Reading Is Fundamental

Not sure how it happened that my baby girl is to be reading, but she’s 5 1/2 and so very smart and has the desire to learn which is so vital to success. She LOVES our one-on-one time together with our Phonics book and honing in on those skills with some resources I’ve made for her to use and interact with in a way that fosters a love of learning! I will share about those resources as well as some other learning tools we use in our kindergarten reading adventures. I chose the title for this post, because I do believe with all of my heart that if we as teachers nurture the love of learning through developing good readers they sky truly is the limit! If you can read, you can learn anything really!

While I don’t employ the use of screens for very long periods of time, we do use screens everyday in our classroom. It is where we find ourselves today as a society, and if I’m being completely honest and why not … I need to use the screens to keep the proverbial wheels of progress turning with six students grades 11 down to kindergarten.


Li’l Bit loves to watch these videos from time to time. Now they are for review purposes only as she has a solid grasp of letter sounds for both the consonants and vowels. I highly recommend this little series because the videos are 30 minutes or less in length and they are engaging without adding unnecessary fluff to them. I purchased ours with a groupon code about a year ago, and they are well worth the $35 I paid for the entire set.

One of the tools she has at her disposal all the time are the AlphaCaps I made for her sister a few years ago. Right now, I have only the CVC caps in her box. She can build words with these for a few minutes at a time, and she takes pics of her words on her iPod to show me if I’m working with another students. She loves to hear me pronounce all the words she put together successfully with her AlpahCaps. These are made from upcycled milk jug caps. For more information about how to utilize these in word work, read this post that also includes a freebie link.IMG_7045

We have a few apps on the iPad and this is one I really like, because it allows her to misspell the word and then walks her through correcting the mistake. In the photo below, she has placed the b and the ck in the proper place, but the a and l were switched, so the penguin knocks them off for her to try again.


This is the spine of our reading program. It is simple and yet its profoundly effective for teaching phonics to any student, who has mastered the letter sounds. It is called AlpahPhonics and I’ve had it for years, using it to great success with my ELL learner who came home from China at 10 1/2 years old with very little English knowledge. I made the little cheat sheet because Li’l Bit was struggling with b and d reversals.IMG_7291

There’s our Li’l Bit there in her special area of our library. I made some changes to the area recently, and she couldn’t’ be happier! I moved the play kitchen from the kitchen, because it was in the way and she rarely used it. Now she has found a newfound love for her kitchen and it gives her something independent to do after I work with her one-on-one in the mornings. Beside her kitchen I have a small table with two chairs and her cabinet with some other staples including her work tray, magnetic tray, duplo blocks and building plate, AlphaCaps, foam magnet letters and an empty space for rotating centers.


The next four photos show a brand-new resource I made for Li’l Bit to use as we continue to explore CVC words and what they say. I made Build A CVC Word for hands-on fun and she wasn’t disappointed. The resource includes 3 unique game boards along with picture cards plus 3 sets of letter cards for use in word work, spelling, RTI, independent or small-group centers. For the next 24 hours (until 3 p.m. CST September 27, 2015), this resource will be for sale at half price in my TpT store. After that, it is still a great deal for hours of open-ended learning for learners of many ability levels. IMG_7352 IMG_7360 IMG_7723 IMG_7495I love to see our Li’l Bit light up as she reads new words all around her. One of her favorite things to read right now is print she sees as we drive down the road or wait in offices for appointments. Perhaps one of the greatest educational successes we can achieve is to foster a love of reading in our students.


3 thoughts on “Reading Is Fundamental

  1. Chris

    what I SOOO struggle with is my 17 yr old who has no love of learning, no desire to learn, and really, hates instructions of any kind-
    HOW do you inspire them to want to learn,after 14 years of NOT learning, and no knowing how to learn?
    Even with helpers coming into the home 2x a week, and consistency they provide with things, she just goes through the motins, likes the busy work, but doesn’t learn-is it just her mental capacity, or is there a way to STILL unlock a love for learning, a desire to LEARN new things????
    SO HARD!

    1. Leslie

      Chris, I’m sorry i haven’t replied to your comment, but if you still want to hear my thoughts read on. I don’t have the answers really. I have one student who is likely my smartest intellectually, but he has no desire to learn traditionally. He is so smart. He doesn’t even want to do the busy work and often doesn’t, which reflects on his grades. He will enter high school next year when it “counts” if he desires to go to university, so it worries me and keeps me awake. Ultimately, I think at some point we have to let go and see what will be. Since your daughter is nearing adulthood, I think my suggestion would be to encourage her to pursue worthwhile interests that would lead to a source of income. What does she LOVE? What makes her eyes sparkle? What engages her? Those are the things I’d help guide her toward. Does this help at all? Yesterday, I had a discussion along with 4 other homeschool Mommas and we talked about this very thing, how not all of our children will pursue a “certain” path for higher education, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t taught them well or that we have in some way failed them. Please feel free to PM me if you want. cljjs (at) yahoo (dot) com anytime! Don’t lose heart Momma!

  2. karicole

    Hi Leslie,
    Hope all is well with you and your family. Hoping life has just been busy and that is why no new posts. I think of you and check back every now and then. You have much going on so I understand if this blog is low on the priority list. Just wanted you to know you are thought of.


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