Reading/Language Activities

Beginning Sounds

Your child has continued working with beginning sounds and blending words during the school year, but it has been a while since these skills were discussed in at-home activities. At this end-of-the-year review time, it would be helpful for you to reinforce these skills at home.

First, practice identifying the beginning sounds in words. The purpose is not to identify the letter the word starts with, but just the sound. Ask your child to listen to a word and tell you the sound he or she hears at the beginning. (Use words that start with a single consonant or vowel, not words such as block, glass, star, and so on.) Say the word, emphasizing and slightly elongating the sound, such as sssun, lllamp, mmmarshmallow,. Note any beginning sounds that your child may have difficulty with and repeat words with that beginning sound later.

Blending

Another important skill is the ability to blend beginning sounds with the rest of the word. The words your child has worked with this year are one-syllable words, such as bed, dog, cut.

To practice blending, tell your child to listen as you say two parts of a word, the beginning sound and the rest of the word. Then have your child tell you what the word is. To start, you can use groups of rhyming words, such as b-ed, f-ed, r-ed; d-og, f-og, l-og; c-ut, h-ut, n-ut.

Next, you can vary the words, using non-rhyming words. If your child is able, you can take turns, with him or her giving you some examples.

Writing

You have done some writing with your child—practicing writing his or her name, making lists, playing grocery store, and making a nature walk book. Continue to encourage writing, even if your child does not correctly form all the letters. The spelling of words is not as important at this time, unless your child asks for help.

Look for occasions for your child to write. Your child can sign greeting cards, label drawings, write stories with you, help make the grocery list, and any other writing activities he or she wants to do. Observing you while you write will also help your child. As you write a note, make lists, or add notes to a calendar, your child will see good examples of the value of writing.

Vocabulary Boost: Here are some words your child is discussing in school. Talk about and use them at home, too: alphabet, kindergarten, match, matching, pairs, pattern, and school bus.