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Summer Student Tips


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									                      Summer Student Tips
                        Holly Denman, Curriculum Coordinator

Things to do with your new MITCH student or your current student over the summer to help
with the following school year.

1) Cards/Phonograms

   a) If you don’t have Riggs Phonogram Cards, consider purchasing them. You can
      contact the school or order from the Riggs website.

   b) Urge you child to see these cards as their own private “box o’ sounds”, their best

   c) Laminate the cards so your child can use them anywhere, anytime and then be easily

   d) Review the cards frequently but try to make it a game

      i)   Play Phonogram Bingo – your child can help you make the bingo cards and show
           you how to play and the whole family can play

      ii) Take the cards in the car and play “find the phonogram on signs” while driving

      iii) Make a chart with the “er” or “sh” phonograms (make columns, put one at the
           top of each column) and post it in the dining room. Ask each family member to
           come to dinner with a word that would fit one of the columns and see how fast
           you can fill up the chart.

                 Visible illustration of the SH rule:
                 she (Used at the beginning of a word)
                 wish wash (at the end of a syllable)
                 ______X___ (but not at the beginning of most syllables)
                 _____ship (except for the ending ship)
2) Reading

   a) Read aloud to your child EVERY DAY. (Jim Trelease, Read-a-Loud Book)

   b) Let your child see you read and write. It is important that your child see you read
      and ENJOY reading.

   c) Read books to your child that YOU enjoy so you will have fun reading to your child.
   d) If your child can read the books you choose, alternate reading with them. You read
      one paragraph/page/sentence then have them do one.

   e) If your child is struggling with reading, don’t force them to read, but continue
      reading to them. A child needs to hear a word 12 times before it becomes part of
      their vocabulary.

   f)   Have plenty of print items around the house and consider getting a subscription to a
        fun kids magazine to encourage them to read. (Libraries often given away old issues
        of magazines.)

   g) Get a library card and use it. As the library for an increase of the number of books
      you can check out at one time. Don’t forget the OVERSIZE books (those that have
      big pictures, birds, cars, Civil War).

   h) When you see movies and read books, discuss them afterwards. Talk about
      characters, scenes, plots, costumes, scenery, etc.

   REMINDER: Turn pages in books by sliding a finger under the top right page and sliding
   it down to turn. Teach your child not to turn the page by pulling up on the bottom of
   the page to prevent torn pages.

   i)   Book Recommendations

        i)   Any books by Jim Trelease

        ii) “Hank the Cowdog” (great listening for K-2)

        iii) “Voyage of the Frog” (story tape)

        iv) Any “Junie B. Jones” books (funny for adults and children)

        v) “Books Children Love” is a compilation of great stories to read to your child

3) Writing

   a) Buy some of the Riggs writing books from the office so your child can practice writing
      over the summer. (Ideas below)

   b) Your student will bring home the Riggs writing book they have used in school. They
      can continue their word lists in this book.

   c) Teach the clock pattern and direction to writing.
d) Pencil Position

     i)   The pencil positions described below both reduce hand strain and help eliminate
          the “writer’s bump” that is often seen with other positions.

     ii) If you are just starting at MITCH, begin practicing the accepted pencil positions
         (described below)

     iii) Continuing students should continue to practice holding their pencils, pens,
          crayons, etc., properly.

     iv) FIRST POSITION: Hold the pencil like a dart, between the thumb and MIDDLE
         finger, curl the ring and pinky fingers loosely under and rest the pointer finger on
         the pencil. This will be very awkward at first if the child has been taught
         traditional pencil positions but keep practicing by putting down the pencil and
         picking it up repeatedly.

     v) ALTERNATE POSITION: Rest pencil BETWEEN the pointer and middle fingers,
        grasping it with the middle finger and thumb above the point.

e) Writing Practice

     i)   Ask your child to help you write down the grocery list before you head out
          shopping. Then ask your child to read the items to you while shopping.

     ii) Ask your child to make an inventory of everything in their room “for insurance

     iii) Put cornmeal in a pie plate and let the child trace phonograms (saying while they
          write) in the cornmeal. Shake when done and do more.

     iv) Make and write thank-you notes. Glue Riggs paper onto the card to keep
         penmanship neat.

f)   To help your child LIKE to write:

     i)   Let them use colored gel pens or colored pencils, and let them write each letter in
          a different color.

     ii) Find a pen-pal for your child (cousins or grandparent) so they can write a letter
         and get one back.

