Today was day one of doing the Morning Message with Jenna. This is a classic, Whole Language, way teachers deliver early reading instuction, and set the tone for the day. This idea works well for children just learning to read, but it can also work for kids who are 2nd graders who might still be struggling. You just vary the content a bit. It doesn’t have to be a Morning Message. An Evening Message would work just as well, and could be a fun thing to do as a family at the dinner table.
There are several tricks that make Morning Messages work. The first is to be patterned and predictable. Every day is almost the same. “Morning Message. Today is ______. Jenna is going to_____” This gives children the chance to anticipate what is coming.
Another trick is to over exaggerate while you sound out words aloud while you write the Morning Message. When you get to words that don’t make sense phonetically, like Wednesday, you make a big deal about that too. “Wed-nes-day” That doesn’t make any sense!”
You can also do fun things like circle the child’s name, or use special colors. Getting the whole family involved in supporting the child, is also a good idea.
I started doing Morning Message with Bruce when he was about 19 or 20 months. By two, he was able to read it himself. We’ll see how things go with his sister!