A big part of learning to read is learning phonics rules. I love to use magnetic letters to practice phonics rules. Kids love magnetic letters too!
Find out how to organize magnetic letters here.
Please check out these next videos and consider purchasing a set of magnetic letters and a magnetic easel.
There's so much learning that can be done with magnetic letters. Children learn so much through play. Turn a child loose with magnetic letters. That child will explore and learn in ways parents and teachers couldn't even imagine.
I suggest doing a little focused instruction but take some time to let a child learn and explore in creative inventive ways.
Magnetic letters allow children who aren't good at writing an opportunity to work with letters. The learning that can happen with magnetic letters is impressive. I suggest them to every parent with a young child. If keeping them organized seems like too much work, just store them in a tub or bag.
You can teach letter formation with finger paint. I use manuscript style printing, but you can adapt to whatever form of printing you teach. If you are a parent, you may want to check which type of printing your child's school teaches.
I mentioned the schwa sound in the first video. Please check out this post to learn more about the very common and rarely taught schwa sound.
Reading Bear is a free site that teaches phonics rules.
Reading Horizons has software and online programs that teach phonics rules.