Phonics Drill Reader Ideas for Usage

Use this resource to increase speed and accuracy in reading. Read the first few introductory pages to familiarize yourself with the book. Have the children read through each page for speed and accuracy of pronunciation. There is a chart in the beginning of the book showing speeds to aim for. A stop-watch is handy for this activity.

For spelling purposes, after the child has read through a column or page and you know they understand what they read, do a "pre-test." In a pre-test you dictate the words to the child and they spell them orally or written out on paper. They then write every incorrect word 5-10 times and put that word in a sentence to demonstrate that they know what it means. You need to do this even for easy pages because you cannot be certain where their weak points are or where there are gaps in their knowledge. You will note that most pages list words that follow a certain spelling pattern or rule. Those rules are listed in the book, as are Latin suffixes and prefixes. You might wish to review the rule before you introduce the new page of words. When the child demonstrates mastery of a column or page, move on to the next column or page.

As the words become more challenging and unfamiliar, consider having the child create their own dictionary. On three ring paper create a tabbed page for each letter of the alphabet (ie. one page for "a", one for "b" etc.) As they come across an unfamiliar word, have them look it up in a dictionary and write an appropriate definition and the pronunciation symbols, along with a sentence using the word correctly. Of course the words will be out of order in their "dictionary" as they add more in. Or, you could have them create their "dictionary" on the computer and type out their entries.

Some children benefit from putting words in alphabetical order. Write or type words out, cut them apart, have the child arrange them alphabetically. Play against the clock for added excitement. This activity sharpens their observation skills and familiarity with the words.

Have the child divide the words up according to syllabication rules.

Have the child write a sentence or paragraph using as many words as possible from the list being studied. You might do this orally. Give the child 2-3 minutes to "create" a story in their head and then have the story told out loud to you. This also increases their vocabulary and impromptu speaking skills. Perhaps give "points" for each word used correctly. You should also create some stories or sentences to share to give your child an idea and added interest. See who can use the most words without being overly "wordy."

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