August 1, 2008

Learning ABC: Homemade practice pages

This time I'd like to share the guidelines I use to make practice pages. This one if for learning Hebrew alphabet, but the main rules apply to anything of this kind. You can buy printed ones, but home-made are more fun, because kids can participate in making them.

Draw a big dashed letter in the centre of the page so that the child can colour it, smaller dashed letters to the left and right of it — the child will trace them. There is also a big letter above, this one is cut out from a magazine. The same letter in different fonts is placed in each corner of the page, this will teach your kid to recognize the letter even if it's typed in another font. Besides this, there are pictures of things that start with this letter for colouring.

After the kid learns the first four letters, I divide the page into four and write a familiar letter at the top of each part. Then I cut out a few instances of each letter and ask the kid to place them correctly onto the page: each one in its quarter. Draw also four simple pictures (one for each letter) and ask to glue them correctly, too.

After four additional letters (8 in total), I divide the page in four again and repeat the exercise for those new letters. A page with 8 familiar letters goes next. The goal is to find and attach 8 pictures. Over again: 4 new letters, then all letters you've learnt so far, and so on.

This way we almost finished the alphabet, without the final forms (five of Hebrew letters have a different form at the ends of words). Next step — an extract from a magazine or newspaper, the task is to find and circle the right letter. Then we went through the same steps for the final forms.

To add some more fun I drew empty frames, wrote names of the family members underneath and printed small pictures of the family. Then I asked the child to match the names with the photographs. Usually children are able to recognise the names of their relatives even without "reading" them.

Another page is divided into 12 parts, each of them coloured in a different colour, there are also notes with names of the colours. The task is obvious, I hope.

And the last one — a one-word label and a picture for each letter. The child matches the words with the pictures.

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