Do you have a student who is learning letter sounds? Encourage beginners by introducing just a handful of sounds at a time. Never bombard your student with a lot of sounds at once. Instead, introduce 2-4 new letter sounds at a time. Also, review old letter sounds each lesson. Here is a free letter sound activity for beginners:
Here’s a visual of the above pdf:
Letter Sound Guidelines for Beginners
–Teach continuous versus stop sounds– Continuous sounds can be held for a long time without sound distortion. For example, you can say /s/ for a long time, “ssssssss” without adding an uh. In contrast, letters like /t/ are stop sound. You cannot hold /t/ for a long time. Instead, say stop sounds quickly to avoid adding an uh.
-Teach short vowels– For vowels, only teach one sound. Yes, /a/ can make several sounds as in vapor, ran and water. However, in order to be effective, you have to teach phonics systematically, meaning you introduce one sound at a time. When teaching beginners, focus only on the following short vowel sounds:
a_ as in at (ex. ran, map, tan)
e_ as in elephant (ex. met, pet, Ben)
i_ as in igloo (ex. hit, nip, dim)
o_ as in octopus (ex. hop, lot, dot)
u_ as in up (ex. cup, run, pup)
When do I start to use decodables?
You can start to use decodables after your student 1) learns the short vowel a_ as in apple 2) knows most letter sounds 3) can blend sounds together. If your student can complete basic phonemic awareness activities like, “Guess what I’m saying: mmmmmm-aaaaaaa-p” and he can aptly answer “map,” then he’s ready to read phonics stories.