Friday, November 25, 2011
From Phonics to Words with Slide Cards
Have you ever known you needed to do something that no one else knew about, but you still felt guilty? That’s how I’ve felt about posting this activity for months now. Literally months. This should have been my very first post ever. These slide cards are the most useful activity that I’ve ever created for my son.
He did a great job learning phonics in kindergarten. But blending those phonics into words was a little more challenging for him. At the kindergarten curriculum meeting, the teachers shared a nifty little trick to help early readers blend the sounds they learned. Thankfully, midway through the year, I hadn’t forgotten it.
First, I made a few of these … then a few more … and more and more, at my son’s request. I don’t know what the cards were called that the kindergarten teachers shared, but I’ve dubbed these amazingly simple things ‘slide cards.’
The basic principle is that by showing a child one letter at a time, they are able to concentrate on the sound it makes before they see the next letter/phonic. It’s easier for them to blend the sounds gradually rather than 1) feeling overwhelmed and giving up or 2) guessing the word.
Simply download and print the first 15 cards (5 pages) on cardstock, flip over and download and print the next 15 (5 pages) on the back. Then grab 15 regular-size security mailing envelopes and seal them all. Now cut one of the short ends off of each. Insert one card in all the envelopes and you’re ready to work with your son/daughter on blending sounds. Just pull the cards out slowly and make sure your child says the first sound before revealing the next letter. When they’ve blended all the letters/sounds together, reveal the picture and watch your child’s face light up with pride!
TIP: It works best to print the cards so that the type on the back is upside down. That way you can simply flip the card over and immediately practice the next word, without having to reposition the card in the envelope.
Now allow me to apologize for not sharing this activity sooner. Until I switched to new design software, I could not share the original cards I made for my son. I hope a few of you will find these PDFs (or just the idea) to be as helpful as we have.