Methods for teaching vocabulary so that it sticks!

Methods for teaching vocabulary so that it sticks!

Children typically start Kindergarten knowing around 5000 words.  During the next three grades they learn at least one thousand more new vocabulary words per year and by Grade 4, they are learning on average from one thousand to three thousand new vocabulary words per year!  According to research, only some words are learned through direct vocabulary instruction in the classrooms or home study programs and all the rest is learned through reading itself!   Now you understand why reading a lot is so important in the development of vocabulary.  Here is the research – if you want to dig in to it a little deeper.

Reading a lot is the very best way for kids to learn vocabulary, but today I am going to focus on the other part of learning vocabulary.  The methods and teaching of it.  Although many strategies are effective for students with varying abilities, the following methods always work best for my kids to help make those vocabulary words really “stick”:

 

How to Introduce Vocabulary Words during Reading

Use “child-friendly” language with your child when explaining the words by using everyday language that the child can understand and connect with.

 

Personalize the word to your child that includes references to “you,” “something,” and “someone” to help your child make a personal connection with their own lives.

 

Have your child create their own examples of the word.

 

After your child understands the meaning of the vocabulary word it is time to write down that word and practice it.  This is where you pull out those index cards and markers.  Have the kiddos write the word on one side and write the definition on the back side.  I review the flashcards with my kids constantly ( I’m talking all year)  and it is really encouraging and motivating for the kids to see their vocabulary bundle grow bigger and bigger.  I try not to over drill so  whenever I can I use some fun review activities.  Here are some that my kids really enjoy:

 

How to Practice Vocabulary Words – in a fun way!

 

Draw the Word

 

Have your kids draw an image of each vocabulary word.  Make the images funny and memorable so they really stick in the child’s mind.  You can also use this drawing on their flashcards.

 

Play Charades

 

Make a game out of learning the vocabulary words –  like playing charades.  Take turns where your child has to act out the word and you have to guess it, and then the other way around.  

 

Write a Story

 

You can have your child incorporate the vocabulary words into a fun and creative story.  This will really help them spell and practice using the words in sentences.

 

Vocabulary Word of the Day

 

This is the very best way to practice vocabulary and use the entire family in the process.  Post one of the flashcards up on the front door.  Every time your child walks in and out of the door they have to give you the word in a sentence.  Make the whole family participate in it – so much fun!  You can also make it Vocabulary of the Week – if the child (or anyone else in the family) needs extra practice time.

 

 

A Word About Audiobooks…

 

Listen to audiobooks regularly!  Audio books will help expand your child’s listening vocabulary. Later on, when your child runs into the same word in print, they will be better able to decipher the word and its meaning by having already had the exposure to it beforehand.  I always have my kids listen to a novel first, before reading it.  It gives them the pronunciation of those difficult to pronounce locations, names and other Proper Nouns that they struggle with when reading.  My local library offers free audiobooks with a library card, see if your local library offers the same service.  If not you can purchase audiobooks from Amazon or  iBookstore.  If your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability you can also look into Learning Ally which is a non profit volunteer organization.

 

I hope these vocabulary methods and strategies work as well with your kids as they do with mine.  If you have any other methods or tips that work for you, please include them in the comments section of this post.  If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also enjoy reading Spelling With Letter Tiles.

 

Thank you so much for visiting my Blog today!

 

Karina Richland, M.A., is the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers, LLC, an educational company that works with children in special education and focuses on reading, writing and comprehension help. She is also the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers.

Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices.  You can reach her by email at info@pridelearningcenter or visit the website at www.pridelearningcenter.com

Summer Dyslexia Reading Camps for Kids

Summer Dyslexia Reading Camps for Kids

As much as I really want to give my kids a break in the long summer months, I also know that taking a total break is not a good idea. Scientific data clearly shows that many kids lose valuable reading skills over the summer. For a child with dyslexia, who has worked especially hard all school year, this can be devastating, So…. how can we balance fun and learning and also not regress? Well, consider a summer dyslexia reading camp as an option. Kids usually work hard in the mornings, and then still get all afternoon to play play play. Here is a list of recommended summer dyslexia reading camps.

