You want an environment filled with reading material readers cannot wait to read. The goal is that you reader hears the sound that they're learning in literature. In the beginning of their phonics journey my goal is not mastery. It is simply introduction to the fact that letters represent a sound. At four my little reader is starting to recognize letters and numbers in her little world. ABC books are a big part of that journey!
She makes her own ABC book (which I shared in last week's post titled Phonics Beginner Activities) and we check out new ABC books at the library every week. Like this one, Jeepers Creepers A Monstrous ABC by Laura Leuck.
We also use this amazing American Sign Language book titled, The Handmade Alphabet by Laura Rankin (I mean, check out that -wow- illustration), so we can do something with our fingers as we learn letters, but we also provide an action to go along with each letter and these books quite often give us ideas for that. I let my girls come up with the actions to go with the letter, otherwise it's not as memorable for them. Examples: A is for Alligator (we make our arms into gaping snapping alligator mouths), B is for Ball (a ball we pretend to bounce, bounce, bounce), C is for cry (and it's quite dramatic), D is for dance (and you get the idea).
Here are a few more of our favorites:
And our all time favorite is a personalized ABC book from Shutterfly! It tells a story of our little Eleanna visiting the zoo losing a doll she named Olivia because of a mischievous monkey. It is absolutely wonderful and we read it every.single.week.
What I Recommend is that you fill your library with these books that emphasize these letters and check books out from the library that help your reader hear the sounds they're learning. Do not underestimate the power of the letter-sound correlation and hearing it in literature. It's called phonemic awareness and we'll talk more about that later in the month. But for now if you have a little person in your life, fill your library with ABC books!
And if you're a mother with a reader in the first or second grade still struggling to be a reader who reads to learn versus a reader whose learning to read, contact me. I can help. Research has proven that the sooner we give a reader the tools to overcome their struggle, the better.
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