Drill and Practice

Many of you are already looking at preparations for the upcoming year. I thought this would be a good time to discuss the importance of review (drill and practice) and encourage you to be sure to include review time in your lessons. We all learn things through practice and children are no different. I’m sure my granddaughter has done her Diego puzzle at least 50 times since we bought it a few months ago and still gets it out every time she comes over! We must keep in mind that, although we may get bored doing these simple activities repeatedly, it is valuable learning time for children.

Reading is no different than learning a sport or an instrument – you have to practice the skills in order to improve. When teaching the sounds, always try to include a brief review of the other letter sounds already taught. The consonant drill (from Blackline Master 8 – Accuracy and Automaticity Drills for short vowels) which is available as a download on the website, is a great way to drill and practice the letter sounds once all have been introduced.

All of the Accuracy and Automaticity Drill packages offer quick and easy 1-minute timed drills of the various phonics skills and sight words children must be able to identify automatically. If you have volunteers available at school, that is a great program to get them involved in. You can also copy appropriate drill pages for each student and send the books home. It gets parents involved but doesn’t require a lot of time on their part. I’ve seen classroom teachers put these drill sheets up on an overhead projector or Smartboard and do a group drill with the students on a regular basis. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help in getting a drill program started in your class or school. learn@itchysalphabet.com or 1-877-368-7890