AR Resource

 

Grade  3:  Proficient  Reader  Stage


Parents or Guardians, here are some beneficial and fun activities you can do at home to help your child become more successful in reading. Short sessions seem to work best, and these simple activities can be worthwhile and enjoyable for both your child and you. Being successful in reading can help your child do well all through the school years.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Play a vocabulary game to help identify common prefixes. On index cards, write out several common prefixes: for example, dis- (meaning opposite) in- (meaning not), mis- (meaning bad). Place the cards facedown. Take turns with the child turning over the top card. The player whose turn it is gets to say a word which uses the prefix correctly (for 1 point) and to provide the definition of the prefix (for 2 points). Play continues until all the cards are gone and the winner is the one with the most points.

Identify common prefixes.

Play a vocabulary game to help identify common suffixes. On index cards, write out several common suffixes: for example, -ion (meaning the state or quality of), -less (meaning without), -ment (meaning action or process). Place the cards facedown. Take turns with the child turning over the top card. The player whose turn it is gets to say a word which uses the suffix correctly (for 1 point) and to provide the definition of the suffix (for 2 points). Play continues until all the cards are gone and the winner is the one with the most points.

Identify common derivational suffixes.

Play a vocabulary game to help identify common prefixes. On index cards, write out several common prefixes: for example, dis- (meaning opposite) in- (meaning not), mis- (meaning bad). Place the cards facedown. Take turns with the child turning over the top card. The player whose turn it is gets to say a word which uses the prefix correctly (for 1 point) and to provide the definition of the prefix (for 2 points). Play continues until all the cards are gone and the winner is the one with the most points.

Know the meaning of common prefixes.

Activity

Skill Addressed

Play a vocabulary game to help identify common suffixes. On index cards, write out several common suffixes: for example, -ion (meaning the state or quality of), -less (meaning without), -er (meaning one who). Place the cards facedown. Take turns with the child turning over the top card. The player whose turn it is gets to say a word which uses the suffix correctly (for 1 point) and to provide the definition of the suffix (for 2 points). Play continues until all the cards are gone and the winner is the one with the most points.

Know the meaning of common derivational suffixes.

Create a list of common Latin suffixes with the child (-able, -ment) and discuss what they mean. Create another list of common root words (like, agree, state) and discuss what the base words mean. Create a new list by adding the suffixes to the end of various base words and decide whether the words are real words and if so, what they mean.

Decode words with common Latin suffixes.

Make a word puzzle: write down on strips of paper sets of three words with more than one syllable, such as

el e phant, hap py, kit ten; bal loon, kitch en, cup board mon key, li on, ti ger

Cut the words into syllable puzzle pieces. Write the number of the set on the back. Ask your child to piece together the three words.

Knowing how to break words into syllables will help the child know how to pronounce the words.

Decode multisyllable words.

Write these high-frequency words on cards: live, good, before, great, work, little, same, people, against, which, would, water, write, because, change, different, another, should, thing, think, mean, move, place, turn, very, want, where, almost, carry, close, girl, hear, every, later, left.

Using a timer, ask the to child read as many words as he or she can within one minute. Practice over and over to build recognition of these words and to increase the number of words that can be named in one minute.

Read words with irregular spellings.

Take turns reading with the child. As you read, ask the child to follow along. On the child's turn to read, follow along with him or her. Continue taking turns until the entire text has been read. Reread the text several times for additional practice.

Read texts with purpose and understanding.

Activity

Skill Addressed

Create a book on tape for the child using grade-level text. Ask the child to read along while listening to your taped version of the story. At the end of the story, ask the child to read it out loud again, emphasizing reading in phrases rather than word-by-word and reading with expression.

Read on-level text accurately and fluently.

Take turns reading with the child. Make mistakes on purpose when it is your turn to read (say dad for father or feather for father). Ask the child if what you read made sense or if the word looked right based on what you read. When it is the child's turn to read, watch for his or her miscues and ask whether they look right or make sense.

Confirm word recognition and understanding.

Using index cards, write down several ordinary words the child knows (for example, dry, large, beautiful, hot). Give the child a blank piece of notebook paper along with a pencil. Show the child one of the words on the index cards and when you say "go," ask the child to write down as many antonyms for the word as s/he can think of. Next, ask the child to write down as many synonyms for the word as s/he can think of. Next, show some homophones to the child (for example, bear/bare, meat/meet) and ask him or her to use each of the word pairs in a sentence.

Determine the meanings of words using knowledge of synonyms (words with the same meaning), antonyms (words with opposite meanings), and homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings).

While driving in the car or riding on the bus with the child, practice wordplay games. Talk about how the word jam means something you put on toast as well as cars stuck in traffic. How many other multi-meaning words can the child think of?

