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The first thing you want to remember is that your purpose for drill is to make the subject to be learned imbedded in the mind so that it is easier to remember than to forget.

Repetition is the only way. The more something is repeated the more it is "hammered" into the brain where it is most unlikely to find a hiding place in the corner.

I used to tell my students, "Repetition makes Perfect!" and they used to repeat it back to me with smiles because they understood why they were having to go through drill exercises.

Drill can be a chore or it can be fun. That part is up to you as the teacher. Use your imagination and create vivid memory scenes. The following are a few ideas that have worked down through the years for me:

Be dramatic! Drama sticks out in the mind. Say what you are practicing in different voice tonal pitches or put some action to it.

You will want to take some of the following suggestions outside or to the gym. If you do this in your classroom you will want to have good control. Otherwise, the childeren will soon learn to manipulate you. Manipulation is the beginning of failure.

If you are learning the Digraphs, say the sounds as if you are a train on a railroad track and run around the table or the room three times, blowing your whistle, after saying the sounds in completion. You may prefer to be a plane and fly around the room making engine sounds. You may want to be a fish and swim around the room making gurgle sounds. Whatever you do (and your students will have other ideas), be sure to do it only after you have said the sounds of the Digraphs first.

Do the same for Blends or whatever it is that you are teaching.

Say the sounds like you have a sore throat. Oh my!

Say the sounds in melody. Sing them!

Say the sounds as your favorite cartoon character would say them!

Be a doctor. Say the sounds and prep each letter or combination for surgery. Your students will know how to pretend and will probably give you some ideas or what to do. Just don't let them take too much time on the dramatics and not enough time practicing the sounds.

Be in a wedding. Say the sounds as if you were in love.

Be a baby. Say the sounds as if you were an infant making baby noises or cry the sounds as if you were a very unhappy baby.

HAVE FUN but don't forget that your primary purpose is to TEACH. Use dramatics to make your drills enjoyable but don't allow the fun part to take up too much time.

Copyright 1997 by Bill and Janae Cooksey, All rights reserved. No part of this material may be published in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.