The alphabet, or rather the ability to form words from letters has become of great interest to Sam and he loves to sit at my laptop and type his own name, over and over and over again. Ess Ay Em. Sam! Ess Ay Em. Sam!
He is a marvel at spotting the Ess Ay Em within text no matter where it may be and is thrilled when he recognises his name out of the blue. Sam is in sample and same, and in master and Christmas.
He is constantly getting me to spell out his friends’ names so that he can proudly type them alongside his own while declaring his love for his preschool playmate of the moment.
So, as we read stories together I’ve been trying to point out key words, like “dinosaurs” or “robot,” “digger” or “dumptruck”, that could capture his attention. I’ve started trying to prompt him to perhaps figure out what some easy words may say for himself. Sam is keen to read stories to an always intent and listening Bagpuss, and Bagpuss is very demanding and insists on hearing many tales. Anyway, this leads me to my little anecdote of the day before I head to bed.
Here I am trying to get Sam to read a word in his book. Just one word, and it’s a short word. A nice and easy, simple word.
Or so I thought.
“Hey, Sam, can you help me with this? What’s this letter?”
-“It’s a Bee!”
“And this one?”
-“I don’t know. It’s an Aye” (Sam’s answers are always prefaced with a grin, and an “I don’t know,” and swiftly followed up a more considered, and usually correct (or totally off the wall) response thereafter.”
“And this one?”
– “I don’t know. It’s a Gee”
“So there’s a B, an I and a G… that’s buh, ih, ger. Buh Ih Guh. ”
– “Buh Ih Ger” Sam echoes.
I repeat the sounds again, “Buh Ih Guh.”
“So what do you think that word says Sam?”
(Hmm, Can you tell where this is going yet?)
Sam thinks, looks at me with a fresh faced three year old’s grin, and says…
“B I G spells…..