This is our last group of letter sounds. Make sure you do a review day before you start on this final group. You should always be reviewing on days that you introduce new alphabet sounds, but you should also have days where you do nothing but review and don’t introduce anything new. Throughout these six groups I’ve been giving you tips on how to do that. If you just happened to come across this post and haven’t read any of the others, I highly encourage you to go to group 1. It doesn’t really matter which order you teach the groups in…..with the exception of this one. This one should be taught last. That’s because it doesn’t have any vowels in it, and we will have to borrow letters from the other groups to make words. Therefore do any other groups in any order that you want, but this one should be last.
If you just finished group five then you may or may not have taken my suggestion of having a letter sound crazy day… or two. Whether you did or didn’t I want to talk to you about what to do after you finish this last group of sounds.
But, before I do that I want to talk about today’s words, since they are a little different from the other groups. It’s tough to make words out of these letters, so we are going to borrow the letters e, g and t. From there we will make the words vet, yet, and get. Notice that we aren’t using the sounds q and k. That means that you need to make sure that you thoroughly review those two sounds.
In just a second I’m going to go over what you should do in the days following teaching your child the six letter groups. You may choose to follow that or not. Either way you should create words using q and k after you finish this group. You can do nonsense words kat and kip for k . Q is a little trickier because you’ll have to use qu. Just explain to your child that q and u often appear together and they make the sound /qu/. Then I’d add the same word endings that you used for k, giving you the words, quat and quip.
Normally, I’d give you a quick overview of how to teach these letter sounds to your kid. But, this time I’m not going to because that’s how clear I want to make it that this should not be the letter group that you start with. So if you just came across this post by chance, then go to group 1, and start there.
After you’re done with all six groups, you should be very confident that your child truly knows all of the alphabet sounds. It’s okay if on occasion they make a mistake. If there’s a letter or two that they struggle with, then spend the next day focusing on them.
Once you know they have the alphabet down. I highly recommend that you do letter sound crazy day. I do a few of these in my 15 day series.
If you did the crazy day around group five, this will sound familiar. It’s going to go the same way. Keep in mind the next thing you’re going to teach your child (if you’re following me) is two letter word endings. This is a great time to reinforce letter sounds, mix up the words, and get a head start on word endings. I would recommend going over five or so word endings, and make as many words from them as you can. If this is the first day you’re having crazy letter sound day then make sure you keep all of the word endings together. It’ll make it easier for them, and they’ll really start to understand the concept of word endings, which leads to blending. After you’ve done this for a few days, you can start to put words with different word endings. Here are some word ending suggestions at, ip, ig, en, ag.
This is where you’ll really start to notice your kid reading, which is exciting for you and them. If you want my step by step instructions, which culminates in spelling and reading a bunch of three letter words, or cvc words, check it out. It takes me about 15 days to go through all this with a student, but it can take twice as long, so pace yourself. Let your child go at their own pace.
I hope this was helpful. Please let me know how this works for you.
We’re almost done! We’re on our fifth group of letter sounds. By now you’re child should be very comfortable with all of the letter sounds that they’ve learned so far. If they are at all struggling, stop, and spend the day working on the letters they are having trouble with.
You should have just come off of a review day. If you didn’t then do that now. Today you’re going to teach your reader four new sounds, spell three new words, and then read them. I’m also going to give you the option of going crazy and adding in some new words from the previous letters that they’ve learned.
What I really suggest is that you spend today just going over these four sounds and three words. Tomorrow should be crazy day. Maybe you can have two crazy days where it’s a word free- for- all with the 22 alphabet sounds that they know.
You don’t have to do that. You can just stick to going through the 26 sounds in the six groups. If your child is at all struggling then I suggest that’s what you do. As I’ve said in previous post, the purpose here is for them to learn the letter sounds.
However, if your kid is killing it, and you feel like having letter sound crazy day, then I recommend that you do it with this in mind. The next thing that I like to teach kids are word endings. Therefore during all crazy days I like to keep this in mind.
Here’s what this would look like. Let’s take my favorite word ending, “at”. Line up all of the letters that they know and ask them to find the letters in at. If they can’t do that, then you know you need to spend more time working on the letter sounds. But if they can, then it’s the beginning of crazy letter sound day. Think about all the words that we can create that end in “at”…cat, bat, rat, sat, mat, pat, fat, hat….. Have your child start with these. Leave all the letters in front of them, and ask them to spell each word.