     iii) Help them write a letter to someone famous (President, recording artist, TV
          personality) or write a letter with a purpose (complain about something at a store
          or restaurant, may receive something back).
        iv) Let your child use stamps to make their own stationery then write something.

        v) If you have a garage sale over the summer, let your child help make some sale

        vi) The aversion to writing might be physical, so try different non-writing activities to
            improve dexterity (video games [one hour a week ONLY], sorting small items,
            counting rocks, etc.).

   g) If your child is writing letters backwards, take out the phonogram card for that letter
      and read the step by step process to write that letter from the back of the card.
      Read slowly and have them repeat it while they write. After practicing a few, ask
      them to do it by themselves. Ask if they are comfortable and continue until they are.

   h) When underlining phonograms, your child can use a small ruler. The underline
      should be immediately under the letters, not half a line below.

4) Have fun practicing

   a) Use sidewalk chalk to draw a top line, dotted lines and baseline. Call out the lines
      and have your child jump to the correct line.

   b) Play Phonogram Hangman. Make the blanks larger for 2, 3 or 4 letter phonograms.
      Use the sounds to play, not letter names.

   c) When you learn a new word, try to use it throughout the day. Encourage your child
      to use new words often.

   d) Use glow in the dark paint or glue to make the phonograms on cards and put on the
      ceiling of your child’s room so they can review the phonograms when they go to bed.

   e) On take-out or child’s menus in restaurants, have your child underline the multi-
      letter phonograms. Take turns around the table and have everyone in the family
      underline the phonograms.

   f)   Make a placement with phonograms and have fun using words with different
        phonograms during meals.

   g) Get a used Scrabble game, hot-glue the tiles together in multi-letter phonograms.
      Take these in the car and use them to play phonogram games while in the car or
      other places when you have downtime.

   h) Turn on Closed Captioning on your television and take turns reading the dialog. Use
      different voices to make it fun.
i)   Try finding some fun foreign movies with captions. One suggestion: “Children of

j)   Put together a jigsaw puzzle. Write a story or note on the back and let your child put
     it together to read the secret message and underline the phonograms. (You can find
     inexpensive puzzles at the dollar store or you can make your own.)

k) Have a backpack by the door filled with things to just take in the car. Put in the
   laminated phonogram cards, a few special “car trip only” books, scrabble tiles, take
   out menus, pencils, etc. Grab the backpack whenever you leave the house.

l)   Play the sentence game in the car. Give your child a word (e.g. FARM) and ask them
     to give you a sentence with that word. When they do, it’s their turn to give YOU a
     word. Go back and forth until they are comfortable with the game and then add
     some twists:

     i)   Add a second word (e.g., FARM, WATER) and the sentence must have both.

     ii) Give the words and ask them to give you an Interrogative sentence. Then when
         they give YOU words, you will answer with a Declarative sentence.

     iii) Mix it up and ask them to give you a specific type of sentence (Declarative,
          Interrogative, Exclamatory, and Imperative).
             How to Understand the “Secret Code”
                    Phonogram Markings
                    Holly Denman, Curriculum Coordinator

Starting in Kindergarten, students will use phonogram markings when writing words.
This chart will help you decipher these markings. Remember, these markings are for
spelling, but also help children recognize phonetic patterns for reading.

me            1. Underline single vowels that say their own letter names.




away          2. Underline all multi-letter phonograms



do3           3. Number the subsequent vowel sounds

time          4. Unusual sounds that don’t fit another rule have double
              underline. There are several “Silent Final e” rules below.



can – cane    Silent Final e – Job 1

pet – Pete    Silent e jumps over the consonant to make the vowel say its name

love2         Silent Final e – Job 2 (vu job 2)

give2         English words do not end in v or u so we add a silent final e.

true2         Exception: you (due to the evolution of the original word)

chance3    Silent Final e – Job 3 (cg job 3)

charge3    Add e to force a soft C or G sound.

lit-tle4   Silent Final e – Job 4

cas-tle4   All English syllables must contain a written vowel. Add e to satisfy
           this rule.

nurse5     Silent Final e – Job 5

bye5       If it is not job 1, 2, 3 or 4, it must be job 5.


^ ^
a-gain     Thinking to Say rule

been       Put a “thinking hat” over a letter that says a different sound than
           one we expect to say.

           We think to say a-gain but we may read and say “u-gin.” We
           may think to spell been but we say “bin.”

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