We are almost rounding out the first month of the 21-22 school year here in New Jersey. I am beyond happy to see my students and colleagues' faces in person again. I am like a child at heart and the first days and weeks of school always awakens the excitement I felt when I was a student. This year, I am feeling that excitement even two weeks into the school year, and I hope you all are, too. I can truly say that one good thing to come of this pandemic is my new enthusiasm for life and participating in social settings whether that be time with friends, family, or even work!
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming 😉
This week’s tutor tip is on blends and digraphs! These may seem like concepts too complex for younger school aged children, but exposing younger students to these concepts while their brains are developing is so important. These concepts should be introduced only after students have a strong grasp vowel and consonant sounds. Once kids secure their grasp of the vowel sounds/letters and consonant sounds/letters, it’s time to get them leveled up and ready for saying/reading/hearing digraphs and blends!
In the reel here, I demonstrate a quick way to synthesize the two concepts for young learners: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CUGmYb1lZPb/?utm_medium=copy_link
Blend - (two✌🏼 letters that make two ✌🏼sounds) such as st, bl, and dr
Digraph (two ✌🏼 letters that make one ☝🏼 sound)
I teach this by holding up my fingers to show that BOTH concepts begin with two ✌🏼 letters, and the big difference is that one makes one ☝🏼sound and the other can hear ✌🏼 sounds‼️
Re-introducing my functional tips! This week’s functional tip is on self-care for students after the first few weeks back to school in person. For students of ALL ages, this last year took quite many social development opportunities away.
Checking in to make sure that they are reacclimating comfortably is so important.
Ask them to check in with themselves:
How do they feel?
How did it feel to talk to their peers again in person?
Lastly, I want to talk about what challenges we may face going into this school year. This past year, education endured the lowest of lows along with some silver linings. Depending on each student, teacher, and family dynamic, the experiences were all different, but we can all agree that online learning was hard. It wasn’t always possible to make sure every student got the support they needed while also missing out on true personal connections from peers and staff. This year, it will be doubly important that concepts are explained well and understood fully.
Reviewing concepts from the previous year is definitely recommended. I am a big fan of “spiraling” through content. When moving through the 2021-2022 school year, I am going to be ramping up the educational support content.