One of my favorite things to do as a mom is teach my kids to read. We start by reading tons of books together, work on phonemic awareness, continue by learning letters and sounds, and then move on to sounding out words.
I’m excited to share something I’ve been working on for some time — 8 short a word family mats! I call them “Read ‘n Stick” because my kiddo reads the word cards and sticks them to the pictures using velcro dots.
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What are word families?
Word families are groups of words that share the same ending. For example, the words cat, fat, and mat all belong to the “-at” word family.
Word Family Mats
Why use Read ‘n Stick Mats?
1) They’re hands-on. My son enjoys reading the words and sticking them to the pictures. Flash cards? Not so much.
2) The visual aid of the pictures gives an extra clue for beginning readers. It makes the reading task more manageable.
3) They’re vocabulary builders. I’d love to make all eight words familiar ones – like crab and cab. But there aren’t enough of them! The bonus if that your child’s vocabulary expands when you teach him words like slab and gab.
How do you use them?
1) Print and laminate each mat on sturdy cardstock. I love this affordable home laminator and laminating sheets! Then print and laminate each set of cards. Cut them apart and stick velcro dots to the pictures and backs of the cards.
2) You can certainly print the mats and cards on plain paper, and have your child match them. However, for a more durable and lasting activity, I recommend #1. A bonus of the velcro dots is that you can store the mats without the cards getting lost — just stick them on!
3) My mats were constantly getting misplaced until I punched holes in them and stored them in a 3-ring binder.
4) Take off all the cards. Have your child read the name of the family in the center of the board. Then have him read each card and match it to the picture. You will be teaching new vocabulary along the way when he gets stuck on a particular word (“What’s a stag?”).
5) After a few times of doing this with you, this is something your child might be able to do himself.
Here are a couple of the mats in the collection:
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These 34 fluency pyramids will help your students read CVC words and words with blends and digraphs!