Monday, February 7, 2011

Soundabet

I want to remind everyone that while I prefer students to demonstrate their mastery of the Soundabet in front of their classmates, it is okay to demonstrate mastery in a more private setting, like in the kindergarten library.

The reasons I prefer the more public demonstation are:

  • it serves as proof to other classmates that this skill can be mastered
  • doing the Soundabet in front of everyone puts pressure—a good kind of pressure—on the student to perform. If he or she can remember the sounds in front of all the class with a microphone in hand, it will be easy to remember the sounds when reading a word
  • it helps overcome "stage fright"
  • it requires extra practice and extra automaticity to succeed under these conditions
But some kids find it's just too much: not only do they face learning the Soundabet, but they also face getting past stage fright too. If it is too much, I am willing to take the performance anxiety away by having the assessment done in a quieter setting.

Second, remember that it's okay to try and come up short. Today three boys gave it their best shot but none quite managed to get the whole thing in one minute. We cheered them for trying. The student who tries and fails is better off than the student who won't even try and also the student who succeeds without having to try.

Just so you know....

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