Friday, November 1, 2013

Word Families

We have just begun introducing word families to the kindergartners.

At this point in the year, many class members have learned many of the Soundabet sounds and are now ready to practice these sounds in combination with each other to form words.

Combining sounds so that they form words is a pretty big leap for most beginning readers. Teachers often call this skill "blending." Learning to blend sounds together into words isn't easy. In fact, it takes a lot of practice for most kids to get how to blend sounds together into words.

Two things can help give some support for learning blending.

First: limit the amount of new information to blend. This is where word families come in. A word family is a bunch of words whose sounds and spellings match, except for the first sound. Think of them as rhyming words that rhyme in both the ear and the eye.

Here is a picture of our first three word families in the pocket chart:

May I introduce the "AT" family, the UG family, and the "OT" family?

Second, invite your child to sing the words instead of saying them. Singing keeps the voice on from start to finish and this REALLY helps the beginning reader hear the word as a whole instead of in three parts.

Have fun with these word families. Bring your child over and read the words in the photo above to your kid. Don't ask them to read the words to you. You read the words in these families to them. Some of the kids may ask to read some of the words to you.

I invite you to leave a comment if your kid can read some of these words to you.

Have a good weekend.

Be well.

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