I love to teach reading using word families. After learning to read a set of words with the same ending, my kids start to internalize the patterns and become much more proficient at sounding out words. It’s a great tool to add to our arsenal of reading strategies.
If you’ve been following along, you’ve seen my collection of short vowel word family houses that I began using with my Five when he was 4 1/2. After using those and other reading resources for quite some time, short vowel words are easy for him. It’s time to move on!
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I created this giant set of long a read ‘n stick mats for my Five. By reading the accompanying word cards, he’s learning the following phonics patterns:
I call these my Read ‘n Stick Mats because you can laminate the pages and attach Velcro dots for extra fun matching. (Gotta love that rrrrip!)
Why use Read ‘n Stick Word Family 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 whale and sale. But there aren’t enough of them! The bonus if that your child’s vocabulary expands when you teach him words like gale and vale.
How do you use Read ‘n Stick Mats?
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 dotsto 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 plank?”).
5) After a few times of doing this with you, this is something your child might be able to do himself. You can pull out the binder for a reading warm-up before trying some early reading books — or if you’re not there yet, do a few Read ‘ Stick mats after you read books together. You could even put the binder in a bag and bring it along to the waiting room.
Here are some examples of what you’ll get in the download:
Get our other long vowel mats here:
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