Learning to Read

I had the joy of working with a group of kindergartens who were struggling with reading. The opportunity only lasted four weeks and within those four weeks not only did the five-year olds gain a love for reading, they learned the tools needed to read. The steps I took to encourage reading were

I started with a journey through the book. This means we go through the book discussing the pictures on the pages. We make a prediction about what the story could be about and who the main character is in the story.

Next we scan the words in the book and look for words that are sight words. We copy those words into our journals and then create funny stories using our sight words.

Then we look for words that may be difficult and these are called our vocabulary words. We look up the pronunciation and the definition of those words.

Now we are ready to read our story. I read through the story first and then my group reads as a group, followed by independent reading one on one with me and then reading and asking questions for comprehension.

We stayed on one book for 5 days, before moving on to the next.

With children who are first time learners we take more of a phonetic approach. We learn the sounds of the letters, the sounds of letters when put together, and we work on double consonants  like sh, ch, cl, sl, wh, etc…



  1. Phonetics has been instrumental with my own children, but we have been working on sight word recognition to increase fluency. Our latest “find” has been Truth Gaming’s “Park the Ark” app. The frustration level is perfect because it allows for repetition and builds determination.

    1. I am familiar with “Park the Ark” app. I’ve heard similar reviews from other parents, and the great thing about it is, it’s free in the iTunes store. Thanks!

  2. From an ink smeared page

    I’ve found that the phonetic approach works really well 🙂

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