Rock N Learn is an educational company founded by a couple who has a background of working in schools. In the past year, I’ve sampled several DVDs from the company. Teaching my daughter with the curriculum has been a positive experience. Now, as I homeschooled my daughter for preschool, I tried out the Sight Words Level 2 video. With my background as a certified K-6 teacher, I often found myself considering how the video used best educational practices. When I attended Vanderbilt University for my M.Ed in Elementary Education, literacy was my favorite topic. Literacy is important to children’s learning because a literate child can learn any topic by reading about it. While homeschooling my daughter, I encouraged literacy development and used varied strategies that include using DVDs.
Watching the video, I tried it out over several weeks to better comprehend it. Repeatedly viewing the video helped me examine the educational material. I spent a lot of time seeing how my daughter reacted to the teaching that the video provided. When I was in graduate school, I gained insight into how learning doesn’t happen every time that teaching takes place. During my review process, I payed attention to the teaching strategies as well as the learning that happened.
Using a storyline, the video introduced the topic of bears with footage of actual bears to help activate kids’ prior knowledge. Delving into literacy instruction, the video showed subtitles as it used spoken language. Sentences used similar words and repetition to help teach the information. After asking where is black bear, the video asked where is white bear. Repeatedly, the video used words to help expose my daughter to the sight words and to help with memorization.
Some of the video focused on verbs, including the words “say” and “said.” When the video covered the words “do” and “did,” Samantha said “D-I-D!” Because my daughter was participating, I felt that the video did a great job of engaging her. To teach verbs, the video gave clues about how the words should fit into sentences. One of the problems was to fit the word “run” or “ran” into the sentence, “I BLANK to the mailbox yesterday.” Successfully, the video taught verb tense, which was something that my daughter really needed to learn. Another problem was, “I want to (eat or ate) lunch right now.” I loved that the video explained that the right answer was the word “eat” because “eat” was present tense. For more advanced kids, learning verb tense would be very valuable, in helping kids learn to improve their grammar.
My daughter learned to spell “what” and “the” independently as she looked at the practice sentences. I knew that learning had taken place. When the practice sentence was on the screen, I paused the video to take advantage of a wonderful teaching moment. I asked her if she recognized any of the words. Impressively, she said the word that she recognized it and spelled it accurately out loud.
While teaching sight words, the video reviewed the words that it had already covered in meaningful sentences. Learning about the words in sentences about bears was meaningful because my daughter had already watched the video footage about bears, so she knew more about bears. As a former language arts teacher, I loved that the video covered how to make a plural word. My daughter learned that the ending “-s” meant more than one, as she showed later in the day when she accurately answered a question about which word would mean more than one frog.
Another part of the video was a story about a boy and girl going for a ride in a boat. Often the video used memorization of songs, repeated readings, and sing alongs to teach literacy. My daughter was excited to refresh her memory of rhyming words with the words “dog,” “log” and “frog.” My baby Georgiana was dancing along with the songs. For my older daughter Samantha’s continued growth, the video offered a bonus section that encouraged her to grab a pencil and practice writing the words. The video covered a lot of content and it offered an entertaining storyline with songs to appeal to any age child.
To learn more, visit the company’s website.