 

PRIDE Learning Center

 

 

PRIDE’s Summer Dyslexia Reading Camps offers a fantastic program to give kids a giant boost in reading, writing, spelling and comprehension. PRIDE uses an Orton-Gillingham, multisensory reading approach that is delivered one-on-one with a reading specialist.

The kids attend the dyslexia camp from 9-12 Monday – Friday for 4 weeks. In these 4 weeks most kids go up 1-2 reading grade levels. The one-on-one is really the key to the kids progressing so rapidly. A sample daily schedule looks like this:

 

9:00 – 10:00: Orton-Gillingham Reading Instruction
10:00 – 10:10: Break
10:10 – 11:00: Orton-Gillingham Reading Instruction
11:00 – 11:10: Break
11:10 – 11:50: Orton-Gillingham Reading Instruction
11:50 – 12:00: Pick up and updates

 

After the instruction there is still plenty of time in the day to go to the beach, swimming pool, rest at home or just play play play. You can check out their summer dyslexia reading camp page here for more information and registration.

Check out the PRIDE Learning Center video here:

 

 

 

Can’t afford to send your child to a summer dyslexia reading camp?

 

Don’t fret! I have a fantastic option for you. If you are up to it, you can run your own 4-week dyslexia reading camp. Yup, no joke. Here is how you do it:

 

Step 1: You purchase a subscription and train yourself in the PRIDE Reading Program. This is an Orton-Gillingham reading curriculum that is used by homeschooling parents of children with dyslexia all over the United States as well as abroad. It is extremely easy to learn and easy to follow as it is heavily scripted out. It is also very affordable. Best of all …… it works wonders!

 

Step 2: After the morning one-on-one sessions with you (or you can always hire a tutor and give them the program to use), send your kiddo to a recreational, outdoors afternoon group camp (surfing, fishing, swimming, art, music, etc.) or set up your own homeschool summer camp. Yup, after 2-3 hours a day of intensive one-on-one Orton-Gillingham instruction, the kiddos deserve something outdoors and something fun. Call it a 4- week Orton-Gillingham homeschool camp. Save a ton of money.

 

Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have and PLEASE let me know how your summer dyslexia reading camp adventures go.  For more dyslexia tips, check out How do kids with Dyslexia learn to read and spell?

 

Thank you so much for visiting my Blog today!


Karina Richland, M.A., developed the PRIDE Reading Program, an Orton-Gillingham program for struggling readers, based on her extensive experience working with children with learning differences over the past 30 years.  She has been a teacher, educational consultant and the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers in Southern California.  Please feel free to email her with any questions at info@pridelearningcenter.com.  Visit the PRIDE Learning Center  website at www.pridelearningcenter.com.

Tips on How to Complete Homework with an ADHD Child

Tips on How to Complete Homework with an ADHD Child

 

The school year is in full swing and the homework load is heavy! Many parents here at PRIDE complain to us frequently that their kiddo just can’t get through the homework load and it is causing a lot of tension and frustration. I put together a few tips and strategies on how to lighten the completion time and reduce the stress at home and just finish that homework quicker for you parents out there with an ADHD child. Hope this helps!

1. Schedule an established time to do homework daily.

Most children with ADHD need set routines and schedules in order to feel success. Help your child find a time for homework that works out in both your daily schedules. Some children do best right after school, whereas others need an outside fresh air break first. Because you know your child better than anyone, find that perfect time and make it part of the daily routine. This will help get through the workload quicker. I have my child take the dog for a walk around the block first, then come home to some milk and cookies and then settle down for homework. This routine works really well for us on a daily basis, and my son feels comfortable knowing the daily routine.

2. Take 5-minute breaks after every 20 minutes.

Find a structured break activity that your child can do after every 20 minutes of work. This could be a yoga stretch on the floor, deep breathing activities, etc. If you keep the break structured, the child will understand this as part of the routine and not a time to wander off and get distracted and lose focus. Short, frequent breaks help children recharge. This should get your child back to a focused state of mind and get through that homework quicker. I sometimes have my son do push-ups or chin-ups (he is pretty athletic and likes physical movement) we make it a game of increasing the repetitions each time.

