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Science of Reading Activities in Kindergarten

Do you want to bring the Science of Reading into your kindergarten classroom but don’t know where to start? Keep reading for 5 ways to use SOR activities in early elementary and build strong foundational reading skills. Make sure to grab all of the free printables to help you get started now! Learn more about the Science of Reading activities in kindergarten below.

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5 Science of Reading Activities in Kindergarten

#1: Switch from a word wall to a sound wall

Did you know that the English language has 44 speech sounds/phonemes, 26 letters to represent those sounds/phonemes, and more than two hundred different ways to spell those sounds? When we think about the way our learners perceive the words they hear in speech, a sound wall makes sense. Learn more about going from a word wall to a sound wall here.

Do you have a sound wall already and need some fun games to supplement your teaching? Or want a FREE individual sound wall to use with your students? Click here for Sound Wall Games and a free printable.

#2: Teach phonics skills explicitly

The English language is made up of lots of phonics rules that help students decode and understand which sound to use when. 98% of words are decodable so students should not be memorizing words, especially high-frequency words. Teach phonics rules so they actually stick! Read more about teaching sight words by phonics skills here.

More Science of Reading Activities in Kindergarten

#3: Stop using the 3 cueing system

Gone are the days of teaching students to “guess” the word based on the pictures or the context. Students should be applying their phonics skills to decode each word according to the letters and sounds. If you haven’t listened yet, please check out Emily Hanford’s Podcast Sold A Story here to learn more about the history of the 3 cueing system and more about the Science of Reading.

Not sure what to teach instead? Grab the FREE reading strategy posters & bookmarks based on the Science of Reading here.

#4: Use decodable books instead of leveled readers

Once your students have a good foundation in phonemic awareness and have some sounds under their belt they are ready to blend and decode.¬†Unfortunately, many leveled books promote “guessing” because they included phonics skills that most students have not been explicitly taught yet. Decodable books instead encourage applying targeted skills to practice reading fluently with a storyline. Learn more about Decodable Readers here and get a FREE Short A complete set.

#5: Get educated about the research and resources available for teachers

There is so much information and research around the Science of Reading available but it can be overwhelming. Start small by diving into some books, podcasts, training for teachers, and speaking up in your school on what you’re learning. Unfortunately, most curriculum companies have not updated their instructional materials based on what we now know is best for teaching students to read.

Check out these posts for ideas:

Do you have any ideas to add? Email us at [email protected] or join the conversation inside the Simply Kinder Teacher Facebook Group here.

Free Science of Reading Letter for Families

Are you implementing more Science of Reading instruction in your classroom but not sure how to communicate what it is and how to support students at home? Make sure to grab the free Science of Reading Family Letter to keep parents informed and open up the conversation on how to support reading based on research and science. Grab this free printable directly inside Simply Kinder + FREE plan here without entering your email and waiting for it to arrive!

At Simply Kinder we work together to bring you ready-to-use resources to partner with great teaching for any curriculum, a Facebook community where teachers talk all things Kindergarten, and low-prep learning ideas that your students will love. Be sure to stay up to date with all things kindergarten on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and through email. Simply Kinder: where teaching Kinder is definitely better together!

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