I’m teaching my Three and Five to read, and as we work through Reading the Alphabet, I share four new emergent readers for each lesson. It’s October – so enjoy a set of free monster books for kids!
I’ve said before that Reading the Alphabet is a phenomenal curriculum for teaching preschoolers to read. (Not sure? Check out my review here.) One of my favorite things about it is its versatility. There is absolutely no pressure to do everything with the fear that if you don’t, your child will be left behind.
As a classroom teacher, I couldn’t bear that kind of curriculum. And now that I’m teaching my preschoolers at home, I feel the same way. Curriculum designers must leave room for knowledgeable parents and teachers who know what their kids are ready to learn. Thankfully, Becky provides a great variety of activities and leaves it up to the parents to decide what to use for each lesson.
So what have we been doing for Lesson 10 of Reading the Alphabet?
1. We read the emergent reader.
Each Reading the Alphabet lesson introduces a new sight word. This week, the word is “you.” My Three hasn’t learned can yet, and you was also above his ability. So I read the first parts of the sentences, and he finished them. When he tired of that, I read the whole page. He loves to practice reading previous books, and I know that eventually he’ll be ready for this one too.
2. We printed the pocket chart words and pictures that go along with the emergent reader.
I told my Five what sentences to make, and he had fun finding the words and placing them in the chart – along with their picture clue.
Next, he read each sentence.
3. We reviewed previously learned sight words.
I like to review the sight words we’ve learned in various ways. Since my Five has a great handle on reading them, I decided to have him practice spelling them. I found this idea over at No Time for Flashcards, and it was a hit! I stamped all but one letter into each piece of play dough, and he filled in the missing letter. (By the way, I’ve had those stamps since I started teaching 14 years ago, and they’re still awesome — highly recommended!)
4. We reviewed letter sounds.
I printed these fantastic 3-letter word cards from Homeschool Creations. Since I was using them with my Three, I printed the cards that had the letters already there — so this was a simple matching activity. However, as we matched, we talked about the sound each letter made, and I showed him how those sounds blended together to make a word. He’s not developmentally ready to sound out words, but this was a great introduction.
Here’s a bonus – we got some math skills in while also reinforcing the sound of the letter r, which along with the sight word you is the focus of Reading the Alphabet Lesson 10. My Three really struggles with even ABAB patterns, so this was good for him.
5. We reviewed short a word families.
My Five is getting much better at sounding out words. We’re actually moving into other short vowel families as well (which is ahead of the Reading the Alphabet curriculum), but today I’ll just share the work we did for short a. This was a simple free printable that I got from Teachers Pay Teachers. He loved covering a letter on the left and finding a word family on the right to create a real word. (The fancy words for this are onset and rime.)
6. We read four additional emergent readers that teach the sight word you.
And may I say that they turned out adorable? I really love these, and it was great hearing my Five read them. He’s coming along and is able to figure out more challenging words using phonics and context clues.
Here are some tips for helping your child read my emergent readers:
1. Let your child show you what he can do. If a book is frustrating or just beyond his ability, go back a few levels. This is set 9, and each set builds on the previous set by adding a new sight word. You can find links to all the sets here.
2. Be patient. Try not to supply a word, but be willing to if necessary. You can give clues like this:
- Look at the beginning sound. Get your mouth ready to say the word.
- Can you figure out the word using the picture?
- Read the first chunk of that word and see if you can guess the rest.
- Did that make sense?
3. Have fun! Don’ t push your preschooler to read if it’s frustrating for him — but it’s okay to provide a little fun incentive if your child needs it. We have a box of cheap prizes like stickers and plastic whistles. If my Three reads eight books (he chooses from my emergent readers and the ones from Reading the Alphabet), he can pick a prize. My Five needs to read 12 books — while he does read my emergent readers, he mostly reads leveled books as well as some decodable readers. My Five doesn’t ask for a prize anymore, but it’s just the thing for my Three. He asks to read – I don’t need to initiate it!
Here’s a sample page:
In the download you will get:
- Colorful Monsters
- The Hungry Monster
- Can you See the Monster?
- Monsters at School
Get your free books HERE.
How to assemble:
(for a video tutorial, see this page)
- Cut across the horizontal center of each page.
- Insert one set of pages into the other, paying attention to the page numbers.
- Staple with a long-armed stapler.
Check out the rest of our collection!
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