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Home  >  Family and Community  >  Family Features
Abbigale Hears in Color  -  Days of the Week and Other Words
By Hilary Seitz, Ph.D. « Prev   Page 3 of 7   Next »

In addition to inquiring about letters and numbers, I also asked about the days of the week and other words.  She told me the words were all in boxes.  The boxes intrigued me but I wasn't able to ask the right questions to understand this phenomenon until a later session in November.  All the days had a color inside a box.  Some of the days/months/words had symbols in them and all had some of the letters from the word.  When I asked her how the words looked [in the box] she would draw them for me.  Nearly all of the words were misspelled -- they were sound-spelled.  I asked her about the spellings and she just smiled, and on several of the occasions redrew the box with the same color and tried a different sound spelling (different letters but starting with the same letter, also same sound).  She told me she didn't really know how to spell the word but the color would stay the same in the box.  The symbol would stay the same (if it had a symbol), but she could change the spelling.  Most of the letters were in black.  She said if she was sure of how a word was spelled, the letters would change to the color of the word but darker.  She knew how to spell the days of the week. The color for a word was different if she knew the exact spelling.  She says that a word [a correct combination of letters] has a specific color.  If she doesn't know the spelling, the letters remain black and the background goes to the color.  In almost every word that she didn't know how to spell the box color was the color of the first letter.  For example, January, June, and July are all red and "J" is red. In addition to colors and symbols in the boxes, some words/boxes had textures.  The Friday box was turquoise with a dark turquoise knitted pattern (like knitted yarn).  She made the comment that she could change the boxes.  As an early literacy specialist, this was fascinating to me!

Abbigale's Chart of Days of the Week and Other Words
Listen to Audio
IBM Text to Speech
About the Author: Dr. Hilary Seitz is an Associate Professor and the Early Childhood Program Coordinator for College of Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage She has been teaching in the Early Childhood field since 1986 as an infant/toddler teacher, preschool teacher, primary grades teacher in public school, reading teacher, and as a college professor since 2003. Her research interests include: family-community partnerships, early literacy strategies, teacher research and reflection using observations and documentation, and currently she is exploring pre-service early childhood teacher education practices. In her free time, she enjoys reading, camping, skiing, hiking, sewing, cooking, and spending time with her family.
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