Kindergarten Sight Word Reading.
Visualize Your Non-Reader Reading!

Only a book About Me makes sense.

Kindergarten sight word reading builds on reading. We become proficient at reading through practice.

Not many of us learned to ride a bike, or drive a car, in one lesson.

It's no different with learning to read. We become better readers with practice.

A complete English dictionary contains over 500,000 words. Within those words is a set of roughly 220 words that are essential to basic communication.

In fact, we simply couldn't communicate without them.

Among the many words we need to learn are those called sight words.   It's with words from this list that Kindergarten sight word reading begins.  The words are used in simple, basic sentences.

What's unique to this set of words is that they don't follow the rules of phonics.

What we see and what we say appear to have no direct relationship. Still, when we know and say these words, we all pronounce them the same way.

If we sounded out: the, their, would, said ... just to name a few ... the individual sounds of the letters would not result in the words as we know them. So when we urge our children to sound out unknown words, we may be leading them astray when it comes to sight vocabulary words.

We have to learn to read them as sight words...as whole words.

Kindergarten children can learn to read short, simple sentences.

Many are told, before entering kindergarten, that they will learn to read when they get to school. Since kindergarten classrooms are in schools, some children expect to learn to read when they get there.

Some kindergarten children are disappointed when they don't learn to read on the first day of school.

Learning the alphabet is the key to learning to read. A logical progression following the mastery of recognizing the letters by name is to combine them into written words. The next step is to learn the written forms of what we say.

We learn the alphabet to learn the written forms. And then...we turn the written forms back into speech.

Why not do that in a powerful and effective setting?

From a kindergartener's point of view...the world revolves around me! To a young child, what's more important than ME?

Cash in on your child's egocentricity!

Teaching kindergarten children sight word reading need not be a difficult task. The purpose behind teaching sight words is to recognize them when they appear in sentences or in lines of print.

Far too often, we teach kindergarten sight word reading from flashcards.

 

Over time, children master the word card list.

More often than we care to experience...

these same words...
are not recognized...

...when they appear in sentences.

How can that be, you ask? Teachers ask it, too!

Johnny knows that the card with the red smudge on it is the word for at. The one with the dog-eared bend is to. The next word is the because it always appears after to.

In other words...

the child learns the list...
but doesn't recognize the word...
whenever it appears anywhere outside the list.

The Dolch list is the gold standard of sight word reading lists.

Most teachers use it as the standard for teaching sight words.

Indeed, many early reading materials are written with the Dolch list in mind.

They're called controlled vocabulary readers. These books bear such titles as:

I See Sam

Mat the Rat

Sam and Mat

Not very exciting or stimulating topics...even for a child! Worse, yet, for the adult.

Usually, these books are well-illustrated. For some children, the illustrations stimulate more exciting stories than the sentences used.

What could be more simple than to write a book about ME? That would certainly cash in on the child's sense of self-importance.

A Book About Greg ...(use YOUR child's name)

What could be more exciting for Greg than reading a book about Greg?

My name is Greg.
I am 5 years old.
This is a picture of me. (A self-portrait. A picture. If you can sketch, do that!)
I live at ...2345 Garden Street.
I live in ... (town, city, state/province, country)
My telephone number is....
I have X brothers and X sisters.
My sister's name is...
She is X years old.
My brother's name is....
He is X years old.
Only child? I have no brothers or sisters.
I have a cat, dog, rabbit, gerbil, hamster...
Her (or his) name is....
Once, she had 5 kittens.
We gave them all away.
My father's name is ....
I call him "Daddy."
My mother's name is...
I call her "Mom." (Mommy, Mum, Ma)

The story need not be completed in one day.

A new sentence to read can be added each day.

Add as much personal information as you wish...about
grandparents,
aunts,
uncles,
birthdays,
events leading up to the present age.

Inject variations, such as,
"I have an auntie. Her name is Rachelle. R,R,R (letter name); rrr, rrr, rrr (letter sound)."
"I have an uncle. His name is Errol. E,E,E; e,e,e (as in the sound of "e" in get)"
Use as many family names as possible.
"I don't have an auntie, whose name is Elizabeth. E,E,E; e,e,e."

Any new word, then, can be used to reinforce letter-name recognition while gaining a sight vocabulary.

This is an activity that can be worked on AFTER your child has a good command of the alphabet. That is, she can recognize and name the letters, accurately.

What is the point of writing A Book About Me?

It takes your kindergarten child away from learning to read isolated words and word lists. In real life, we don't read word lists other than at the grocery store.

A book about your child is a powerful incentive in learning to read. Spelling new words forces your child to look at all the letters in the word while learning it.

That, in turn, may prevent guessing at words based on the first few letters, in later grades. It may even stimulate your child into becoming a good speller.

A BOOK ABOUT ME will provide your child with stimulating reading material. Cash in on your child's egocentricity!
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