One of the most powerful teaching tools for learning letters and reading words are magnetic letters. The letters can be touched, seen, and moved quickly without a child having to focus on forming letters.
Learning letters : If your child doesn’t know all sounds and names of letters, you can do letter sorts. First you should check which letters are known, and mix up a few unknown letters with the known letters. Use four different letters and about three of each. Have your child point and name letters and use the sound. If your child doesn’t know a letter, you can say the sound and name, and your child can repeat after you. Try some online games to learn letters also. Click here to find a site to learn letter names and sounds. Click here to find a game matching uppercase and lowercase letters. Click here to listen to a different song for each letter of the alphabet.
Sight words: These are common words. Some follow rules, some do not. The key is to get your child to know these words automatically. Spell the word, mix it up, and put it back in order. Focus on about two or three words at a time. Continue with these until your child easily reads them in books and knows them with flashcards. When teaching sight words try to teach rules and important letter combinations at the same time. Click here for my advice and other resources. Click here for a list of Fry's Sight Words.
Click here to Find My Favorite Magnetic Letter Work Products From Amazon. I try to update this page to include items with FREE SUPER SAVER SHIPPING.
Hearing sounds in words: Spell two and three letter words. These words usually follow CV, CVC, and VC rules. The vowel in a (consonant-vowel) CV pattern will usually have the long sound. Examples: go, no, so, he, me, we, be . . . The vowel in a (consonant-vowel-consonant) CVC pattern will usually have the short sound. Examples: cat, dog, mom, dad, bad, sad, mad, can, ran, man, rat, bat, hat, sat, win, hit, fit, fin, ten, get, wet, sun, fun, run, hot, hop, got, lot, top…The vowel in a (vowel-consonant) VC pattern will usually have a short sound. Examples: in, it, on, at, am, is, if . . .
You can introduce blends and diagraphs. Click here for an online game to practice using blends and diagraphs. Here's a video I found to practice blends.
Beginning Blends: fr, fl, spl, gr, st… Examples: frog, free, flat, splat, grin, stop
Ending Blends: nd, nt, lk, mp, st, ft … Examples: hand, went, milk, jump, last, lift
Diagraphs: ch, tch, sh, th, wh … Examples: chin, she, thin, when, pitch, fish, with
The letter y is sometimes considered a vowel. The y makes a long i sound in one syllable words and a long e sound in two syllable words. Examples: my, why, try, fly, by… happy, baby, family … Watch a video teaching the long i and long e sounds y can make.
Playing with words: Start by changing the beginning sound in a word to make a rhyme. Examples: (cat, bat, hat, rat) (rug, bug, snug) (ten, when, then, men) The next difficult task involves changing the ending sound. Examples: (can, cat, cap) (rug, run) (bug, bun, but) Try out this online game for practice with rhyming words.
Other examples: (park, mark, spark) (park, part) (out, shout, pout) (out, our) (how, now, wow) (how, howl) (hop, stop, step)
Magnetic letters will allow you to play with words, and every child likes to play.