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Question about ABC order

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    Question about ABC order

    I started 2nd grade core with my two special girls. They are enjoying it, especially
    Latin. They had difficulty today with ABC order on page 178 of SRA phonics. Is there an easier way to teach this? It is an important skill so I do not want to skip it. Susan

    Hi, Susan.

    Congratulations on starting!

    Yes, SRA is “busy” and challenging. You can modify page 178 of SRA Phonics 3 several ways:

    1. First, for any SRA page, consider obtaining a half-sheet of cardstock to cover some of the items. Present only one half-page at a time.

    2. Use a colored pencil and ruler to quickly divide the word lists with a horizontal line into two groups. This way they will need to alphabetize only three words at a time, instead of six. For example, on page 178, you could have the girls place “airplane,” “truck,” and “car” in alphabetical order, then “ship,” “bus,” and “jeep,” rather than all 6 at a time, if necessary.

    3. Even with fewer words, remember to direct them to the visual alphabet cue at the top of the page when needed, so they can visualize the alphabetizing process.

    4. When they can consistently alphabetize words that begin with different letters, only then introduce the concept at the top of page 178 regarding alphabetization according to the second letter (“beige, blue, brown.”)

    5. If this appears to be too much, shield the book from their view for a few minutes, and teach this concept “off the page.” Use a mini dry erase board (or blank piece of paper) to give examples. If needed, teach only two words at a time: “blue, brown; which is #1, which is #2?” Draw a line under (or draw in a different color) the second letter, if needed. Give another example from the list: “Sam,” “Steve,” which comes first?” Expand to three: “socks,” “sneakers,” “stockings” from the book.

    6. When they have become more skilled with these, move back to the book to complete the examples, some of which they will have already practiced with you! If needed, divide these lists into two or three words at a time, as above. Perhaps save the last row of five as a Bonus round. If they can alphabetize all five words correctly together as a team, they can earn a dish of ice cream for everyone or perhaps a family game after dinner. (Ice cream is always the favorite here.)


    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
    Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with Foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith