Two skills children need to master in their journey to independent reading are segmenting and blending sounds. Segmenting is breaking a word apart into individual sounds and blending is very simply the ability to combine the sounds together smoothly. When we tell a child to sound it out , this is really what we are asking them to do. This activity was designed for my son who is a great reader but who will often read so quickly that if he encounters a word he doesn’t know he simply guesses and continues. If I ask him to sound the word out he will still often guess and get frustrated at me for asking instead of slowing down and doing it even though he is perfectly capable of doing so. I had to come up with a playful way that would force him to chill a little, slow it all down and focus on the sounds. This activity can be adapted for any level even single sounds or sight words. We did a similar one for toddlers exploring letters here.
- Gather your materials. You will need some white paper, white wax crayon, dark water color ( container is you need one) , a little water and a paint brush. I also used a clipboard to keep the pages secure while painting.
- Start by writing out the words you want your child to stretch out. I used a book we’ve recently read to help me think of some words. Many of the words I chose were not a challenge to read , the challenge is to get him to slow down and stretch them out. For new readers you will want to do words like cat, dog, ball, map, off, snap etc… but know that older children and more proficient readers can still work on this skill with more complex words.
- Next I popped the black water color into the jar and added just a little water. To do this well you want a lot of color but not too much water .
- I invited my little reader and explained that he needed to paint over the words SLOWLY and read as he went, then to read the whole word normally. I had to emphasize that the goal was not to guess the word after painting over the first few letters, that the right way to do it was to carefully say each sound then put the word back together.
- The activity was an instant hit. It really did get him to slow it down and pay attention to all the sounds in the words instead of just guessing. I was happy to find a tool for him to keep working on these skills without making him feel like I was giving him a remedial task. Quick activities likes this one can be thrown together easily with some really fantastic benefits to your child’s reading ability.
One of my greatest passions in life is to help children learn to read and develop a love of books. Now that I am out of the classroom and online one way I do that is to help other parents support their own children’s learning. Digging to find activities, ideas for struggling readers ,and just the right book has never been easier. I have found incredible reading resources via Pinterest and want to share them with you. These 6 boards have consistently useful pins for all things early literacy. Check them out !
1.Reading & Writing Readiness by us … but really it’s a community board made up of great bloggers and wonderful reading and writing ideas.
Do you have a favorite board on Pinterest ? Leave a link in comments so we can check it out!
The school year is almost over and if you are like me you have already started planning your family calendar for the whole season. Before you declare all the planning done take some time and plan your summer reading adventure!
Summer reading isn’t just for fun it’s the best way to prevent summer slide. Did you know that it’s estimated that teachers spend on average 4-6 weeks re-teaching material children have forgotten over the summer? Think of all the time that teachers could have for other things if we send our kids ready to learn new material instead of reviewing and re-learning . My kids and I brainstormed fun, silly and educational ideas for summer reading and came up with this bucket list. Follow the links to book recommendations .
- Read in a tent.
- Read a book about wild animals.
- Read a book in the bath.
- Read a book under a tree.
- Read a book about a city far away.
- Read at dinner.
- Read a magazine.
- Read as a family.
- Read a book about your country.
- Read in a blanket fort.
- Read a book about friendship.
- Read a comic book.
- Read at the park.
- Read a magazine.
- Read a book about art.
- Read a book that makes your laugh.
- Read a book with a flashlight.
- Read a book to a pet.
- Read at the beach.
- Read a book about space.
- Read a book in a funny accent.
- Read a book while having ice cream.
- Read a book then act it out.
- Read a book and capture it on video.
- Read a biography.
- Read a book with chapters.
- Read a book about bugs.
- Read a book without any words.
- Read an alphabet book.
- Read a pop up book
- Read at breakfast.
- Read a book you wrote yourself.
- Read an ebook .
- Read all summer long.
As you know together with Amy Mascott I write all about family literacy for Scholastic Parent’s Raise A Reader blog . On Monday night we will be taking over Scholastic Parent’s Facebook page for a great kick off of their Scholastic Summer Challenge. This year is set to be the best yet and Amy and I will be answering questions to get you and your family ready for a summer filled with reading. Do not miss it!
Getting my son learning after school isn’t always easy because he’s just been at school all day! This rhyming game was originally supposed to be a Frisbee like game with the hula hoops acting as targets but my dollar store plates were too light and even doubled up wouldn’t fly well. So we turned it into a hunt and my daughter came along for the ride and everyone had fun . You could adapt this easily for different levels using upper and lowercase as pairs to match, sight words ( writing out two and finding the match) or word families. Even though my almost 3 year old participated this activity is part of our Learning After School series . This series is filled with ideas for fun active learning after school gets out.
