Traditionally, reading has been taught by phonetic decoding which starts with the letters and their sounds to pronounce the word. Kusoma starts with meaning. Before spoken language developed, the baby understood words like mother, food, toy, etc. That understanding is what is meant by meaning. When a child learns to understand a spoken word, there is a connection between meaning and hearing that word.
In Kusoma, reading connects the written word to meaning. Listening and speaking and reading and writing are parallel forms of language. If children can do one, they can do the other.
Look Listen Think
The student looks at a word
The teacher says the word
The child thinks about the word. About 2 seconds.
The teacher says the word.
The student says the word
Follow this procedure for 5 (or more) words and evaluate.
Show all the words to the student
Say a word and have the child point
Point to a word and have the child say it
If the student can either point or say the words, move on.
If not, have another trial.
If the student can point to but not say the word, the student may be a slow reader/dyslexic
If the student can say the word but not point to it, only 15% of dyslexics fall in this category and little is known.
The best way for a student to remember the words that were learned is to use those words in a sentence. The best time to start with sentences is as soon as a child learns a new word. This means the words you choose to teach are the words that will make up sentences, so choose carefully. Have words like a, an, the, etc. available and the student can use them in the sentences.
Here are some strategies:
Copy a sentence in view using word cards.
Write a sentence from memory with word cards.
Use the word cards to make sentences the teacher says.
Use the word cards to create their own sentences.
For homework, key in the sentences on a smartphone
The handwriting part may be delayed depending on the child’s fine motor skills. The child will then use cards provided by the teacher or keyboard.
The student handwrites on cards 2 sets of the words that were learned. These give the student some writing experience and will be used later. Each student is given a folder where they store the reading cards and other lessons.
Kusoma says postpone the alphabet until the child can read. The child can read some words and you can teach them the letters in those words. Take the second set of word cards and have the children cut them into individual letters.
When dealing with spelling, do not ask the children to say the letters as is typically done. Verbal repetition is the way spelling is taught when you are using phonetic decoding.
Rather ask the students to image the letters of a word. When they need to spell bring up the image. The children have their own word cards that they can look at while
they practice imaging.
Show or say the word and then ask them to use the letters to write the word. They are now spelling.
The children have a set time to enter the lesson words. Have a chart showing progress. For homework, the children enter their words in the Kusoma app and start their own dictionary. Introduce Word on the phone from an Office account.
Let the students use the new Kusoma apps to learn new words and use them to write a story by hand and keyboard it. This is the start of a language arts curriculum and is an entrance requirement for Primary 1.
Appendix Kusoma app when available
Teach the student to enter a new word and have the app say it.
Enter a list of words you want to teach. The first word is Go. When the student taps the Next key, it leads to words you want to teach. The word Back comes after the last word to be learned. The student now taps the Previous key. But this time when the word appears, the student says they word if learned or tap the Say key to get reinforcement. The student is then evaluated