Determine the meanings of words using knowledge of homographs (words that are spelled the same but have different meanings).




GRADE 2 ACTIVITIES:

 

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Play a variation of Concentration. Create two copies of 20 words representing long and short vowel words (20 pairs equaling a total of 40 cards). You can use these words: make, came, eat, read, like, ice, boat, home, use, and cube for long vowels; and can, fast, get, red, did, miss, stop, clock, fun, and cup for the short vowels.

Set all the cards facedown on a table or other flat surface. You and the child take turns flipping over 2 cards at a time. While cards are being turned over, read the words aloud. If a word match is made, keep the pair of cards and take another turn. If a match is not made, return the cards facedown on the table and play moves to the other person. Play continues until all matches are made and the winner is the person with the most pairs.

Distinguish long and short vowels when reading regularly spelled one-syllable words.

Using regular paper, draw simple items with vowel pairs in their name (for example, words with the oo sound in book and moon; the au sound in author and sauce; the aw sound in jaw and paw; the al sound in ball and tall; the ew sound in few and chew). Under the illustrations, write the words without the vowel pair (for example, b_ _ k for book; m_ _ n for moon). Ask the child to fill in the missing vowel pair for each picture. Ask the child to think of other examples too.

Know spelling-sound correspondences for additional vowel teams.

Create a list of common two-syllable words with long vowels (for example, apron, maple, zebra, even, tiny, icy, open, hello, unit, future). Encourage the child to read the words to you. Then ask the child to come up with more words to add to the list.

Decode regularly spelled two-syllable words with long vowels.

Create several cards: Some with base words (for example, heat, do, act, small, fast), some with prefixes (un-, re-, over-), some with suffixes (-er, -est). Place the piles faceup on the table and ask the child to match a prefix or a suffix to a root word. Read the word and tell how the affixes change the root word's meaning.

Decode words with common prefixes and suffixes.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Using index cards, create two copies of 20 words representing words with the following letter combinations: ph as in phone; wr as in wrote; kn as in known, knee; igh as in sigh; ight as in light; eigh as in eight; ough as in though; ought as in thought, brought. (20 pairs equaling a total of 40 cards) such as boat, make, fist, and snake. Set all the cards facedown on a table or other flat surface. Take turns flipping over 2 cards at a time. While cards are being turned over, read the words aloud. If a word match is made, keep the pair of cards and take another turn. If a match is not made, return the cards facedown on the table and play moves to the other person. Play continues until all matches are made and the winner is the person with the most pairs.

Identify words with inconsistent but common spelling-sound correspondences.

Make cards for these high-frequency words early readers need to know: after, again, as, any, as, ask, by, could, fly, know, of, once, where, always, because, been, both, buy, does, goes, many, off, read, right, their, upon, they, was, off, would, said, through, should, thought, often, enough. Use a timer and take turns reading the words within one minute. Practice for a short time (no more than 5 minutes a day) every day to build recognition of these words and to see how many words can be recognized.

Recognize grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

Make cards for the high frequency words early readers need to know: after, again, as, any, as, ask, by, could, fly, know, of, once, where, always, because, been, both, buy, does, goes, many, off, read, right, their, upon, they, was, off, would, said, through, should, thought, often, enough. Use a timer and take turns reading the words within a one minute time frame. Practice for a short time (no more than 5 minutes a day) every day to build recognition of these words and to see how many words can be recognized.

Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

When the child has decoded an unfamiliar word within a sentence, ask him or her to re-read that sentence. Often new readers are so busy figuring out a word that they lose the meaning of what they've just read.

Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.

Help the child choose a story or passage at his or her reading level. Participate in a paired reading session where you and the child read the same passage out loud, at the same time. You should read at the same speed as the child. If the child mispronounces a word, you will read it correctly and move on. Read the story again. Repeat over several days.

Read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Help the child choose a short story or passage at his or her reading level. Take turns reading aloud with the child. Start by reading to the child. Then have the child read the same passage aloud. If the child gets stuck on a word, you can use this approach: Ask him or her to look at the first and last letters to help sound it out; say the word; or suggest rereading the sentence after the word is figured out to confirm that it makes sense.

Use context to confirm word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

Confirm or correct understanding of a word in context through the use of various text features, (for example, illustrations, bold print) phonics (for example, sounding out words, especially initial and final letters), and by applying repair strategies (for example, slowing reading pace and/or rereading aloud).

Help the child choose a short story or passage at his or her reading level. Take turns reading aloud with the child. Start by reading to the child. Then have the child read the same passage aloud to you. If the child gets stuck on a word, you can use this approach: Ask him or her to look at the first and last letters to help sound it out; suggest rereading the sentence after the word is figured out to confirm that it makes sense.