- Gather your materials. You will need some cheap plastic plates ( just don’t expect them to make good Frisbees… ) , a sharpie and some hula hoops.
- Start by writing some words on the plates. I chose 4 words that offered lots of rhyming words. Bake, car, band and hat.
- Write out as many rhyming words on the rest of the plates for each as you think will offer your child the right amount of challenge. You can always have a few extra on hand to hide on the go if your child is into it and you want to extend it.
- Place the anchor words ( bake, car, band and hat) in the hula hoops.
- Hide the other plates.
- Get your kids ready – I had my son agree that he’d let his sister find her share and not zoom through and grab them all . He also offered up his reading and rhyming skills to help. I wasn’t sure how it would play out … if you are doing this with a number of children with similar rhyming and reading abilities a great way to do it is to start each child off with a different word and have them search only for words that rhyme with their assigned word. * Whenever I am explaining rules I start with a quick game of Simon Says. It gets them focused.
- It was great. He needed a reminder not to grab all the plates but one reminder was enough. They would find a plate, run over and match the rhymes. She got a few solo ( after we read them of course) and he would do his in his head throwing them down fast. But then when she was stumped he took time to help his sister saying things like ” Do you hear they sound the same? Cake and bake rhyme.” It was still pretty much over her head but he got great practice being patient and teaching her. You can see him stretching out the words for her as a hint. Best part is the plates store easily and you can add more when you want to play again.
Books That Rhyme
Here are 25 great books that rhyme . When reading these books with your kids take some time to play with the rhymes , not every single on but a few. Be silly and have fun. Do things like use a synonym in the place of a rhyming word in the familiar text. When your child corrects you explain that the word means the same thing. They will insist it’s still not right . Ask them why. Continue reading. Pretending not to know the answer and letting my kids answer for me always gets a good laugh and the lesson sticks as well.
by Allison McDonald Learning to read is not a crash course that kids take and are done with once they can read Dick and Jane without any help. Learning to read is developmental and starts when a newborn looks at you and hears you talking to them. Below are 50 pieces to the reading puzzle . 50 ways that you and your child can have fun knowing that they are working on early literacy development and learning to love books. This is not definitive checklist it’s a buffet of options to help support your child as they develop literacy skills and become independent readers. Find ideas that work for your family with your child and their current development. Click through the linked items for more details and how to do the activity with your child.
- Read to your child.
- Play rhyming games.
- Sing the alphabet song with them.
- Label things with their names from an early age.
- Go to the library even when they are at that loud voice only stage.
- Have non fiction books as well as fiction available .
- Tell stories.
- Have books all over your house.
- Teach the letter sounds by emphasizing the sounds in words they hear often from a young age.
- Provide fun and interesting books for them to read.
- Get a magazine subscription and read it together.
- Make play dough letters.
- Play the alphabet game on road trips.
- Read the mail together.
- Make a reading nook.
- Clap out syllables.
- Make letter crafts.
- Make reading play time .
- Notice letters in the environment.
- Learn about how books work and other concepts of print.
- Let them choose their own books at the library or bookstore.
- Leave them notes in their lunchboxes .
- Play with foam letters in the bath. Use bath toys to make up and tell stories.
- Make your own books.
- Play eye spy with letters and letter sounds. ” I spy something that starts with the letter B. Buh buh book!”
- Give your children books as gifts.
- Make up silly songs together.
- Ask them to read the pictures to you before they can read the words.
- Play library.
- Read the book then see the movie for a family treat.
- Play with word families.
- Read books with no words and share storytelling duties.
- Let them see you reading for fun.
- Read nursery rhymes.
- Explore and trace tactile letters.
- Play listening games.
- Retell and have your children retell stories after reading them.
- Ask your child questions about elements of the story as you read with them. This works on comprehension.
- Read books at lunchtime .
- Take books with you when you travel.
- Build with letter blocks or make your own.
- Do word searches.
- Play sight word games.
- Download an e-reader app on your smartphone and instead of handing them it to play a game make it a treat to use it to read.
- Read comics and graphic novels with them.
- Talk your your kids using regular words not “kiddie” words.
- Read them poetry.
- Get their bodies moving to learn letters.
- Read them their favorite book over and over and over even if it’s making you want to poke your eyes out.
- Make reading part of their bedtime routine from day one.