3. Let your child stop when they can’t continue on.

If your child is too tired or frustrated to finish the homework, let him or her stop!

Experts in the field of education usually recommend that elementary students do 10 minutes of homework per subject per day. If your child’s homework sessions are taking longer than this, schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher to discuss the problems that your child is facing. It could be that the amount of homework is overwhelming or that it is too difficult for your child. If your child has problems focusing, writes and reads very slowly, or needs extra time understanding concepts, then homework will consistently take longer to get through. Make a plan with the teacher so that your child will feel success with homework and everyone’s time will be well spent.

4. Request an extra set of textbooks to use at home.

My son forgets his book at school at least twice a week. This is pretty common for a kid with ADHD. Students with organizational issues often leave their books at school. I bought a copy of each of his textbooks online used.  This way we always have a copy at home and spend less time getting back to school to recover all the forgotten items. Having the homework material every day at home is crucial. Once a student falls behind in their coursework, it is extremely difficult to get caught up. Since so many schools do not have extra copies, you will probably need to purchase extra copies on your own. This will save many after school trips back to the school and give you more time to get through that homework load instead.

5. Find the right location for your child to do daily homework.

Make sure it has good lighting and a clear workspace with no clutter around. Children with ADHD become easily distracted at their workstations. Keep the homework area free of anything except a good supply of paper, sharpened pencils and a set of erasers, pens, and a computer or laptop. This will keep your child focused and hopefully help them get through that homework load a lot faster. I let both my children find their perfect spot. Both of my kids like to lay on their beds with their laptops and spread al the papers and books around the bed. It works for them.

6. Help your child organize papers for after-school homework and prepare for the next school day.

Watch your child put completed homework in the proper folders and put the papers that need to stay home in an accordion file that stays at the child’s workstation at home. All work that comes home should go in this labeled accordion file for future tests and quizzes (especially when they are in Middle and High School). All work should be saved until the semester is over. My son needs a lot of help with this as his homework usually ends up all over the floor.  We go through it together. Getting through the homework is already incredibly challenging for him and I prefer to pick my battles. I do not mind helping him organize and put it where it needs to go. My daughter on the other hand always likes to organize her own backpack and put everything away nicely and neatly. Sigh… wish a little of that would rub off on her brother.

7. When your child has completed their homework, always praise them for a job well done.

If a parent conveys the message that a child is capable and worthwhile, the child will begin to believe this. Being supportive, having a structured learning environment and consistent routines will encourage success and motivation at home.

Have any other ideas that I missed?  Please include them in the comment section below.  Thank you so much for visiting my blog today!

 


Karina Richland, M.A., is the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers, LLC, an educational company that works with children in special education and focuses on reading, writing and comprehension help. She is also the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers.

Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices.

You can reach her by email at karina@pridelearningcenter.com or visit the website at www.pridelearningcenter.com

 

Winter Break Reading Activities

Winter Break Reading Activities

Winter break is finally here!  Although we all deserve a vacation from the homework load and daily obligations, we don’t want to completely let our reading and writing skills slip during this winter vacation.  As a matter of fact, this is a great time to boost them a little.   Here is a very family-friendly list of winter break reading activities you can try at home to keep those reading and writing skills sharp this winter.

 

Winter Break Reading Activities

 

  • Read for Pleasure. You have heard about a summer reading list – well how about a winter break reading list?  Now is the perfect time for your child to catch up on all those books and magazines that they didn’t have time to read during the school year.  Reading for pleasure builds vocabulary, expands your child’s mind intellectually and also helps your child become a better writer.  So take a trip to your local library and let your kids choose a huge stack of books for some of their winter break reading activities.

 

  • Cook with your kids. Cooking is a great way for the family to spend fun and educational time together.  Reading food labels and recipes can help your children improve their reading skills and learn the meanings of unfamiliar words.