Use context to self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

Say a descriptive sentence to the child (for example,"I saw a pretty picture."). Ask the child to say the sentence again, using a synonym for pretty (for example, "I saw a beautiful picture."). Next, repeat the sentence again with another synonym (for example, "I saw a lovely picture."). Continue taking turns until you run out of ideas.

Understand and explain common synonyms.

Using index cards, write down several ordinary words the child knows (for example, dry, large, cheerful, cold). Give the child a blank piece of notebook paper along with a pencil. Show the child one of the words on the index cards and when you say "go," ask the child to write down as many antonyms for the word as he or she can think of.

Understand and explain common antonyms.

Play Separated-Syllables Read: Write words down, syllable by syllable, separating the syllables and leaving enough space between the word parts for the child to see the syllable divisions (for example, fa ble; ab sent; pump kin; bas ket). Ask the child to read each word, first part-by-part and then as a whole word: fa ble, fable.

Read multisyllabic words accurately and fluently.

 

 

GRADE 1:

Activity

Skill Addressed

Play the punctuation game. Create three signs, one with a period, one with a question mark, and the final one with an exclamation point. To play the game, ask the child to stand a few feet away from you. Hold up one of the three signs. When she or he sees the period, the child should run up to you and stop, to signal that a period tells the reader to stop. If you hold up the question mark, the child should run up to you, placing his or her hands on hips and doing a head tilt as if asking a question. When you hold up the exclamation point, the child should run up to you and jump up and down to show excitement.

Identify sentence features.

Create a "Silent E" word book using strips of paper. Write a three-letter word (one that starts with a consonant, has a vowel in the middle, and ends with a consonant-CVC) on each strip, leaving extra space at the end (that is, at, cap, mad, can, Jan, pal, tap). Laying the strips on a table, fold the strip up toward the word, barely touching the edge of the paper to the final consonant. Write the letter e on the flap. Staple the strips together to form a "Silent E" book and take turns reading each word in its CVC form and then folding the flap back to then read the word with -e on the end. Talk about how the -e changes the sound of the vowel from a short sound to a long one (that is, at becomes ate, cap becomes cape, etc.).

Identify vowel sounds

Distinguish long from short vowel sounds

Get a small jar. Leave the top open for adding marbles. Think of a word and say the word to the child breaking the word into its sounds (for example, you say the sounds /c/ /a/ /t/ to the child. Ask the child how many sounds he or she hears (three), drop that many marbles into the jar, and blend the sounds to say the whole word). Continue until the child can count the sounds and then say the whole word.

Blend phonemes to produce single-syllable words.

Help the child recognize the first sound in a word by showing the child a picture (for example, a dog) from a book or magazine and asking him or her to identify the correct word out of three choices: "Is this a /fff/-og, a /d/d/d/-og, or a /sss/-og?" A variation for this activity is to ask if a word has a particular sound: "Is there a

/d/ in dog?" You can then try, "Which sound does dog start with - /d/, /sh/, or /l/?" This encourages the child to practice hearing and saying a word in parts- separating the first sound from the rest of the word.

Identify and pronounce the initial consonant phoneme.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

One way to demonstrate the middle vowel sound to the child is to draw a picture of a train showing an engine, a passenger car, and a caboose. Three connecting boxes can be drawn under each part of the train: one under the engine, one under the passenger car, and one under the caboose. Explain to the child that words have beginning, middle, and ending sounds just like trains have beginning, middle, and ending parts. Help the child understand by slowly pronouncing a word having a consonant-vowel- consonant (CVC), for example, /p/-/i/-/g/, and pointing to the box corresponding to the position of each sound in the word. Repeat the word and ask the child to identify where he or she hears the different sounds: "Where do you hear the /i/ in pig?" Slowly sound out other CVC words for him or her to listen to and have him or her mark the box under the train that indicates the position of the sound you say.

Identify and pronounce the medial vowel phoneme.

One way to demonstrate final consonant sound positions to the child is to draw a picture of a train showing an engine, a passenger car, and a caboose. Three connecting boxes can be drawn under each part of the train: one under the engine, one under the passenger car, and one under the caboose. Explain to the child that words have beginning, middle, and ending sounds just like trains have beginning, middle, and ending parts. Help the child understand by slowly articulating a CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant)

word (for example, /p/-/i/-/g/) and pointing to the box corresponding to the position of each sound in the word. Repeat the word and ask the child to identify where he or she hears the different sounds: "Where do you hear the /g/ in pig?" Slowly sound out other CVC words for him or her to listen to and have him or her mark the box under the train that indicates the position of the sound you state.

Identify and pronounce the final consonant phoneme.

Ask the child what sounds he or she hears in a word and help the child to isolate each sound (for example, What sounds do you hear in bat? /b/ /a/ t/. What sounds do you hear in cup? /c/ /u/ /p/). Remember, words often have fewer sounds than they have letters (for example, tree has only three sounds: /t/r/e/.

