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Waseca Biomes has developed a new language product, Waseca Sentence Building, which I am excited to share. If you are familiar with Waseca Reading Program, you will understand that this new material serves a transitory work towards reading related Waseca reading materials. Just as we believe that children should build words themselves using a Movable Alphabet, it makes sense to believe children should also be offered the opportunity to build sentences before reading phrases and sentences.
Why? Once I read this logical statement about encoding words (writing using the Movable Alphabet): Decoding words is a more abstract process than encoding words (writing words using a Movable Alphabet) . That is because someone else but the child build the word. When children encode words themselves, as inaccurately spelled as the words could be, they did build words themselves and this helps them integrate the concept of connecting symbols to construct meaning that is commonly understood.
Therefore, the same can be true for sentences. Children using word cards to build sentences go through the process of making meaning from individual words to coherent sentences that convey messages. Premade sentences are abstract and reflects someone else’s thoughts. Waseca Biomes provides a complete Instructional Guide that describes step by step how to conduct the first presentations. It is advised to let children build the sentence in a mixed order and read it to see if it makes sense. Waseca Sentence Building provides children an implicit preparation for Waseca Grammar Boxes with which children develop formal awareness of written syntactical structure using their prior knowledge, oral language. For example, words are placed in disorderly read and read aloud. The words may make sense individually, but not when put together. Children must think of the correct way to place the words to form a coherent sentence.
Material Content & Preparation
Waseca Sentence Building comes in a large box with 90 color-coded folders, a set of control cards with windows, picture cards, word cards, and a Guide to Presentation. You can store the folders in a set of wooden storage boxes available at Waseca Biome.
To prepare the materials, select the red folders, insert one red control card on one side, one red picture on the other side, and the corresponding small word cards in the smallest pocket. All the cards are labeled on the back from 1-10 to guide you. If you work in order of the way cards are stacked, you will sort the materials effortlessly. Create a crease in the middle of the folder by pressing with your fingers. A premade ridge will guide your fingers and create a nice fold. The folders are ready, place them near the Waseca corresponding reading program. On my picture, I only used the red/orange/yellow colors because we are using the program with one child who is not working on complex sentences yet. A classroom would require the whole sets to be out of various learners of all ages.
How to Use
The concept is simple and effective. You model working with the first card(s) of each colors by selecting a folder, by placing the control card in the middle of the working space, by placing the picture above the control card and the word cards at the bottom of the control card. Ask the child to describe the picture. Read the words aloud together. Place them in random order on the control card: “cat / The / sits.” Ask the child if this makes sense. Naturally, the child will know something sound wrong. Replace the cards in a logical order and read again. Other extensions are available on the Guide to Presentation.
This material is unique and I am sure it will become children’s favorite reading companion! Waseca Sentence Builder is an excellent transitionary work for emerging readers who are experienced with reading phonetically. For more information, visit http://www.wasecabiomes.org.
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