Researchers have discovered what separates strong readers and writers from those who struggle: it's the ability to HEAR the SOUNDS in words. The kids who can accurately tell you the sounds in words will find reading and writing much easier than those who can't.
For example, if you ask a child to tell you the sounds in word "lake" kids who will become good readers will be able to say its three sounds: /l/ /ay/ /k/.
Kids headed for difficulty will say something less, perhaps the whole word, "lake" or maybe just two bits of it: /l/ /ake/.
Luckily, this is a skill that can be taught.
The trick is finding ways to practice the skill (it's called phoneme segmentation) that are fun and that get the body involved.
Today I asked volunteers to come to the front and throw darts at the dart board while saying the sounds of words as they tossed the darts.
Here are ten practice words to do at home:
mop /m/ /o/ /p/
late /l/ /ay/ /t/
mouse /m/ /ou/ /s/
eight /ay/ /t/
red /r/ /e/ /d/
ink /i/ ng/ /k/
time /t/ /igh/ /m/
count /k/ /ou/ /n/ /t/
knee /n/ /ee/
bees /b/ /ee/ /z/
More to come later.