Here’s the third group of letter sounds that I use when I teach my students how to read. The way that the alphabet groups are taught is always the same, but with each group I like to give you some tips.
By the way if you want step by step instructions on how to teach letter sounds, you can get that here. It includes pictures of how to present the letters and suggestions on what to say to your child.
So, here are some tips on how to make this relatively stress free, and at the end have the beginnings of an awesome reader.
First, this post has “letter sounds” in it’s title. So remember you are teaching your child the sounds that the letters make, not the names of the letters. They should already know the names of the letters before they start this. Once they start learning how to read, it’s really all about the sounds that letters make. If you present both of these concepts at the same time, it will probably confuse them and frustrate both of you. So just talk in sounds.
Second, I mentioned this in the last group….take breaks for review days. The alphabet is broken down into six groups, but this doesn’t mean that you should finish this series in six days. When I teach this I give it about two weeks (15 days to be exact). That means I spend nine days reviewing what the already know.
If you go through this the way that I do, then you will be adding three to five words that your child will be able to spell and read every time you introduce a new group of letters. That starts to add up. It’s important that your reader has time to digest the information, and practice also reinforces what they know. The real purpose of breaking up the alphabet like this is to help your child learn the alphabet sounds quickly. In tandem, it also allows you to reinforce those sounds, (so they know them really really well), while introducing the concept that sounds are connected together (blended), to form words.
But to be super clear, the purpose is for them to learn the letter sounds, and to learn them well. That’s what your real focus should be on. The concepts of spelling and reading are certainly introduced, and most students pick up on these concepts relatively quickly, but it’s not the real goal.
Basically all I’m saying is, make sure you take breaks to have review days. You’ll want to review everything they know. This includes the letter sounds they know, and the words that they know how to spell and read. Doing this will allow your child to know those letter sounds, like a champ, and start to get comfortable with the concepts of spelling and reading.
If you follow my full 15 day guide, you can even sneak in the concept of blending.
My recommendation is that you have a review day after the second group, and a review day in between every group that you go over from now on.
If you came across this post randomly, and this is the first time you’re seeing this, here’s a quick overview of the three steps to teaching the letter sounds. Go to Group 1 to get more complete instructions.
-Step 1- Present each letter sound in the group one at time. All the other letters should be put away, so that they aren’t a distraction. You should say the sound and then they should repeat it. Your reader should keep working on this until they can tell you the sound the letter makes without help.
-Step 2- Once you are sure that they know all the sounds in the group very well. You should place all five letters in front of them, and have them spell the words that the letters in this group can form (wig, jig, gig). You should say the word slowly, so they can hear each sounds. If they need help you should say the sound they are looking for, don’t just give them the answer.
-Step 3- Now they will take those same three words and read them This will require you to have already spelled them out, or have them written down.
That’s it! Enjoy! Let me know how it goes.