I was recently in a meeting with a district administrator and she asked me what I considered to be crucial skills for students to have before moving on to first grade. For once, I paused and gave this some careful thought since I think all of us are faced with this issue as we approach the end of the year. First, I look at a child's social and emotional development and that truly guides my thinking. With that being said, I really am concerned if a child cannot blend sounds to make words. This is a real deal breaker in my head because students who struggle with this skill often become overwhelmed the following year. Our first grade program moves at a crazy speed and these kiddos are not ready for the pace or the demands being placed on them. Administrators fight us on this but kindergarten teachers get to know their students quite well and often have well thought out reasons for wanting a student to spend another year in their classroom. Retention has become a dirty word! Right? The child who only recognizes a few letters or only knows a few sounds will obviously have a difficult time but not being able to decode simple cvc words makes reading laborious and difficult. It makes building fluency almost impossible. What do you think?
At this time of year I use every trick in the book to teach my students how to blend sounds to make words and decode simple cvc words. This packet is filled with activities that I have had great success with. It is filled with books that students make, cut and paste work, cvc word searches, literacy stations that are taught in a small group setting, games and much more. I only work on these skills with 25 words, five from each vowel group (a, e, i, o, and u). This builds student confidence and has been highly effective in my classroom.
I am almost finished. My husband is my official editor but he is out playing softball so keep your eye on this and I will let you know when it is in my store. I hope this makes a difference for you. The theme is Growing Flowers. Let the games begin!