starfall.com is good. Also, try the explode the code books. Maybe she was never given phonic teaching. Without phonemic awareness, she won't be able to sound out words.

  4. #4

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    She has no phonemic awareness at all. Thanks for the website ideas. What are the explode the code books? She has reading with a very small group (4 others). With our state standards though, there are sooooo many other skills we need to teach that its hard to go back to phonemic awareness. It is so frustrating! The kids are the ones that lose out Mom and dad are willing to help at home, and I have a few other times during the week that I'm going to try to set her up with something. Trying to get her into sped for additional help, but probably won't happen.

    If you have any other ideas, tips, etc. please send them along!

  5. #5
    Senior Member dsmms's Avatar
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    I had a third grader a few years ago with similar problems. I used word family booklets that I found on the internet and substituted the word family words for her spelling words each week. I downloaded a booklet with a short story which focused on a particular word family such as at, am, ack, uck, ot, ock, ance... I gave her a packet of things to do each day.

    Day one: read the story with a teacher or parent and underline or highlight the word family. Parent or teacher signs the page to show completion.

    Day two: write the word and break it up by the onset and rime. I had her treat the word family as a single sound. For instance: bat would be written b at. I provided the lines to make it easier.

    Day three: Create new words using the word family that isn't on the list this week, or find all the "at" words you can find in a book.

    Day four: I had all of my students do "sailboat" words. I am not sure what it is really called, but that is what we called it - because it looks like the sails of sailboat when finished. My students like to draw the rest of the boat and the water when they were finished. Example:

    b
    ba
    bat

    I think this helps them break down the individual sounds which is great for those needing help with phonemic awareness.

    On Friday, I would give her test her only on her words.

    She did very well with this. Check out www.hubbardscupboard.org. I can't remember what internet source I used for my word family booklets, but this website has similar booklets and they are FREE!

    I hope this helps!

    dsmms
    Last edited by dsmms; 12-21-2008 at 09:03 AM.

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    Super Moderator Boxcar's Avatar
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    Wow. This was helpful for me. I'm a bit ashamed to admit I don't know very much about teaching phoneics. I never learned them in school, so I feel like I'm learning them with the children. I teach the younger ones, so I don't have much of a need to teach reading as the majority aren't at that point. However, knowing how to do it is important.

  7. #7
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    explode the code is a program designed orginally to complement orton-gillingham's teaching program, based on phonics, very step-by-step, very explicit. Designed for kids with dyslexia, but I like it for any child who needs phonics.

    No phonemic awareness is a pretty big statement. Talk to your kindergarten teachers, as they'll have resources for you, but the place to start, is to get the child to rhyme. Can s/he rhyme? If so, that's the start of phonemic awareness. look up and try the rosner test for phonemic awareness to get an idea of just where the child is in awareness. then look up a good phonics program and get 'er going, as by grade 4, this should already be embedded knowledge!

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    If you have Title I reading support, have them give her a phonemic awareness test to see what she knows and doesn't know. I found a link that has a do-it-yourself phonemic awareness test.

    http://www.mlpp-msl.net/assessments/...wareness-A.pdf

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    Get the student to tell you a story orally. Write it down as she says it and then use this as a reader for her. It might be a story about a family holiday. The content of this will be more meaningful for her. If she has trouble decoding a word in this then build up a family group of these words for her and keep it in the same book as the initial story. Also get her to write and learn to spell these family words. By both reading and writing the words this will lead to more long term learning of these words.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsmms View Post
    Day four: I had all of my students do "sailboat" words. I am not sure what it is really called, but that is what we called it - because it looks like the sails of sailboat when finished. My students like to draw the rest of the boat and the water when they were finished. Example:

    b
    ba
    bat


    dsmms
    I also do this in Spelling with my students, we call them word pyramids!

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