Then from there do other word endings like ip….lip, sip, pip, bip, zip…. and on and on. Do all the ones with the same word ending together. This will introduce the word ending concept. That’s how I do it in my longer step by step guide.
Just in case you haven’t done the other four days of this series, here is a quick synopsis of how to teach these sounds. For more detailed instructions go to day one.
If you want to get really detailed step by step instructions you should go to my longer 15 day lessons.
Here are the steps.
-Step 1-present each letter to your child one at a time. The other letters should be out of sight, as to not cause confusion. You should say the sound, and then your child should say it back to you. This will go on for awhile, and you can get creative as to how you do it. Once you are sure they know the sounds (they shouldn’t need your help anymore), then you can move on.
-Step 2- now you should put all four sounds in a row in front of your child, and ask them to spell the three words that can be made from these sounds, (up, pup, cup).
-Step 3- now have them read the same words that they just spelled. To do this, you will of course need to have the words already spelled or written out.
All done. Let me know how it goes.
We’ve arrived at the fourth group of letter sounds. Hopefully you’ve had a few review days at this point. You should be anywhere from six to eight days into this by now. Today I want to talk to you about the importance of not taking breaks. The reason why it’s so important that you have review days is because you need to reinforce what your child has learned. You also need to make sure that they don’t forget what they’ve learned the previous days. You should be reviewing every single letter sound that they know, every single day.
Don’t skip days. If you do it will most likely result in your child forgetting a shocking amount of information. Kids learn so fast, and they forget so fast too. Ideally you should review every alphabet sound, spell every word, and read every word that they’ve learned so for. Reinforcement, reinforcement reinforcement. This is the foundation of everything. The better they know these sounds, the easier reading will be for them.
I know that everyone is busy, and sometimes life happens. So, if one day you really don’t have time to review everything, just review the letter sounds. It should only take about five minutes or so if they know the sounds well. Just don’t completely skip a day.
Make sure they know their sounds very well by the end of this lesson. Also make sure you take a review day after this. Next time they can start mixing up the the letters and forming new words. But only have them do this if they really know their sounds well, and if they are doing well with spelling and reading words. I’ll go over this more next time. For now just make sure you aren’t skipping any days, and that they know the sounds without needing help from you.
If you happened upon this post randomly, and haven’t yet read about the previous groups, here’s a quick summary on how to teach these letter sounds to your early reader. For a more detailed version go to group one.
-First- present each letter sound from this group one at a time. You should say the sound and have them repeat it back to you. You should go over each sound several times. It is important that they know each sound very well.
-Second- place the letters of the group in front of your child, and ask them to spell the words that can be made with the letters in this group, (hen, den, red). You should say the words slowly. If need be, say each sound of the word. If your child struggles, don’t just give them the answer, tell them the sound that they are looking for. Make them find it.
-Third- have your student read the same words that they spelled. That means they need to already be spelled out or written down somewhere.
That’s all for now. Let me know how it goes.
For a step by step guide of how to do this you can read my complete lessons here.
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.
Here’s my second group of letter sounds that I like to use when teaching my students how to read. They don’t really have to be done in any particular order, (with the exception of group six, I really recommend you do that one last), but if you missed the first group click on the link above to see it. Also, I think it’s only right to say that breaking the alphabet into small groups that contain letters you can make words with is not my idea, but a method that is taught in a lot of Montessori schools.
The steps for teaching this second group of alphabet sounds is the same as teaching the first group. You’ll want to do the same three steps. I’ll just go through them briefly here, you can get a more detailed version in group 1.
An important thing to remember is that when you’re working with a new group of letters, you should not have other letters hanging around. However you should always review. You can review at the beginning of the day’s lesson or at the end. Personally, I like to do it at the beginning. If they truly learned the previous sounds it should be an easy way to start the day. Keeping the stress levels down on both sides is key.
Alright so real quick, here are the three steps that you want to use to teach this letter group.
-Present each sound to your student, one at a time. You should say the sound first, and then have them repeat it.
-Then have them spell out the words that can be made from the letters in this group, (ox, box, fox).
-After that write the words out, or have the words already spelled out, and ask your child to read them. They will read the same words that they spelled.
It should take a few days to go through each group of letters. I usually spend about two days going over the first group, and spend a day going over the second group. I also like to do a lot of days in between where I don’t introduce anything new, I just review and reinforce what they’ve already learned.
There are two rules that I live and die by. Always review every single letter sound they’ve learned, and if the kid is frustrated, stop. Take a break. If you’re frustrated you should do the same. This should be easy breezy.
