Before we can expect our new readers to sound out words with confidence and success, they need to have a strong handle on beginning sounds. Some kids pick these up with little or no effort from us. Reading to my oldest two kids (now ages 6 and 5) , singing alphabet songs, and talking about the sounds letters make was all I needed to do .
Their next sibling (now age 3 1/2) hasn’t picked them up as easily. He has benefited from direct alphabet instruction to learn his letters and sounds — and I’ve created these mats to give him more practice. He loves them!
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These are the second set in my series of Beginning Sounds Match Mats.
I’m teaching my two preschool boys to read with my own resources alongside the fabulous preschool reading curriculum from This Reading Mama, Reading the Alphabet. You can use this set of mats whether or not you are using Reading the Alphabet, but you might be interested to know that I add new letter sounds in the same sequence as Reading the Alphabet.
This set contains mats #5-10. Here’s how it works: mat #1 compares just two letter sounds. Mat #2 compares three. By Mat #4 children are working with five different letter sounds. Old letters drop off the succeeding mats as a new letter is added. The newer letters always have more pictures beginning with their sounds. (Get the first set of mats (#1-5) in this post).
Let me show you what I mean. Here’s Mat #8. Since previous mats have already covered letters c, a, and d quite a bit, there is only one picture for each of them (corn, ants, and dolphin). Letter b was just introduced in the previous mat, so it has two pictures (bat and basketball). Letter r is new for this mat, so it has three pictures (raccoon, ring, and rain).
How can you use these mats?
1) They’d be a great learning center in a classroom.
2) I also think they’d work well for reading tutors.
3) At home, you can use them with your child who needs work on beginning sounds — whether that’s your preschooler, kindergartner, or older child. No need to do the whole stack at once — a few at a time is enough. Sit with your child the first few times, and when he’s ready to do them independently you can have him work at the table while you prepare dinner. Consider sliding them into a bag for long waits at the doctor’s office!
Assembly takes a few minutes, but you’ll have lasting learning center after you take the time!
1) Print the mats and sets of letter cards on cardstock.
3) Cut apart the cards.
5) Punch holes in the mats and put them in a 3-ring binder for easy storage.
Get the mats here:
Don’t miss mats #1-5!
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