Building Words

I have purposefully been taking it slow in regards to reading and writing for my 5-year-old. Her speech disorder makes language arts more difficult for her, so I have really tried to maintain the balance of encouraging her and letting her lead her own way. She loves writing and learning to read, so I think I am doing a decent job!

Over the last 6 months, here and there, I have introduced some phonics games/lessons. She has expressed interest in reading but hadn’t yet grasped the concept of reading the sounds to form a word. The last game we played (from the book, Games for Reading), she could read sounds from individual letters, but had a hard time combining the sounds to form words.

So I was pleasantly surprised when earlier this week she could combine sounds to form words with little guidance! I love these little affirmations that she will get there, in her own way, in her own time!

We did a variation on the game, Building Words, from the book, Playful Learning. I placed objects in a bag that represented CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. I chose CVC words with the vowel A: car, cat, dad, hat, lad, mat, and sat. Cards for each letter were placed on a table. Each child picked an object out of the bag and then had to form the word with the letter cards.

(I should mention that the 3-year-old loves to be included in everything, so she picked out objects too, but the spelling was left mostly to her older sister.) M would sometimes start with the last sound of a word (eg, she would pick t for the start of sat), but when I both reiterated to start with the beginning sound and slowed down my pronunciation of the word (saying each sound slowly, something that we do in her speech therapy), she was able to spell each word correctly! After spelling the word, we read the word together a few times.

We will definitely be playing this game some more! I think I will make a few different bags of words to place on her shelf for her to play with whenever she wants.

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  • "Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is. " - John Holt
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