Aug 04

Spring worksheets and more

The Spring theme now has: Spring worksheets, spring crafts and spring lesson ideas.

Jul 29

Instructions and techniques for folding

Find instructions an some basic folding techniques here: folding.

Jul 01

Ideas for flashcards

Some info about what you can do with all the flashcards on this site can be found here: flashcards.

Jun 20

PDF help

Need help with the pdf files on this site? I added some pointers here: pdf help.

Jun 17

Teaching your child the alphabet

One of the first steps in becoming a successful reader is to learn to recognize the letters of the alphabet. The alphabetic principle teaches that spoken language is represented by written words that are made up of varying combinations of letters, and that these letters and combinations of them make up all of the sounds in spoken language. Attaching sounds to these letters and learning to write them paves the way to successful reading and writing.

Learning to say their ABCs is a great start for any preschooler, but it is just as important for your child to learn the sounds of the letters. Preschoolers, who know the sounds of the letters of the alphabet, have an easier time learning to read.

In order to read, every child must know the sounds of the letters as well as the shapes and order. More than that he must be able to recall them quickly. When he sees the letter he should be able to say the letter or vocalize its sound without hesitation. This should happen whether he hears the letters in order or not.

While the alphabet song can be a fun way to start learning the ABCs it is not enough because children also need to be able to identify each individual letter. In fact, this skill is much more important than knowing where it falls in the alphabet as it is the key in learning to read.

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Jun 16

Teaching your child phonological awareness

Phonological awareness skills are key to reading success.

Phonological awareness is an important foundation for learning to read. Scientific research has documented that phonological awareness is a better predictor of reading success than IQ, vocabulary, or socioeconomic level of the family.

Research has shown that children who begin reading instruction with sufficiently developed phonological awareness understand the instruction better, master the alphabetic principle faster and learn to read quite easily.

Children who will later be identified as being dyslexic often do not have phonological awareness skills. Teaching these skills has been shown in research to prevent the occurrence of dyslexia in many children. Accordingly, many school systems now follow a program of early screening for phonological awareness skills.

No area of reading research has gained as much attention over the past two decades as phonological awareness. Perhaps the most exciting finding emanating from research on phonological awareness is that critical levels of phonological awareness can be developed through carefully planned instruction, and this development has a significant influence on children’s reading and spelling achievement.

Why Is Phonological Awareness So Important?

An awareness of phonemes is necessary to grasp the alphabetic principle that underlies our system of written language. Specifically, developing readers must be sensitive to the internal structure of words.

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Jun 15

Teaching your child phonemic awareness

In recent years, the field of reading education has changed dramatically and many reading instructors have divided it between phonic instruction and whole language. Various reading programs that fall into one of the two camps have spent millions advertising the relative merits of both.

The simple truth of the matter is that the best reading instruction takes place using a combination of both strategies. And increasingly reading research has demonstrated that phonemic awareness, not simply phonics, is critically important to ensuring reading success–especially for students with learning disabilities.

However what makes this so confusing for many parents and caregivers is that the term “phonemic awareness” is tossed around so often and in so many different ways. Phonemic awareness concerns the structure of words rather than their meaning. To understand the construction of our written code, words, readers need to be able to reflect upon the spelling-to-sound correspondences. To understand that the written word, beginning readers must first have some understanding that words are composed of sounds (phonemic awareness) rather than their conceiving of each word as a single indivisible sound stream.

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