Segment phonemes in words.

Play this decoding game: Write several simple words on cards (for example, mat, scat, ship, ban, etc.) and place the cards upside down in a stack. Take turns choosing a card, blending the sounds to form the word seen on the card, and creating a sentence with the word.

Decode words.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Play a digraph game with the child using plastic eggs. On one half, write a digraph (two letters that make only one sound, such as th, ch, sh, and wh). On the other half, write the word beginnings wi, ba, fif, four, wor, ear, and pa to create the words with, bath, fifth, fourth, worth, Earth, and path. Rotate one side of the egg to read each new word as it is formed. (A marker works best for writing on the plastic eggs.)

Recognize common consonant digraphs.

Play a digraph game with the child using plastic eggs. On one half, write a digraph (two letters that make only one sound, such as th, ch, sh, and wh). On the other half, write the word beginnings wi, ba, fif, four, wor, ear, and pa to create the words with, bath, fifth, fourth, worth, Earth, and path. Rotate one side of the egg to read each new word as it is formed. (A marker works best for writing on the plastic eggs.)

Know spelling-sound correspondences.

On a piece of paper, write a short CVC (a word that starts with a consonant, has a vowel in the middle, and ends in a consonant) word such as mat, hat, and sat. Have the child sound out the word. Change one of the letters at a time to make new words (for example, change mat to sat to sag to sap, and from sap to sip), asking the child to say each new word.

Decode one-syllable words.

Create a "Silent E" word book using strips of paper. Write a three-letter CVC word (one that starts with a consonant, has a vowel in the middle, and ends with a consonant) on each strip, leaving extra space at the end (that is, at, cap, mad, can, Jan, pal, tap). Laying the strips on a table, fold the strip up toward the word, barely touching the edge of the paper to the final consonant. Write the letter e on the flap. Staple the strips together to form a "Silent E" book and take turns reading each word in its CVC form and then folding the flap back to then read the word with -e on the end. Talk about how the -e changes the sound of the vowel from a short sound to a long one. That is, at becomes ate, cap becomes cape, etc.

Decode long vowel sounds in words.

Create a "Silent E" word book using strips of paper. Write a three-letter CVC word (one that starts with a consonant, has a vowel in the middle, and ends with a consonant) on each strip, leaving extra space at the end (that is, at, cap, mad, can, Jan, pal, tap). Laying the strips on a table, fold the strip up toward the word, barely touching the edge of the paper to the final consonant. Write the letter e on the flap. Staple the strips together to form a "Silent E" book and take turns reading each word in its CVC form and then folding the flap back to then read the word with -e on the end. Talk about how the -e changes the sound of the vowel from a short sound to a long one. That is, at becomes ate, cap becomes cape, etc.

Know common vowel graphemes that represent long vowel sounds.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Divide words with more than one syllable into syllables (for example, fantastic becomes /fan/ /tas/

/tic/; basket becomes /bas/ /ket/). Write each syllable on a note card. Display the syllables that make up one of the words in jumbled order (for example,

tas-fan-tic). Ask the child to arrange the syllables to form the word correctly. Point out that each syllable has a vowel or vowel sound (e.g., /bi/ /cy/ /cle/).

Know that every syllable must have a vowel sound.

Divide words with more than one syllable into syllables (for example, fantastic becomes /fan/ /tas/

/tic/; basket becomes /bas/ /ket/). Write each syllable on a note card. Display the syllables that make up one of the words in jumbled order (for example,

tas-fan-tic). Ask the child to arrange the syllables to form the word correctly. Point out that each syllable has a vowel or vowel sound (e.g., /bi/ /cy/ /cle/).

Identify syllables in words.

Play Separated-Syllables Read: Write words down, syllable by syllable, separating the syllables and leaving enough space between the word parts for the child to see the syllable divisions (for example, fa ble; ab sent; pump kin; bas ket). Ask the child to read each word by blending the syllables together.

Decode two-syllable words.

Play Syllable Scoop: Write down various words with more than one syllable from one of the child's favorite stories (for example, basket, grandmother, little, riding). Working with the child, draw an arc under each syllable as the child reads each word aloud. (For example, in the word basket the child draws an arc under bas- and under -ket; in grandmother the child draws an arc under grand-, under -moth-, and under

-er).

Break words into syllables.

On a piece of paper, write out endings (suffixes) -s,

-es, -ed, -d, -ing. Write one base word at a time (for example, clean, dress, agree, slow, play, miss, turn, light, clear), and ask the child to name words he or she can build by adding a word ending.

Read words with inflectional endings.

