#sol14 March 4th I have a picture of those letters in my mind!
During the opening minutes of Fundations Reading sessions, students recite the letter-key word- sound for every letter and digraph learned. I say, "Readers, look over here at the sound board," and they begin "sounding off," so to speak! Their familiar "a-apple-ah and e-Ed-eh," grounds us before we head into new reading and writing experiences that stretch us. (The chart, on the left, is ever-present!)
To monitor progress and assure assessment guided instruction, we use many CBM (curriculum based measures) such as the one that asks students to write the lower case letters of the alphabet. They start with "a" and write as many letters as they can until I tell them to stop. It takes just 60 seconds and gives me lots of information about how students are internalizing letter formations and about their "writing fluency."
I turn the usual the easel sideways so that students will look "inside their minds" rather than copy letters during this assessment (see photo to the left). As I told the students to begin the other day, one little boy leaned over closely and assured me, "I know some of the other kids will have a hard time doing this, but you can't trick me! I know all the letters, 'cause I have a picture of them in my mind."
"I bet you do," I said as I smiled, but I thought to myself, "I sure hope you do!"