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Bubblegum writing

Another tip from Lori Jamison, speaking at the recent Reading for the Love of It conference.

When she’s trying to get young children to sound out words, she calls it “bubblegum writing.”

She tells them to pretend the word they want to write–let’s say, “camping”–is a piece of bubblegum.

With one hand, you s-t-r-e-t-c-h the bubble gum from your mouth out into the air.

You’re stretching the word.

With the other hand, you write down each letter as you say it. Like this:

C….a….m…..p….ing

The child writes: k m p n

It’s not “book writing” yet, of course, but they’ve learned how to manipulate a word to figure out the sounds within it. And that’s a pretty great start!

A related tip – every day she teaches one new word, spelled properly. And then she says, “now, whenever we want to write that word, that’s how we’ll write it.” She always starts with “I” because it’s easy and it’s about the child. So in a very short time, a child will be able to write:

“I wnt kmpn.” Not bad.

Sorry about this photo. Lip gloss – not good. But it was all I could find. As with all of my blog photos, one must use one’s imagination!
Wanna hear something cool? Two days ago, CBC radio picked my account of teaching literacy to a young adult, to win a small prize. The bigger prize was that Rita Celli read my article on the air. Thanks, CBC!

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