Use sandpaper to create word cards for common irregular words (for example, was, said, of). Ask the child to read the words while tracing over the letters with a finger. Ask the child to write the word down on a piece of paper and then to look for that word in magazines, newspapers, or junk mail. Once the child finds the same word, ask the child to cut out the word and glue it next to its match.

Read words with irregular spellings.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Use sandpaper to create word cards for common irregular words (for example, was, said, of). Ask the child to read the words while tracing over the letters with a finger. Ask the child to write the word down on a piece of paper and then to look for that word in magazines, newspapers, or junk mail. Once the child finds the same word, ask the child to cut out the word and glue it next to its match.

Recognize words with irregular spellings.

Motivate the child to read by sharing in activities that may increase his or her interest. Ask the child to talk to you once he or she has finished a story, telling the best part or favorite character. Ask him or her to read that part to you.

Read texts with purpose and understanding.

Participate in Reader's Theater with the child. There are many scripts available for free on the Internet, or you can create one from a favorite story. Provide the script for the child with his or her character's parts highlighted in a specific color. Take turns reading assigned parts of the script while providing assistance for the child where needed. Practice several times until you and the child can read the script fluently with proper expression. Change characters and continue until you both have read all of the material.

Read on-level text accurately and fluently.

Look at the illustrations together before you read a story with your child. Listen to the child read the story aloud. Looking back at the picture is one way to decide whether a word makes sense or not. For example, if the child reads "cat" instead of "cow" for the word cow, ask the child to look at the picture and to think about what word makes sense.

Confirm word recognition and understanding.

Listen to the child read a story aloud. Remind the child that while reading, he or she may see an unfamiliar word. If the child comes to an unknown word, you can remind him or her to reread the sentence, asking, "Does the word make sense in the sentence?"

Self-correct word recognition and understanding.

Play a game of substitution of sounds in words. Say something like this, "Add /m/ to /at/. What word did you make?" (mat) "Good, change the /m/ to /s/. What word did you make?" (sat)

Use onsets and rimes to create new words (ip to make dip, lip, slip, ship).

On a piece of paper, write out endings (suffixes) -s,

-es, -ed, -d, -ing. Write one base word at a time (for example, clean, dress, agree, slow, play, miss, turn, light, clear) and ask the child to name words he or she can build by adding a word ending.

Create new words by combining base words with affixes to connect known words to new words.

Activity

Skill Addressed

Play Compound Word Memory. Make a set of cards with eight to twelve divided compound words such as goldfish (one card with the word gold + one card with the word fish), birdhouse (bird + house), and sunshine (sun + shine). Place the cards facedown on a table or other flat surface. Take turns with the child turning over two cards at a time. If the two cards form a compound word, the player keeps the cards and takes another turn. If the two words do not form a compound word, place them back facedown, and the turn passes to the other player. Play continues until all the compound words have been formed, and the winner is the one with the most pairs. Reread the compound word pairs for extra practice.

Identify and understand compound words.

Play a game involving the substitution of final sounds in words. Say something like, "This is the word mat. Change the /t/ to /n/. What word did you make?" (man) "Good, change the /d/ to /p/. What word did you make?" (map)

Substitute final consonant sound (named words).

Play the classic game Hangman with the child, using various words with blends (two-letter combinations, such as bl, br, cl, cr, dr, fl, fr, gl, gr, pl, pr, qu, sc, sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, tr, sp, st) as the target words. For example, drawing dashes for each letter _ _ _ _ _ _ _, ask the child to guess the word (blanket). As the child guesses letters in the word, draw one part of a stick figure for each incorrect guess, and fill in the word with the correct letter for each correct guess. Play continues until the word is guessed or a complete stick figure is drawn.

Distinguish consonant blends (words).

Share a book with repeated rhyming phrases (for example, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? or a Dr. Seuss story) with the child. Leave off the final rhyming word within a phrase and help the child fill in the missing rhyming word (for example, "Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? I see a green frog looking at       .").

Identify rhyming words (unnamed answers).

 

 

KINDERGARTEN (Late Emergent):

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Model reading by pointing with your finger. Follow the words with your finger from left to right as you read them. Mention what you are doing as you move your finger along.

Pages are read from left to right and top to bottom.

Make a card game using pictures of things that are important to the child. Using pictures from magazines, catalogs, etc., create a set of cards with pictures (for example, pictures of a cat, a dog, and a pig). Make another set of cards with a label of each of the pictures (for example the words cat, dog, and pig). Make a game of matching the labels to the pictures.

Understand printed words carry meaning.

Make a frame out of a piece of cardboard or a 3 × 5 card. Cut the center out of the card so that when the card is placed over one of the words in a sentence, only one word shows through. Have the child move the frame over each of the words to show just one at a time.

Understand words are separated by spaces.

