Saturday, March 21, 2009

Colour is essential!

This week I've had several reasons to reflect on how important colour is - not only in our homes and clothes but also in learning! This is how the week went...
I bought a huge pack of whiteboard pens for home and teaching, and Son 2 was transformed from a sulky boy who deeply resented his spelling homework into a model student - all because of colour!
My French teacher, Francoise, has had me polishing up my masculine/feminine nouns (always a problem for non-native speakers) by making a red pot and a blue pot, and filling them with words I encounter! This is an unsually hands-on method of learning for the French - Francoise is great! I used some of the charming polkadot paper from my Easter craft packs to decorate the pots this week.Then I started looking at the use of colour in my own teaching. I spray-painted these wooden letters years ago. Here my youngest pupil, who is just learning to read, is using them. The consonants are blue and the vowels are red, a well-known strategy for helping children to see the patterns in spelling and how vowels differ from the rest of the letters! See the patterns...
They are also useful when you're older - another pupil here is using them to make the word 'people', which is one of those horrible little words, isn't it? He'd got a bit of a mental block with writing it, so we switched to making it with the letters, which he can feel and see, and ended up timing him - he can now make the word 'people' perfectly in about 6 seconds!
So, I think that colour is not just an indulgence in life, but is frankly part of what makes life work. It's wonderful to live in a colourful world!


Sal said...

I like the whiteboard idea for spellings!! If I had room in my 'classroom', I would buy one!

Shabby Chick said...

Colour rocks! I like the idea of the coloured letters, won't be long til my eldest is learning to read (at the moment she recognises all the numbers up to 20 and the letter C) so I will bear it in mind :)

Mel xxx

Ali ~ Betty & Violet said...

I couldn't agree more! I think the idea of the painted wooden letter is great!

juanita of juanitatortilla said...

Oh, learning should be fun!
I imagine French would be a little more difficult with its accents.
German has its quirks too -- Maskuline, Feminin, and Neutral nouns. So I'm armed with Blue, Red, and Green pens!