If you are teaching reading, you need this free letter cards pdf!
One of the very first steps to reading is a skill called blending. Once your child knows some letter sounds, you can start blending practice.
If your child hasn’t learned any letter sounds, then you will want to start out with at least one vowel and some consonants. Some of the best letters to start with are a, n, t, and m. You can simply talk about the sounds these letters make. If you feel that your child needs more practice memorizing letter sounds, my letter a worksheets and teacher’s guide is a good place to start. Worksheets are a big help for cementing the letter sound in your child’s mind.
Once you have had some time to introduce some letter sounds, you can start blending those sounds together. Blending practice is pretty simple. You simply lay out some printable letter cards and put two of the letters together.
For example you can lay out the letter a card, and put the three consonant cards (n, m, t) out also. Point to the letter a as you say the short a sound. Slide the letter a next to a consonant. Then point to the consonant and say its sound.
Then put your finger right below the two cards and say the sounds as you slide your finger from left to right. So that your child sees that you read by looking from left to right and making the sounds of the letters. Try to do this slowly and then go faster so that it is easy to “hear” the word you are making with the sounds.
Repeat this process for the other consonants. You will end up making the words an, at, and am.
It is a good idea to add blending practice into your daily phonics time. It should only be a 5 minutes or so. You can read a book they would like after so that there is an incentive to do the phonics. (Some kids will enjoy the phonics and your praise enough to not need an incentive. Others will need a little more motivation!)
Free Printable Letter squares
Click Here to download the letter cards pdf. The pdf includes both upper case letter squares and lower case letter squares. (It is 3 pages and includes many of the lower case letter tiles twice.)
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