When kids learn letter sounds, they should practice with a variety of sounds. For example, if the child is learning s, m, t, a, be sure to include each of these sounds in the letter sounds activity. That way, the child doesn’t mindlessly regurgitate the same sound.
I see educators providing lessons that focus on one letter for the entire duration of the lesson. This is a waste of time. If the child knows that the entire lesson focuses on “s” for example, then he can mindlessly regurgitate the /s/ sound and get everything right. In this case, there won’t be any real learning. He’ll simply say /s/ in every activity without analyzing the shape of the letter.
For sustained learning, use interleaving. Sometimes interleaving is called mixed practice. In interleaving, the learner encounters both old and new material or “mixed” material. In addition, he doesn’t know what’s coming next. In letter sound lessons, the child might have learned s, m, t, a already. To practice, he might have to recall s, m, t, a in various orders. The following worksheets provide mixed or interleaved letter sound practice for s, m, t, a.
Once your student knows most of the letter sounds, she’s read for decodable texts. These are beginning level learn to read books.
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For more on how to teach letter sounds, check out: