Dear Gaila, My daughter will be learning to read next year in kindergarten. What exercises and games can I do in preparation? Sincerely, Excited Mother of an almost Kindergartener
Dear Excited Mother,
Last week I wrote about developing phonemic awareness of beginning sounds. Now that your daughter has pranced around the house singing "I like c-c-c-c-cake and c-c-c-c-cookies with c-c-c-c-cream", we need to develop awareness of ending sounds.
First make sure that your child understands the concept of end. Last, the last one, the one where the sounds stops, ending sound. Emphasize it. Yummmmmm. Good-d-d-d-d. Up-p-p-p-p! downnnnnnn. Then play simple word games where you search the ending sounds.
You can say three words and ask which two end the same way. "Hmmm, let's see if I can trick you." (Head, bad, stop; Jump, eat, wet.) And so on. Of course you will be very surprised when you cannot trick them! They are just too smart for you. If they aren't getting it at all, then just say two words at a time and ask whether they end he same way or not. (Book, hat; Trick, book.)
One can also do this with pictures. It is not necessary to spend hours reinventing the wheel. Google away for what others have done before you!
Most of all - enjoy the interaction with your child!
Gaila has over 40 year of experience teaching and runs A.H.A.V.A., a non-profit to promote English literacy. Would you like to ask Gaila a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message. Look out for more Dear Gaila columns