 

  • Write thank you letters. Encourage your child to write “thank you” letters for all of the holiday gifts they received from relatives and friends.  Sit with your child and write your own notes at the same time.  Writing letters is a heavy burden for children, so it might be a good idea to space the work and be supportive.

 

  • Listen to audio books in the car while traveling. Spending time listening to books strengthens listening, concentration and imagination skills in children.  It also gives them an opportunity to improve vocabulary and language skills.  Take your child’s audio book along on car trips or while you are running errands for some awesome winter break reading activities.

 

  • Go grocery shopping. Let your child carry the shopping list as you shop.  They can read off the items you need.  Label reading is also a great reading task for children.  You can have them look up the ingredients on the labels or ask them to research which breakfast cereal has the least amount of sugar in it.

 

  • Play board games. Here is your opportunity to expand your child’s mind while also having fun and spending time together.  Games like Scrabble, Boggle and other word games are great for challenging the minds of kids.  Some games require reading for clues or reading directions.

 

I hope that these winter reading activities work for your family.  Enjoy the holidays and thank you for visiting us today!


 

 

Karina Richland, M.A., is the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers, LLC, an educational company that works with children in special education and focuses on reading, writing and comprehension help. She is also the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers.

Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices.  You can reach her at info@pridelearningcenter.com

 

Dyslexia Tutor – finding the right one!

Dyslexia Tutor – finding the right one!

Are you trying to find a dyslexia tutor near you but don’t know where to go or what to do?  The internet is filled with tutors out there, but how do you know which one to chose and if they are qualified enough to teach a child with dyslexia.  Here is everything you will need to know about finding the right dyslexia tutor for your child.

 

How can you make sure that you find the right dyslexia tutor for your child?

 

You can ask speech therapists, educational psychologists and special education advocates.  These professionals are usually well connected in their communities and have a network of good people they like to work together with.  

 

Can I get the school to reimburse me for private dyslexia tutor expenses?

 

Sometimes you can.  School districts will reimburse parents for private dyslexia tutor expenses if the district agrees that the school is not providing an appropriate education.  Almost always, in my years of working with parents and dyslexia tutors, the parent has to take the school district to a due process hearing to get reimbursed.  This means parents have to hire a Special Education Attorney or Advocate.  Some parents end up removing their children from public school for part of the day or for a specified time in order to bring their child to a private dyslexia tutor.  The school needs to agree with this arrangement.

 

Can I use a dyslexia tutor in a small group setting?

 

Sometimes, a dyslexia tutor will work with students in groups.  This is an option to consider if you know of other children in the same situation.  A group setting will reduce the cost and your child may learn from the other kids as well.  The downside to a group session is that your child may not have the benefit of an exclusive one-on-one learning situation with a dyslexia tutor.  This can make progress a bit slower as well.

 

Which program should my dyslexia tutor be using?

 

Your dyslexia tutor needs to be using an Orton-Gillingham reading program.  This program needs to be structured, systematic, cumulative and extremely repetitive.  It also needs to be multisensory.  Most Orton-Gillingham programs will use a very specific scope and sequence.  It is crucial that the dyslexia tutor follow this scope and sequence precisely and not skip around.  If you have an amazing tutor that you love that is not trained in Orton-Gillingham, then you can provide a program for them to follow and use with your child.  You can also homeschool or tutor your own child with an Orton-Gillingham tutoring program.  Some dyslexia tutoring programs that I recommend for tutors or homeschool parents to use are:

 

 

After selecting a dyslexia tutor, make sure that you receive regular progress assessments along each step of the way.  Ask the dyslexia tutor to provide you with tutoring session plans on a regular basis so you can follow along with your child through their scope and sequence.  Good Luck finding a dyslexia tutor and if you need more assistance – feel free to contact me personally.  

 


 

Karina Richland, M.A., is the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers, LLC, an educational company that works with children in special education and focuses on reading, writing and comprehension help. She is also the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers.  You can reach her at info@pridelearningcenter.com or visit the website at PRIDE Learning Center.

Page 1 of 1812345...10...Last »
UA-2294581-1