Friday, September 26, 2008

the "Literacy" in the Literacy Farm

I am ecstatic to see Aidan's developing literacy skills, his phonemic awareness, his love of reading and writing. On the newly-sealed driveway the other day, Aidan was setting up the start and finish line for the race he was about to have with (his imaginary friend) Boy. He drew one line and wrote "CTT". He announced, Start. This says "Start." And indeed, it does. With invented spelling, he has just taken one huge leap up the ladder of literacy, making the move from late emergent reader and writer into early letter name-alphabetic stage, where he will begin to recognize words based on their familiarity, begin to track reading according to the salient beginning (and ending) sounds, and begin to read on his own. Very exciting stuff, indeed. While he is still a ways off from having a concept of word and truly reading on his own, I was highly impressed with his rendition of "start." Not only did it have a beginning and ending consonant, it also contained a blend, the "st" sound, one of the harder concepts among beginning readers.

Hooray for my late emergent/early letter name-alphabetic reader!!!

Meanwhile, on the Leo Literacy front, he continues to gain more signs each day. When he lacks a sign, he invents his own, moving his hand up and down in a small motion for "bell," (indicating his desire for the "coffee bell" the boys use to rouse me out of bed), or turning both hands in a small way while saying "vroom!" to indicate car, and in a big way, big hands and VROOM! to indicate truck. The more you try to ignore his signs (more! more! more COOKIE!!!) the more precise and grandiose his signs become. His best word, after Mama, is cookie, pronounced in the cutest little baby voice.

There is nothing more endearing than seeing the two literacy worlds collide, when Aidan sits snugly next to Leo and "reads" books like Five Little Pumpkins or Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

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