Recent Posts

September 9, 2009

The Power to Read with Super Why!

Over the summer TD and I have been performing a bit of an experiment. In May we went to PBS and while I learned all about the making of her favorite show Super Why, TD and her sister, The Comedian enjoyed some time with Clifford, arts and crafts and a healthy, fun lunch.

Once we got home and opened up the PBS backpack full of activities TD and I began to get down to work. If you don't know about Super Why then here's a bit of background on the show. Our challenge was to watch the same episode (The Three Little Pigs) over a series of five days in an at-home workshop. "Easy peasy!" We said. After all, it's TD's go-to show.

First let me say this- Repetition is the key to learning, which is why we watched the same episode repeatedly. Each time we viewed the The Three Little Pigs episode we watched it from a different characters point of view with TD donning a Super Why characters mask. She loved that. Each day, with each character TD and I did activties provided by PBS. Think of it as educational bonding.

Day 1: Lickety Letters! It's Alpha Pig! TD seems to have a love/hate relationship with this little pink guy. However, she sailed through the two worksheets that PBS provided. Activity 1 had her finding and circling letters that were hidden in a picture. Activity 2 was an alphabet worksheet that we used to spell her name. Each sheet was quick and simple. It was all the time I got out of TD. She clued in to what we were doing right away. I was impressed.

Day 2: Wonderrific Wonder Red! We viewed The Three Little Pigs again this morning. TD is supposed to be able to use auditory and/or visual discrimination to decipher between family words. TD was excited to don her Wonder Red mask and "transform" with her. She is really beginning to get into viewing the show interactively. She didn't really do that before even with my help. She runs to the screen and helps Wonder Red out each time. Even Alpha Pig. We race through the two activity sheets adding in missing letters and matching words with pictures (Wall, Fall, Ball, etc). That last one amazed me. TD matched them all perfectly. I feel bad for being amazed. She's smarter than I thought.

Day 3: Spectacular Spelling with Princess Presto! TD's undeniable favorite in the Super Why characters. She eagerly places the mask on her face and doesn't even want to watch The Three Little Pigs. She just wants to do the activity sheets. Today we are identifying pictures and selecting letters that make the sound that the pictures starts with. This is tough! She matches the correct letter at about the second time per picture. The next worksheet is a bit harder and it doesn't hold her attention quite as well. As we look at the letters from the episode we are to look around the room and find objects that begin with those letters. She gets three out of ten and she is tired. I don't care. The fact that she thought of 'ground' for G and 'table' for T blows my mind. Truthfully, I don't think we would have been there a week ago.

Day 4: Super Why Day! It's time for reading comprehension, reading words and the effect that different words can have in the meaning of sentence. I have an intake of breath because this one is going to be hard. She's three. Yes, she has watched this show four times now but finishing a sentence and reading comprehension? Yikes! TD is a trooper though. She knows her wolf picture and counting is her game. She blows me away with doing both worksheets correctly. I am so proud!

Day 5: The Three Little Pigs Final Assessment. TD has dragged her Three Little Pigs pop-up book from the dollar store off her book shelf and has read it to me. This proves she knows the story. She stumbles a bit when it comes to the spelling of words like "pig" and "big" but she knows the first letter for each word. She knows her opposites, can point to words when I ask her to and I see a glimmer of reading going on here. Five days and my kid can decipher words! I squeeze her hard each time she progresses further in the assessment. Her literacy skills have come a long way in just a week and if we keep this up she'll be reading in no time.

Throughout the summer TD and I watched Super Why, read stories and worked on other activity sheets. We visit the Super Why website and I have a feeling that if we keep this up she'll be full on reading by the middle of this school year. I stand amazed and so proud of my little girl. If PBS had not sent us home with this program I would have never known where to begin or that she was even capable of these types of activities at this point. Super Why is a great show and one that really teaches kids 'the power to read.'
A big THANK YOU to PBSKids and their great staff who not only took wonderful care of us that day and showed me and my child a great way to work together.

MPR Rating: Five Stars.


Tiffany @ Lattes And Life said...

Aiden LOVES SuperWhy. He just spent forever tonight watching clips on the website. He's picked up quite a bit from the show.