Write a letter on an index card or piece of paper (for example, write the letter M). Next, say, "I'm thinking of this letter and it makes the sound /mmmmmm/. What letter is it?"

Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.

Share a book with repeated rhyming phrases (for example, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? or any Dr. Seuss-type story) aloud with the child. Stress the rhyming words and encourage the child to find additional words that rhyme. (For example, "Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? I see a green frog looking at me. Which word rhymes with see?").

Recognize rhyming words.

Share a book with repeated rhyming phrases (for example, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? or any Dr. Seuss-type story) with the child. Leave off the final rhyming word within a phrase and help the child fill in the missing rhyming word (for example, "Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? I see a green frog looking at       .").

Produce rhyming words.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Say the child's name syllable by syllable while clapping it out (for example, "Ni-co" [clap, clap]). Ask the child to say and clap his or her name along with you. After his or her name has been clapped, ask, "How many claps (syllables) did you hear?" Add the last name and clap both names out. Do this with other names of varying lengths the child knows.

Count syllables.

Ask the child to listen carefully as you pronounce and pause slightly between the syllables in words. Have the child repeat the word without the pause (for example, you say "hap/py," and the child responds with happy). Do this for other word examples, such as el/e/phant-elephant or kit/ten/-kitten. Take turns saying other words in syllables or as a whole word.

Pronounce syllables.

Prepare cards with pictures of common words having more than one syllable such as lion; tiger; monkey; umbrella. Take turns picking a card and saying the word in syllables: li/on; ti/ger; mon/key; um/brel/la. The other player then says the word without pausing between syllables.

Blend syllables.

Draw a hopscotch board with sidewalk chalk. Take turns coming up with words and ask the child to figure out how many syllables are in the word. For example, in hamburger /ham//bur//ger/-there are three. The child then jumps that many spaces on the hopscotch board.

Segment syllables.

Share There's a Wocket in My Pocket (Seuss, 1974) with the child. In the story, beginning sounds of everyday objects are substituted as a child talks about made-up objects around the house, such as the "zamp in the lamp." The child can make up his or her own objects such as the "zook in my book" or a "floom in my room."

Blend onsets and rimes.

Share There's a Wocket in My Pocket (Seuss, 1974) with the child. In the story, beginning sounds of everyday objects are substituted as a child talks about made-up objects around the house, such as the "zamp in the lamp." The child can make up his or her own objects such as the "zook in my book" or a "floom in my room." Next, say the new word by separating the first sound from the rest of the word: There's a /z/amp in the /l/amp and so on with the rest of the words you've made up.

Segment onsets and rimes.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Play a story game with the child. Tell this story about a troll who likes to speak in sounds: Once upon a time, there was a wonderful little troll who loved to give children presents. However, the troll always wanted children to guess what the present was before he gave it to them. He spoke in his own special way. When he shared what the gift was, he would say the sounds "/b/-/i/-/k/" instead of "bike." Once the child guessed the troll's gift, the troll would be very excited. I will pretend to be the troll and I will name a surprise for you. When you figure out what it is, it will be your turn to think of a surprise for me.

Isolate and pronounce the initial sounds (phonemes)

in three-phoneme words.

Play a story game. Tell this story about a troll who likes to speak in sounds: Once upon a time, there was a wonderful, little troll who loved to give children presents. However, the troll always wanted children to guess what the present was before he gave it to them. He spoke in his own special way. When he shared what a gift was, he would say "/b/-/i/-/k/" instead of "bike." Once the child guessed the troll's gift, the troll would be very excited. I will pretend to be the troll and I will name a surprise for you. When you figure out what it is, it will be your turn to think of a surprise for me.

Isolate and pronounce the medial vowel sounds in three-phoneme words.

Play a story game with the child. Tell this story about a troll who likes to speak in sounds: Once upon a time, there was a wonderful, little troll who loved to give children presents. However, the troll always wanted children to guess what the present was before he gave it to them. He spoke in his own special way. When he shared what a gift was, he would say "/b/-/i/-/k/" instead of "bike." Once the child guessed the troll's gift, the troll would be very excited. I will pretend to be the troll and I will name a surprise for you. When you figure out what it is, it will be your turn to think of a surprise for me.

Isolate and pronounce the final sounds in three-phoneme words.

Play a game involving the addition of sounds in words. Say something like this, "Add /m/ to /at/. What word did you make?" (mat) "Good, add /ch/ to the end of the word mat. What word did you make?" (match)

Add individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one syllable words to make new words.

Create word families with the child. Use refrigerator magnets or letter cards (write the alphabet on paper and cut each letter out to make a card) to spell a word ending (-at). Have the child put other letters in front of the word ending to create rhyming words (pat, cat, mat, and sat).

Substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one syllable words to make new words.

As you shop for groceries, ask your child to tell you what sound each fruit or vegetable begins with.

