Teaching and Learning Letter Sounds

July 17, 2019 By Dr. Jenelle Strecker, The Purple Reading Teacher

This is the 1st post in a 3-part series on Letter Sound Explicit Instruction.

I have been thinking about how to better teach letter sounds in kindergarten this summer. At the end of last school year, I had too many kindergarten students that still did not know all of their letter sounds. That is not okay for an upcoming 1st grader to not know all of their letter sounds!

So, I looked to all of my best friends (my books and resources on teaching reading)! We spent quite a bit of quality time together over coffee. Please see some of my go to resources in the resource section below. I started from the beginning.

Why is Learning Letter Sounds Important?

In order to learn how to decode words, students need to know their letter sounds. Students need to understand the alphabetic principle, which just means that letters and letter patterns match the spoken sounds in words we say.

First, students need to be able to hear the individual sounds. This is part of phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness does not include print. It involves oral activities and practice of sounds. An example would be identifying the beginning sound in mango as /m/.

Then students can begin to match those sounds to the printed letters of the alphabet. This is sometimes referred to as letter-sound correspondence. Phonics learning gets started when a student sees the letter m and then can identify that the mark on the page represents the /m/ sound like at the beginning of the word mango.

Beginning sound sorts are a great way to practice saying and identifying sounds.

With my thoughts on the importance on letter sound learning confirmed, I kept reading. You will find those thoughts in my 2nd post in this series. Join me in the next post!

Do you like the picture cards in the pictures of this post? You can download a sample of them for free below. A larger collection will be available soon.

I wish you well and hope you enjoy teaching and learning letter sounds!


Some of the Resources I Like and Used for This Post

· Teaching Struggling and At-Risk Readers: A Direct Instruction Approach by Carnine, Silbert, Kame’enui, Tarver, & Jungjohann

· Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties by David Kilpatrick

· A Brief Summary of Research on Direct Instruction by Jean Stockard, PhD Director of Research and Evaluation January 18, 2015

This Picture Card Sample is available in my TpT store. A larger collection will be available for purchase with the 3rd post in this series on Teaching Letter Sounds.

Getting Started - Again

July 9, 2019 By Dr. Jenelle Strecker, The Purple Reading Teacher

I do not have a catchy title, so I thought I would start with how I really feel about this! I started creating products to share with other Teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers in 2012. Then my husband got on board with me going back to school to get my doctorate. Since that consumed all of my free time, I put the creating and sharing products to the side. My knowledge and passion for reading has only grown since then.

Well, I am back with that advanced degree and am getting started - again! I have done research into how to do a quality job this time around as well. There is so much information out there on how to be a teacherpreneur. Someone even invented a title to go with it since I was here last!

I am excited, motivated, and a little nervous. It is a little scary to put yourself out there. I have sought out resources and support that I feel good about. It is a learning process, like everything in my life. I know I have only just begun to figure out what I need to make this a joyful and successful adventure.

My hope is to share my love and passion for reading with teachers, students, parents, and children beyond my small world.

Watch for me on social media soon! There will be back to school freebies and knowledge I can share from my over 20 years of teaching and learning experiences.

I wish you the best in life and in teaching reading. Let's get started!