Let’s chat about early reader resources. Willow is considered an emergent reader, which means she is well into decoding and can read many words in a book, but still requires help and guidance to get through it fully. She has always been determined and her reading lessons remain her favorite, even after adding in math this year. Her journey thus far has been slow and steady, and we made lots of room for fun. I wanted to share some of the resources that have been valuable to us. We use All About Reading as our curriculum (which we love and do 20-30 min lessons 3-4x a week) which has plenty of games and playful activities, but we have also used the below to supplement.
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BOB books – I know they are dry and uninteresting to us, but my daughter feels very accomplished reading these. They are short and sweet and help to build her fluency. They aren’t crazy expensive, but I did have luck looking on eBay and scored a lot of 50 readers for $25. Check around!
We have the below:
CVC wheels – My daughter loved these word wheels in the beginning, especially when learning CVC words. They are inexpensive – highly recommend!
Library card – I know I know, but I have to include it because the library is our most used resource. We take home stacks and stacks of books every week! From picture books that I read aloud (she loves to follow my finger and will interject if she wants to read) and early readers. Speaking of…
Early readers – Invest in early readers aside from taking out from the library so that your child can practice on the same books frequently. Biscuit, Frog and Toad, and Little Bear are of our favorites!
Flash cards – We play a lot of games with flashcards (sight words, long vowels/silent e, etc.) A few games we love:
Hide the words: I hide the cards around the room and she has to find them and read back to me.
The sticker game: I create a chart on a piece of paper with 12 squares (or whatever grid you want). I hold up a word and if she gets it right, she puts a sticker on it. I put the chart on the other side of the room because she loves to run back and forth to add the sticker. It’s really simple but she goes crazy for this game!
Feed the monster: We created a monster out of an old pasta box and cut out a mouth. She reads the word right to “feed the monster.”
Super Why game – Aside from watching Super Why, we love this board game. It’s a fun way to practice!
Bananagrams – We don’t play this game the exact way you are supposed to just yet, but we love using the tiles to make up words together.
Sight Word Swat – Another fun game to reinforce high-frequency words.
Zingo – Both of my kids love to play these games. Doesn’t feel like reading practice!
Fairytale Story Game/Cards – This is one of my girls’ favorites. They really love making up their own stories (and sometimes I jot them down, which I will discuss further down). While this isn’t “reading” practice per se, it is a way to excite them to tell/read stories and exercise their imagination, enhance their vocabulary, etc.
Explode the Code – We use these workbooks every once in a while for practice, but my daughter isn’t crazy about them. If we need to reinforce a concept, sometimes I will pull this out and gauge her interest. They are affordable, simple, and straightforward phonics practice.
Jot It Down – Jot It Down is a Brave Writer program by Julie Bogart and we have been utilizing the Fairytale project (when you have your child re-tell a fairytale and scribe it for them to illustrate). Sure, it is considered a writing program, but I believe it directly helps my reader because it truly excites her when I type her words out and read them back to her. We have done classic fairytales and also stories she makes up herself. This exercise is relaxed and fun, while showing her that written words matter. What better way to encourage them to read?
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