Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Learning Letter Patterns: using Key Words

Here's a method I used with my Grade 2-4 struggling readers; they were having trouble learning letter patterns such as oa, ai, oy, oi, ou, ow etc., so I developed a sheet for them to use to learn the patterns that were tricky for them. You could also use it for children who are having trouble with some alphabet letter sounds.

This method works because you are concentrating on the individual child - working on the letters or patterns that are difficult for the child, and using words that are significant for the child.
You can download the Key Words sheet to print here:

How to use the Key Words method:

Choose up to 5 'challenging' letters or letter patterns for each child to work on.
Have the child write each of these on a separate sheet of paper, then think of several words using that letter/pattern and write them down, too.

Then on the Key Words sheet, the child writes the letters/patterns neatly in the left column (or you can write them in if the child can't write neatly). 

The child then chooses a 'key word' using that pattern -  a word that is easiest for him to recognise and remember, and writes it neatly in the key space. Note that different children could have different key words, as they are choosing the word that is most significant for themselves. 

The child can then draw a picture in the third column to represent each Key Word - once again, this is an individual focus so it doesn't have to be a work of art, just something meaningful to the child himself.

The child can then practise the letters/patterns on the Key Words sheet each day until he is able to recognise them in words he reads in other contexts. 

You can also make flash cards with the extra words found in the first step, and use those to help the practice (play reading games - see other blog posts for printable board games- using the words to add fun to the practice). Keep the Key Words list handy to assist the child when reading or playing reading games.

No comments:

Post a Comment