Phoneme Isolation-Beginning and Ending Sounds

Before working on segmenting all of the phonemes in a word, children need to be able to hear the individual phonemes.  According to research, children develop their phonemic awareness on a continuum.  When kiddos start the phoneme level, they begin by listening for the sound heard at the beginning of a word, then the end, and then move onto the middle sound. 

 Many of my students are working to isolate and name the sounds they hear at the beginning and end of words.  They seem to do well with hearing sounds at the beginning of the word, but then tend to become confused when asked to name the sound at the end.

I updated my pack that helps students with the concepts of "beginning" and "ending" in words using the following visual:
I can't remember where I first came across the star with the arrow, but it is something I have used ever since with my little ones.  I have found that it is really helpful in making those concepts more concrete for the kiddos.

I begin my instruction by explicitly teaching the students how to use the visual through modeling.  Here are my general directions:
1.  Start with your finger on the star.
2.  Slowly stretch out (or say) the word.
3.  Slide your finger toward the arrow as you slowly stretch out the word.
I then repeat it again and again, showing that when you begin to stretch the word out, your finger is on the star.  And as you come to the end of the word, your finger is on the arrow head.

As students become more proficient with it, they generally internalize the visual and it is no longer needed.  (This is evident when you see them slide their finger across the table or even in the air.)

Here is what is included in this pack:
~  Star with arrow visual for teacher modeling.
~  Star with arrow visual for student use.
~  27 Picture cards for group work or sorting

~  6 Worksheets for independent practice that provides students with systematic practice as they develop their phoneme awareness (as listed below):
-  "What is at the beginning?"-all pictures begin with continuous consonants.
-  "What is at the beginning again?"-combined pictures of continuous and stop initial consonants.
-  "What is at the end?"-all pictures end with continuous consonants.
-  "What is at the end again?"-combined pictures of continuous and stop final consonants.
-  "Where is the sound?" and "Where is the sound again?"-combined tasks of beginning and ending isolation where the students identify where the sound is heard.

Please note that my initial instruction is based at the sound level.  This is when the students use the visual and picture cards to name the sound they hear.  As students gain knowledge in their letter sound correspondences, I then begin discussing what letter the word would begin or end with and introduce the worksheets for more independent practice.

How do you practice isolating phonemes?

New Updates-I See Student Readers!

Are you familiar with my Emergent Student Readers?  
I use them throughout the year to help develop my students into readers.

Each year I start my students off with the following reader:
This reader practices the sight words:  I, see, the, a.
I use it to reinforce:
~  concept of word, sentence, and space
~  1:1 correspondence when reading
~  use of picture clues when reading
~  rhyming
~ onset-rime blending

This year I added another reader that is very similar, yet different:
This reader reinforces the sight words:  I, see, my, a,
along with the same concepts written above.

How do I use these?
I begin my instruction by writing out each sentence on a sentence strip.  I attach the corresponding picture and display them in my pocket chart.  We review the sight words in the reader and discuss the use of picture clues if we become puzzled on a word.  Then we name the pictures shown.

I model how we read by pointing to one word at a time and we read through each sentence together.  I then have each student come up and read with a fun pointer.  Once each student has read, I give them each a copy to begin their Student Reader folder.  

As additional Student Readers are introduced, I will add them to the folder.  Each week the kiddos go through and read through their folders independently to practice fluency.

I will also have them take their Home Reader home with them to read to someone special.

I have combined the two readers into one download:
If you had already purchased the first "I See" Emergent Student Reader, please go back to download the file again so that you can receive the second "I See" Emergent Student Reader!!

Click on the picture below to see all of the Student Readers I have created:

A Letter ID Game for the Entire Year!

As a Reading Teacher who works with Kindergarten students who are below grade level, I tend to work on letter and sound identification throughout the entire school year.  One way I do this is by playing a fun pocket chart game all year long that they just LOVE!  
Here is how to play:
~  Display the target letters on a pocket chart.
~  Choose your picture to "hide" and place it behind one of the letters.
~  Have your students take turns pointing to one of the displayed letters and naming it (and the sound sound).
~  If identified correctly, remove the chosen letter to see if the graphic is hiding behind it!

Here is a close up of the game in use in my classroom:
It is really, very simple!  I will use the same letter cards but change the graphic to go along with the seasons or holidays of each month!  The kids love trying to find the hidden picture!  (The first round of each new month is really fun because I don't tell them ahead of time what is hidden!)

Another nice thing about this game is that I always have it displayed in my pocket chart.  So if I have an extra few minutes here or there, we play a quick game.  The kids have fun and it is reinforcing their letter-sound knowledge! 

I created a document that puts all of the letter cards and pictures together in one download.  The download includes:
-  Cards for the 26 upper and lower case letters.
-  12 pictures to correspond with monthly holidays and/or seasons to hide behind the letter cards.

The uses of this game are endless!  I personally use it with sight words, sight word phrases, and CVC words.  It could be used with numbers, math facts, vocabulary words, etc...  Have you played this game before?

Rhyming Activities Pack

I have been working hard with some of my kinderkids to build their rhyming skills.  I have been reading aloud lots of rhyming texts, chorally reciting rhyming poems and chants, and playing games.

I decided to update my Rhyming Activities Pack and made it bigger (and better)!

I tend to do a lot with picture cards in my small groups, so I decided to add more.  Now there are 12 pairs of Rhyming Picture Cards along with suggestions for use.  

I also added 10 cards for a Rhyming Around the Room game.  My kiddos LOVE having a clipboard in their hands, so this activity is fun and engaging for them!

To help provide some independent practice of rhyme, I also included 3 worksheets for rhyme recognition and 2 worksheets for rhyme production.  So that is a total of 5 sheets for them to show me what they can do independently!

What are some fun rhyming activities you do with your kiddos?