Produce primary consonant sounds

Activity

Skill Addressed

Cut out known words from cereal boxes, can labels and yogurt containers. Use these individual words to talk about capital and lowercase letters. Talk about the sounds of letters ("The letter B says /b/"). Help the child read the words you've cut out.

Know one-to-one letter-sound correspondences.

Create a word book using strips of paper. Write these short words, one to a strip, leaving extra space at the end: at, cap, mad, Sam, can, Jan, pal, tap. Lay the strips on a table, and fold each strip back toward the word, barely touching the edge of the paper to the final consonant. Write the letter e on the flap. Staple the strips together to form a Silent e book and take turns reading each word in its first form and then folding the flap back to then read the word with -e on the end. Talk about how the -e changes the sound of the vowel from a short sound to a long one (for example, at becomes ate, cap becomes cape, etc.).

Associate long vowel sounds with common spellings.

Create a word book using strips of paper. Write these short words, one to a strip, leaving extra space at the end: at, cap, mad, Sam, can, Jan, pal, tap. Lay the strips on a table, and fold each strip back toward the word, barely touching the edge of the paper to the final consonant. Write the letter e on the flap. Staple the strips together to form a Silent e book and take turns reading each word in its first form and then folding the flap back to then read the word with -e on the end. Talk about how the -e changes the sound of the vowel from a short sound to a long one (for example, at becomes ate, cap becomes cape, etc.).

Associate short vowel sounds with common spellings.

Cut out known words from cereal boxes, can labels and yogurt containers. Use these individual words to talk about capital and lowercase letters. Talk about the sounds of letters ("The letter B says /b/"). Help the child read the words you've cut out.

Read high-frequency sight words.

Play Alphabet Charades: Choose a letter and act out words which begin with that letter sound (for example, choose the letter B and act out words like bee, baby, and bug). Encourage the child to name the beginning sound after he or she has guessed a few words.

Identify the sounds of letters.

On a piece of paper, write sets of three words. Two of them should be the same. One of them will be the same except for one letter (for example, hill, will, hill; bed, bed, bud; big, big, bit and so on. Ask the child which word is different.

Distinguish between similarly spelled words.

Choose a book that your child wants to read. Ask why he or she chose that book. Was it for fun? Was it to learn about something? After the book has been read, ask a question about what he or she enjoyed in the story or what was learned.

Read texts with purpose and understanding.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Read books with simple spelling patterns, such as The Cat in the Hat). Start by reading the first sentence of the book aloud. The child should read along silently. At the end of the sentence, give the child the chance to read the same sentence aloud while you follow along silently. Continue to read together, taking turns reading aloud. Provide help where needed and praise the child for his or her efforts. When it's time, your child will be able to read some sentences first.

Read emergent-level texts.

While in the car or on the bus, play a game of thinking of MM words-words that have more than one meaning: for example, bat, bowl, can, foot, hand, park, and orange. Say the word and give one meaning. Ask your child to think of another meaning for it. Ask your child to come up with other examples.

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content.

While grocery shopping, ask the child to find things which start with the same letter sound as his or her name (for example, "Tommy, I see tomatoes, turkey, and tape. Can you find something else which begins with the sound /t/?").

Recognize, identify, and produce alliterative words.

 

GETTING THEM READY TO READ (PRE-K/EARLY EMERGENT):

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Read aloud to your child. As you are reading, model reading by pointing with your finger. Follow the words with your finger from left to right as you read them. Talk about what you are doing as you move your finger along. After reading, talk about the story: "What did you like about the story? Who were the characters?"

Hold a book upright and know that printed text is read from left to right.

Play peppy music and model the movements you call out, such as: "Move your hands up, jump to the right, squat down," etc. Learning about these concepts by moving helps your child understand words that indicate direction.

Track printed words from left to right and top to bottom on a page.

Set up a pretend grocery store. Help your child make labels for things (for example, apple, milk, jam). Count out the letters with your child and help him or her tell which word is the shortest and which is the longest?

Compare the lengths of different words based on how many letters they contain.

Help your child create a sign with his or her name on it. Decorate the letters with items such as beads, glitter, buttons, etc. Go over his or her name, pointing out the letters and whole word (for example, "Your name is Sally. Here is the word Sally. See? It begins with a capital letter S. I can see the letter a too. Can you find the letter l? How many l's do you see?").

Distinguish letters from words.

Sing songs like "The Alphabet Song" to help your child learn the alphabet, and songs like "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" to help your child learn numbers. Say a letter or number and ask your child to tell you which one it is (for example, "Is A a letter or a number? How about 3?").

Distinguish letters from numbers.

Sit with your child and say simple two- or three-word sentences (for example, "I sat. We had fun.") As you say a sentence, clap your hands each time you say a word. Ask your child to clap with you.