Well, that’s all for the second group. I’d use the day after you go over these to just review the first two groups. No need to rush through it. Let me know how it goes.
The first step to learning how to read, and the foundation to everything reading, is learning the sounds that the letters make. I like to do this by breaking the alphabet sounds into six groups. With each one of those groups I like to make words from the letters in that group. This not only breaks the alphabet down into manageable bites, but it also reinforces the sounds. Furthermore, it will get your kid reading in days. If you are at all familiar with the way that many Montessori schools teach reading, this will sound familiar to you.
If you want in depth step by step instructions on how to do this you can get that here.
This, however is a quick overview complete with pictures. Here are a few steps you should be sure to follow.
-The first thing you should do is present each sound, one at a time to your child. Only present the sounds in group one. All the other sounds should be put away.
-After they are clear on what the four sounds are. They should be able to identify them by themselves, without any of your help. Once you’re sure they have that down, have your child spell the five words that you can create from these letters (at, sat, mat, am, sam). I recommend that you place all four letters in a row in front of your child, and simply ask them to spell each word, one at a time. You should say the words as slowly as needed. If they struggle in any way you should give them each sound individually.
These words can be sounded out, so let your child do that. Don’t just tell them the answer, try to never do that. Make them give you the sounds. If they can’t do that then they need to practice their letter sounds more.
-Assuming everything goes well with spelling the words, then it’s time for them to read words. They will read the same words that they just spelled. You will have to make sure they are already written out. Again, if they need help give them the sounds not the answers.
That’s it. That’s the short version of teaching your child group one of the letter sounds of the alphabet. Again, if you want the long version you can find that here. Below you can find the letters and words for group one. Let me know how it goes.
Plums with Sam
Illustrations by Alyssa Bramschreiber
This story features the sound “sp. It also includes the sight words, I have, the, like, to, a, of.
I have a plum with spots.
The plum has seeds so I spit them on the grass.
I have a rat and the rat is Sam.
Sam likes the plum and he likes to drink milk and has a lot of spots!
He likes to spin and run in the sun.
I put the old plum in the sink and have a drink of milk but it spills.
I have a rag so I pick up the milk.
I have a ship and Sam swims with the ship in the pond.
Sam and I like to think in the sun and the stars.
We sit in a tent on the grass and think. It is fun with Sam.
The Frog on the Log
Illustrations by Alyssa Bramschreiber
This story features the sound “sc”, and includes the sight words the, like, of, to
A frog sits on a log.
The log has scum.
The log is in the pond and the frog likes to sit on the log of scum in the sun.
A duck swims in the pond.
The frog hops to the bank of the pond.
The frog spots a man on the bank.
The man has a rod to get fish and the man has a scab on his hand.
The man scrubs the fish on the rod.
The man puts the fish in a pan.
The frog scans the land for a snack.
The frog likes the fish in the pan for a snack but the man sees the frog.
“Scram!” the man, yells, to the frog.
The snack in the pan is for the man, not the frog!
The Class With A Dog
This story includes the sight words I, have, the, like, go, to.
I like to go to class in the summer. In class, I have a club.
The club has a fun drum. I like to hit the drum. The drum thuds.
In the club is a pet. The pet is a dog.
The dog is black and has a hat.
A dog with a hat! It is a fun dog.
The club has snacks and I like snacks but the snacks have crumbs. I have a snack on a mat in the grass.
The dog with a hat likes the snack.
The class has a plant.
The plant likes to drink .
The dog sniffs the plant.
It is fun in class.
Illustrations by Alyssa Bramschreiber
This story features the sound “an” “am” “er”. It contains the sight words, I, like, the, go, to
I like to go to the pond.
At the pond, the sand is hot in the sun.
The pond has lots of rocks.
I have a rod and with the rod I like to fish in the pond.
I sit on a mat in the grass.
I see a man on the grass with a rod and a sack.
In the sack the man has ham and jam on a bun for a snack.
The lad has a black dog who likes to see the fish flop on the sand.
I see a bug flit in the sun.
It is a big bug.
The fish like big bugs and slugs.
I get a slug and put it on the rod.
I get a fish with the slug and I get a crab with a net!
The crab is red.
I cram the crab and the fish in a bag and I have a snack like the man .
It is hot in the sun.
I have a hat, a fan, and I sip on a drink.
The lad and his dog run to a rock.
I go with them.
The land is flat and we have a nap.
We are snug on the hot rock.
The pond is fun.