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Your kindergartner and reading

Kindergartners learn the relationship of letters to sounds and master their first sight words.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Reading-readiness skills

Throughout the year, kindergartners are introduced to skills that prepare them for reading. Students often work with letters of the alphabet to build their vocabularies, helping them begin to understand reading as a process of discerning meaning from print. Kindergartners should be immersed in a print-rich environment that will help them develop an awareness and understanding of spoken and written language.

Reading specialist Jennifer Thompson explains: "As children use language, they reveal their working knowledge of the rules of language, how to use them and put words and parts of words together in meaningful ways."

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

04/6/2012:
"hello i realy need too much help for my kids please, they speak english and spanish and in the school the progess is very very low "
03/12/2012:
"this was a great article, confirmed some thoughts i already had and gave me some new ones. "
11/15/2011:
"my challenge with my 6 year old may be unique, but i am hoping for assistance or sugggestions from educators or parents. we are missionaries to another country where portuguese is spoken. we arrived here last year when our daughter was only 4. she had not yet learned to read. the schools in this village are very weak. she is learning phonics for the language and can read some portuguese words. i have tried to teach her phonics with my limited ability. it seems to confuse her more than help her. i am desperately concerned that she will be too far behind her peers in the states. can someone give me suggestions? others have just gone home and that is not an option for me. i believe this site will be a tremendous support in my efforts to teach her. "
02/24/2011:
"I have a 5yr. old that struggles with d, and b (upper/lower case) letters. The comment about the 5yr. olds is sooo... helpful because I thought it was just my daughter. I have worked over backwards with her and she still seem to struggle with her in class assignments. Do you have any suggestions or will this pass by 1st? Thanks"
02/22/2011:
"The biggest hurdle for a five year old is seeing the difference between lower case letters that look alike, such as p, d, q, b. The capital letters don't follow the same pattern. An upside down B is still a B. A backwards C is still a C. But a backwards b is not a b, it's a d. That has to be emphasized with at least 25 percent of the children. The other area is the ability to blend sounds into words. Parents can make a game of this by saying the parts of the word chair as if it were ch...air. The child will guess chair. Use items around the house. Tay....bull = table. It's fun and very helpful."
02/21/2011:
"I abhor the use of sight words and the whole reading approach as opposed to teaching phonics and sounding it out and learning context. Its backwards. How do you figure WORD sounds without being 100% sure of letter sounds. If you don't know long and short vowels and silent e how do you read ANY word? This is the second child we have been through this whole words program with and I am even more frustrated this time around. Its stupid. They are just having them memorize certain words and saying those are sight words and that phonics will come later,,,,HELLO Phonics should be the foundation and it should start in PreK and be expounded on, not sight words in K and First and then Phonics later."
02/21/2011:
"The biggest hurdle for a five year old is seeing the difference between lower case letters that look alike, such as p, d, q, b. The capital letters don't follow the same pattern. An upside down B is still a B. A backwards C is still a C. But a backwards b is not a b, it's a d. That has to be emphasized with at least 25 percent of the children. The other area is the ability to blend sounds into words. Parents can make a game of this by saying the parts of the word chair as if it were ch...air. The child will guess chair. Use items around the house. Tay....bull = table. It's fun and very helpful."
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