Quick Links and Learning to Read

Here are some of the recent (writing related) blogs/sites that I’ve read and thought would be good to share here!

Eat Your Lima Beans — Albert Berg talks about the importance of doing particular writing steps that we dislike, but which make us better writers. Personally, I have always had trouble with writing regularly but I have finally gotten a schedule into place! (32 days and counting on 750words.com).

Penzu, I found this site through 750 Words. Really I do NOT need a new place to write, but the pages of this online journal are so pretty. I already have a mild obsession with actual journals and notebooks, could I be developing one about online journals as well? I am trying to figure out how I can use Penzu, and am thinking it might be a place to store a lot of my class notes–as I don’t like writing notes in Microsoft Word, but could really use a place for them that is easily searchable. (For those of you in grad school/doing research, Zotero is also really useful. You can create “libraries” of documents, and import works cited into a document with just a click! I really need to get better acquainted with it, as it will probably save my butt come August when I have my general exam).

I Know Lots of Words This last one was on the Freshly Pressed Page today, and is a mom’s reflection about watching her kindergarten-aged kid learn how to read. I am a sucker for stories about little kids. This made me remember my own process of learning to read (and spell).

Letter Land book cover

I don’t remember much from kindergarten, but in first grade we lived in England, and we learned reading/spelling through “Letter Land” and its host of characters, like Annie apple and the Hairy Hat Man.

There were lots of stories for remembering the certain sounds letters make when they are together. For example S and H together are “sh” because the Hairy Hat Man does not like the hissing noise that Sammy Snake makes, and tells him to be quiet, saying “sh.”
Sammy Snake and Hairy Hat Man

According to Wikipedia, they have changed some of the original names , I guess to be more politically correct? Poor Robber Red, is now the Red Robot. Most of the changes are okay, but I can’t believe they changed The Wicked Witch to Walter Walrus! The stories that have most stuck in my mind were about the Wicked Witch. For example when she tried to steal Oscar Orange’s bag of oranges, and slipped in water, yelling out “OW” (hence the ow sound when these two letters are together.)

Another strong memory I have from first grade was the day I learned that when has a silent h in it. I had been spelling it wen, because that is how it sounded! I was so shocked to learn that was not correct. (I had even asked my friend, and she had assured me it was wen.)

What are some of your memories about learning to read and write? Also, what are you reading/listening to? (Blogs/books/poems/authors/anything…) Feel free to share here!

image source: http://www.letterlandcanada.com/about/letterland

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