Watching children learn how to read is extremely rewarding. Helping them go from complete beginners to chapter book readers is an exciting process, but it can be very challenging. Whether you are a parent or a teacher, it is important to start teaching the basics early.
Encouraging children to talk and form their own words and sentences is a great way to improve language skills. Kids must understand how to speak a language before they are able to read and write it. Once they understand how the language is used, they may begin to learn phonemic awareness and phonics. Phonics are typically introduced in kindergarten, but first grade phonics are crucial for understanding how to read and write.
Understanding The Sounds Of Words
Before learning phonics, children must have phonemic awareness. This means that they understand that words are created by different sounds. They can hear the different sounds that make up words, and they understand how to change sounds to make new words.
It is very important to understand the relationship among sounds before a child can learn 1st grade reading or writing. Lessons involving rhyming words are a good way to help improve phonemic awareness. Most kindergarten classes focus on ensuring that children have phonemic awareness before phonics are taught.
What A Child Should Know Before 1st Grade
Phonics involves how written letters and sounds are related to each other. Learning phonics helps kids improve word recognition. To be ready for first grade reading, kindergartners should know all of the letter sounds and be learning long and short vowels. They need to know how to put sounds together to make simple words.
By the end of first grade, kids should be able to separate words into the individual letter sounds on their own. They should understand that if the letters are changed, a new sound and word is made that has a different meaning. 1st grade reading should emphasize sounding out short words and knowing the difference between the sounds of long and short vowels.
Reading Levels And Comprehension Vary With Every Child
Teachers should know that all students aren’t at the same reading level. The basics might have to be gone over or retaught, depending on the abilities and comprehension of the students in the class. To teach your first grader phonics, focus on blending sounds and how they come together to create different words. Children learn at different speeds. Some may understand the concept quickly, while others may need extra practice.
Having Fun With Phonics
Phonics lessons should be fun and quick, not tedious or boring. First graders have a limited attention span, so it is important to keep their focus. Teachers should plan to involve phonics in their lessons every day. Each phonetic sound should be taught for about a week before it is mastered.
It is important to assess students’ knowledge and understanding frequently to determine if the lessons are effective. The following is a good routine for teaching new phonics sounds to a class of children. Following this plan is a great way to get kids involved in the lesson and easily determine how well they understand.
- Introduce the new phonics sound. Show examples, and explain how it works
- Have children make their own words that contain the sound. Use chalkboards, letter blocks, magnets or dry-erase boards to make it fun. Get creative!
- Have children copy words with the chosen phonetics into sound boxes. This makes it easier for kids to remember the proper spelling and phonic sounds.
- Let kids plan reading board games or activities with the chosen sound. Monitor these games to gauge progress and see what needs improvement.
- Determine how well the kids are grasping the concept.
Many parents also want to help their children learn to read. If you wish to teach phonics at home, you should read with your child for at least half an hour everyday. Read books from different genres so that kids stay interested and develop their own preferences.
As you are teaching your own child, gauge how fast you go by their understanding. If they master a phonics sound, it is fine to move on to a new one.
There are many books that help teach reading for first grade students. For teachers, a good book is Phonics A-Z. It has all the rules of phonics, why they exist and how they work. It explains how rules are applied to the English language and has examples for each sound.
Phonemic Awareness is another good book for educators, especially for kindergarten and first grade. It teaches the different levels of phonemic awareness with games and fun lessons.
Parents who are teaching their children at home should try the BOB book series. It starts at a beginning reading level and have increased difficulty as the series progresses.
Teaching children to read can be a challenge, but it is very rewarding in the end. By starting early and teaching phonemic awareness in kindergarten, teachers can ensure that first graders learn the rules of phonics. First grade is an exciting time, as kids learn to read and write on their own. By teaching phonics, you can ensure your first grader understands how words are formed and is ready to advance to higher reading levels.