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Pictures and Sounds

This last week has been somewhat bonkers and, if the news is to be believed, the world is doomed and we’re all going to die a slow, painful Brexit-induced death. I am so sick of the ineptitude and sheet petulance of our ‘great’ leaders that I want to talk about pictures today. Specifically, pictures that help a kiddo to remember sounds where I volunteer each week.

I’ve written it before and I’m sure I’ll write it again, but I LOVE volunteering at this lovely little school. I get to work with some lovely kids and my respect for the staff increases each time I’m there. They’re a fab team, working hard to support some kids whose lives are really quite tricky at times.

Now to my kiddo. This kiddo finds literacy really tricky and has such low confidence that they just don’t find engaging with reading or writing easy at all. But she does find using, drawing and engaging with pictures very straightforward. She is a fantastic little artist and draws everything humanly possible within a given time slot. So when we’ve been doing phonics and learning the alphabet, we use pictures to help her find associations for the words. Now, I’m a secondary teacher so when I trained in 2007, I didn’t ever think I’d be teaching kiddos to read, but here I am years later and I’m doing just that. So I had ‘head’ knowledge of theories about some kids finding pictures really helpful. I didn’t have practical, experiential knowledge of it.

Now I do.

Last Tuesday when I worked with my lass, she managed to order the alphabet by herself and as she was going, she was singing an alphabet song we’d worked on together and whispering the sounds of words that matched up to the letters as she went. She did it! She absolutely nailed it and was so proud of herself. I could have cried. This week, she ordered the letters herself in half the time of last week and then started to be able to pick out some of the phase 2 letters, segment the sounds and then blend them together into words! She then swapped the letters about herself and managed to make more words, making substitutions. She makes me so happy this little lass.

And for her, it’s all about the pictures. They help her to remember the sounds, which then helps her to make out words.

I never thought I’d teach anyone to read, but it looks like I’m doing it!

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