So, one of the things I do several times a week is make Power Point presentations for the world’s smallest CEOs–the slideshow format works surprisingly well for teaching kids how to decode words. To wit:
- Create text box with first letter or sound/spelling correspondence.
- Insert another text box with second phoneme, jazzed up with “Animations–appear” so that it shows up when you hit the space bar after the kids have said the first one.
- Repeat as needed for all other phonemes.
- Voilá, finale! Insert a photo of the thing you’ve just spelled out to appear on the next slide along with the whole word.
It’s been an especially good format for my students who have severe language disabilities, because it lets me build their vocabulary while working primarily on phonics. And, I confess, I’ve used it in slightly subversive ways. Most of my students are children of color, so I make sure the photos show diversity, but I also do things like intentionally show a FEMALE long-I pilot or a MAN verb cooking dinner.
Tonight, as I knocked out the long-E spelled EA powerpoint a couple hours past my bedtime, I realized that I might have a problem with taking this a bit too far. Caught myself, having Google-image searched “circus dogs” in order to illustrate the sentence “these dogs do neat tricks”, searching several pages past a perfectly serviceable photograph of poodles jumping through hoops.
Because my brain had noticed that the poodles were all white.