Clap the number of words in a given sentence.

Play an alphabet matching game. Create alphabet cards with an uppercase (capital) letter on one card and its matching lowercase letter on another card. Start out with just a few matches. Place the cards facedown and take turns turning over two cards with your child. If the two letters are a match, for example, A and a, the player keeps the match and has another turn. If the letters do not match, place the cards back down and the other player has a turn.

Distinguish between the shapes of upper- and lowercase letters.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Enjoy an alphabet book with your child (the local library probably has a good selection of alphabet books). As you read through the book, encourage your child to point out the various letters.

Identify the letters of the alphabet.

Give your child some play dough. Sit with him or her and write out one of the letters of the alphabet. Show your child how to roll out the play dough to form the letter. Say the letter name as you help your child form the letter.

Name most letters of the alphabet.

Share several nursery rhymes or rhyming stories with your child (for example, "Humpty Dumpty," "Jack and Jill," or Dr. Seuss books). As you share the books, talk about which words sound the same (for example, wall and fall both have the sound -all; Humpty and Dumpty both have the sound -umpty). Ask your child to find words which rhyme and to come up with other rhymes. For example, "I hear the same sound in Jill and hill. Can you think of another word with the sound

-ill?"

Recognize and produce rhyming sounds in words.

Begin the letters that have the most highly recognizable sounds (for example, sounds which your mouth can "feel," such as /m/, /s/, /f/, /t/). After choosing a target letter, choose one item from your home which begins with that sound (for example, a mitten for /m/) and place it in a shoe box. Help your child search through the house for other items which begin with that same sound, for example, a magazine, a monkey, etc). Talk about the beginning sound as the item is placed into the shoe box. Continue with other letter sounds.

Say the correct sound for the first letter of familiar words.

Cut out pictures of common objects from a magazine (for example, apple, book, cup, dog, etc.). Using note cards, write down the alphabet, one letter to a note card. Place the note cards on a flat surface and encourage your child to put the picture of the item under its correct beginning sound: for example, the apple under A, book under B, cup under C, dog under D, etc.

Link an initial sound to the corresponding printed letter.

Say familiar nursery rhymes with your child (for example, "Humpty Dumpty" or "Jack and Jill"). Tell your child that you are going to say the nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill" with a "Silly Same Starting Sound." Say, "Back band Bill bent bup ba bill, bo betch ba bail bof bater. Back bell bown band broke bis brown band Bill bame bumbling bafter." Say it again with a different beginning sound. Ask your child to join in and then see if he or she can say the rhyme with a different beginning sound.

Produce groups of words that begin with the same initial sound (alliteration).

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Use a familiar picture book. Find a picture of something that has more than one syllable, such as monkey. Say the word. Repeat the word, this time clapping for each syllable: mon-key. Ask your child to clap the word out too. Then ask your child to pick out another picture, say its name, and clap out its syllables. Variations can include hopping or tapping instead of clapping.

With modeling and support, identify, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.

Help your child create his or her own name card, using materials from around the house (beads, feathers, buttons, etc.). Write your child's name on his or her artwork. Make name cards for things your child finds important, such as the door to his or her room, his or her own books, or his or her chair at the table. Ask your child to go on a name hunt, trying to find where you have placed these name cards.

Recognize own name in print.

Using play dough or another type of modeling clay, help your child create the letters in his or her name. Encourage him or her to trace over the letters. Lightly write your child's name in pencil on an index card. Using white glue, trace over the letters and let the glue dry completely. Give the card to your child and allow time for him or her to trace over the bumpy letters to get a feel for how the letter is formed.

Write one's own name.

While running errands with your child, point out various words on signs, for example, on gas stations, on Stop signs, on chain stores). On another trip, play "I Spy," and encourage your child to find the signs (for example, "I spy a big, purple letter G. Can you find it?")

Read and tell the meaning of familiar signs and symbols in or from the environment.

Using index cards, draw a simple picture and its name (for example, draw an apple with the word apple beneath; draw a tree with the word tree beneath). Carefully cut the cards apart, separating the word from the picture. Lay all of the cards on a flat surface, face up, and encourage your child to match each picture with its word.

Associate words with pictorial representations.

Find various objects in your home which can be sorted into categories, for example, various coins. Use an empty egg carton to help your child place the same kinds of objects together in a section. Have your child sort other items by size or color or shape.

Determine categorical relationships.

 

Activity

Skill Addressed

Get a small box. Use a token such as a button or a small toy, and ask your child to place it on top of the box. Next, ask your child to place the button in other areas relating to the box (for example, under, next to, behind). Once your child has a good understanding of the position words, switch roles and ask him or her to give you directions on where to place the item.

Understand position words.