You’re working with your Kindergartner on abc phonics sounds, and you realize you’re not sure what letter sounds to teach! This is normal. As we teach abc phonics sounds, we see that there are multiple sounds for each letter. For example, /a/ says “ay” as in vacation and it also says “a_” as in cat. Also, /g/ says a hard sound as in “got” and a “j” sound as in “giraffe.” You realize there are countless variations on letter sounds. So what abc phonics sounds do you teach a Kindergartner?
First, one sound per letter
Reading Elephant is dedicated to struggling readers, including kids with dyslexia, auditory-processing deficits, memory deficits and kids that need a methodical step-by-step approach. Many students need a methodical approach to learning abc phonics sounds.
With beginners, only teach one sound per letter. This means you’ll have to ignore later phonics sounds. Sure, /a/ says “ay” but that is a rule kids typically learn in first grade. In Kindergarten, kids need to learn that /a/ says “a_” as in apple. This allows students to read simple cvc words like cat, sat, map, fan…etc.
You don’t want to throw all phonics sounds at your students at once. If your your student may not learn any sounds at all! Teach the essentials in Kindergarten.
Abc phonics sounds for kindergarten
For vowels, teach short vowel sounds. Short vowels are the following:
a_ as in apple ( Sample words: cat, man, sat)
e_ as in elephant ( Sample words: let, men, set)
i_ as in igloo ( Sample words: kit, fin, pig)
o_ as in octopus ( Sample words: hop, got, pod)
u_ as in up ( Sample words: cup, pup, tug)
Some letters make multiple sounds. However, teach only one sound per letter. Use the most common sound. Here’s the sounds to say for letters with some variations:
c as in cat (not cell)
g as in got (not giraffe)
x as in fox (not xylophone)
y as in yes (not my or funny)
Letter sounds unlock short vowel words
After you teach abc phonics sounds, your student should be able to read short vowel words. For example, he should be able to read a sentence like: Meg the hen had an egg. The egg was big. The egg was red. Short vowel books allow kids to practice saying and blending letter sounds. Reading Elephant offers step-by-step short vowel books. Check out our free sample:
What’s after abc phonics sounds?
After kids learn abc phonics sounds, they learn consonant digraphs. These are two or more consonants that make one sound, including sh, th, ch…etc. Learn how to teach consonant digraphs systematically.
Reading Elephant offers methodical, step-by-step phonics books pdf.