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Phonics

Look-say, whole language, phonics…what approach do you use to help your child who is learning to read? What method were you taught as a child? I am going to date myself here, but that’s alright. I grew up learning to read with Dick and Jane. Oh how I loved baby Sally, Spot the dog and Puff the cat, Mother, Father, and of course, Dick and Jane. I loved the pictures in the series, too. The problem is that I was not exposed to any phonics instruction until after second grade. YIKES!

                 

My family moved to a different town, and thus a new school, when I was going into third grade. My new school didn’t embrace sight words, they were very much into phonics. Uh-oh, that spelled trouble for me. Not having a basic understanding of phonics made completing worksheets in third grade a bit of a challenge. I was expected to know stuff that was foreign to me. I survived somehow.

When I was in college learning to be a teacher, whole language was riding high. I didn’t think I was the total answer though. My gut tells me that kids need a healthy mix of phonics, sight words for those that can’t be decoded, and great literature. Using a healthy mix of resources produces balanced kids who are ready to attack anything that comes their way. It’s a little like math. There are sometimes multiple ways to learn to do a specific problem. If you have been exposed to some of the various methods, the likely hood of you successfully solving the problem is high.

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Syllabication–Say What?

Interested in helping your child excel in learning to spell, read, and pronounce words correctly? I am going to bet you said yes. Understanding syllables and learning to segment words will go a long way toward achieving this goal. It will also help them master phonics and develop greater fluency.

Most kids begin learning about syllables or segmenting words in kindergarten. It can be lots of fun for them. Clapping syllables is one method that kids seem to enjoy. I’ve also had kindergarten kids to second graders hold their hand under their chin so they can feel every time their mouth opens. Each time the mouth moves, they know that is a syllable.

I decided to list a few neat resources for teaching about syllables, playing online games about segmenting,  and using hands-on activities with your class or child.

Syllables/Segmenting

How to Teach Syllabication: The Syllable Rules

Syllable Games

Syllable Counter & Word Count

How Many Sy/la/bles ?

Pro-Teacher Forum

Syllable Games

What tips and tricks do you use for teaching about syllables? Please leave a comment for everyone.

 

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Reading and Spelling Hold Hands

Does your child have trouble with reading skills? Maybe they need to work on spelling. Reading comprehension and spelling go hand-in-hand. It is crucial for kids to master five basic areas–phonemic awareness, phonics, reading, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency in order to be a successful reader. These skills all build upon each other. Check out a good reading skills pyramid to find out what your child needs to master and when. A fun way to practice reading/spelling skills is by playing neat online animal games.

 

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