In our OG-structured lessons we make sure to hit on all of the key components of reading development. Many reading programs only focus on one or two of these areas but we know children that are showing signs of dyslexia or a reading disorder need a program that explicitly teaches each and every component. We never assume a child will pick up on tasks without specific instruction in all areas.
Alphabet & Letter Recognition
Pattern Blocks Letters - This is such a fun activity to add a multisensory component to letters.
Alphabet Lego Cards - This activity is so fun, for the very creative spirit, they can venture off the cards to see if they can still make a recognizable letter.
Play-Doh Mats - You can find a number of free mats online too, I just really like these ones because they also incorporate letter formation and have fun graphics. The uses here are really endless, you could do legos, cubes, etc. within the boxes.
Rubber Band Sequencing - This is a great activity and so much fun when young ones are interested in playing with multi-colored rubber bands. You could always use typed letters from paper or letter magnets for this too!
Firetruck Alphabet Sequencing - This is a PDF file of the Fire truck we use in session with counter chips. The idea is that you would laminate (or stick in a page protector) and use a dry erase marker to fill in 3 of the 5 letters and have your child find the missing letters on counter chips or fill in with the marker.
Phonics - Letter/Sound Knowledge
Wherever possible, I avoid standard worksheets in favor of a more interactive approach to learning, here are some ideas for incorporating letter-sound knowledge without the traditional worksheets.
Beginning Sounds Worksheets - Okay, okay...so I don't feel like these are traditional worksheets because they allow for the fun "game-like" aspect of the poker chips and the pictures are so cute!
Montessori Alphabet Activities - So this is a really amazing collection of activities utilizing the Montessori Alphabet Box for any parent or teacher of a child struggling with letter/sound correspondence because it really touches on the concrete, multisensory aspect we strive for in OG instruction...plus it's fun!
Fun with Beginning Sounds - I couldn't agree more that changing up an acitivity with use of velcro dots or magnets changes the activity from being "so-so" to "exciting or fun" in the words of a child.
Difficulty in Phonological Awareness is a core deficit in children with reading disorders and is the number one predictor of later reading ability. This skillset absolutely MUST be in place for any of the alphabet or phonics knowledge to be meaningful in reading.
Our general structure moves from the less complex activities to the more complex activities, moving in a stairstep progression, generally in this order: Rhyming, Sentence Segmentation, Syllable Segmentation & Blending, Onset-rime Blending & Segmentation, Blending & Segmenting Individual Phonemes (sounds).
Rhyming Clip Cards - I love this activity as it incorporates fine motor ability and rhyme detection all in one. You can differentiate by asking them to produce another word that rhymes with the picture.
Sentence Segmenting Graph - This is a PDF of the graph we use with unifix cubes or counters for counting the number of words in a sentence. Try not to give sentences with more than 10 words at this age. You could also use little bears, cars, legos, whatever is interesting!
Lego Syllable Counting - I LOVE this activity, such a fun multisensory and engaging way to begin counting syllables with cute printables included, a double win in my book.
Onset - Rime Racers - This is so fun as an introduction to onset and rime blending!
CVC Phoneme Segmenting and Blending - These cards are adorable and have so many uses or ways to differentiate. You can use gems or counter chips to create a phonemic awareness activity or use Bananagrams or letter magnets to create a spelling activity!
A very important aspect to reading instruction, including children who struggle with reading, is keeping the larger picture in focus. All too often we focus so much on phonics or one aspect of reading instruction that we miss out on the comprehension piece, or just the plain old love of reading piece. At this early age, we must not let a child's love of hearing stories and literature dwindle away. Hearing stories continues to build their vocabulary and enjoyment of print. We are adamant about keeping that essential piece of reading instruction in place. Additionally, we try to tie fun activities back to the literature that review either comprehension, phonics, phonological awareness, or letter formation. Here are some of the books and activities we love!