Thursday, March 3

Tools to help your child learn the alphabet sounds (phonetics)and making words from them

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It's a really interesting year for me this year - last year with Eloise starting school I still had 2x4 year olds with me every day - and so that limited the amount of volunteering and class involvement I had at school.  I really felt sad for Eloise because she kept asking me in particular to be a 'reading mum' I suspect because she's quite naturally gifted in the reading area, she wanted an opportunity for me to watch her shine.

So this year I am doing 'reading mums'.  Both with Laura's and Eloise's classes.  I'm a 'Maths Mum' for Olivia's class.  So needless to say, I am at school three mornings a week and that promise of 'personal time' isn't looking as plentiful as I first thought.

I'm loving it though - it's really helping me help my girls at home and I'm more in touch with what they are learning in the classroom.

I have two girls in two different kindergarten classes and so the teachers approach things differently.  I'm noticing one of my girls is getting the concept of sounds and 'glue-ing' sounds together to make words than the other - and this could be down to learning style - but I've noticed since I made the same tool at home that one uses at school - she's improved a lot.

The girls love doing it and I feel like I'm really contributing to their reading skills.  I've always been a reader (and a writer!)

So what you do:

  1. Print out all the pages (4 in total) from here (PDF file - 60.71kb)
  2. Laminate the pages if you have access to a laminator - if you don't - don't worry - you just may need to reprint at a later date.
  3. Cut out all the letters so they are individual squares
Then you have a kit!

Then you start with your sounds!  We started with a, s, t, m and then have built on them each week by adding f, i, d, e and this week we've added l, h, b and o.  I'm pretty sure after that comes n, c, p, u  and then g, k, r, w and then j, v, y with q, x an z last.

If you're not sure on how you should be sounding out words phonetically - i.e. as sounds not letters - example: pronounce the letter 'i' like a sharp 'i' as in 'igloo' not 'i' like 'eye'.  Here's a chart which you can print to help with the right pronunciations.

You start off your time with the two sound board.  And using the first week - you can use a,s,t m to ask your child how many sounds they hear in the words at, am, at - and then ask them if they can show you the letters and then place them on the tiles.  Then placing their finger on the dot, they move across whilst saying the sounds out loud to glue the letters together.

Then you can move on to 3 letter words like sat, tam, mat. 

Introduce the new letters each week and reinforce the previous letters by adding them in to make more works like sit, set, fed, etc.

Later on down the track you may want to make your own 4 letter mat too!

We are loving this and now my girls are after 4 weeks of school and not really knowing their phonetics at all - identifying words of their own!  They are amazing me!  I store them in a big ziplock bag - it's a great way to spend one-on-one time with your kids whilst helping their reading skills!

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2 lovely comments:

NuggetsMum on March 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

fab Liss, thank you posting this I will definitely be using it... x

Fussy Eater's Mum on March 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Thank you for this. I too have started helping out at the Darling's school and love it for exactly the same reasons. Their school is also doing phonics. At first I was unhappy that when asked to spell 'dog', they would respond "du-uh-ga", but their reading is going so well with knowing the sounds, that I figured how cares? We've also been using the acb's Reading Eggs program, both on line and in book form. It's been a good tool too.


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