Repeat the First Sound You Hear

Phonological Awareness Activities are vital for dyslexic students. That is why I make sure I do several of these activities with my students during every reading session at Temple Tutoring.

Here is a very simple one for you to do with your child in the car or at home.

Think of random words and have your child isolate and repeat the first sound in the word.

You: “Repeat the first sound you hear in the word cat.

Child: “/k/” If your child does not say the /k/ sound, say each sound by itself /k/ /a/ /t/ and then ask him to repeat the very first sound he/she heard. These activities take a lot more brain power for dyslexic children. It’s important to show patience with your child.

You: “That’s right! What is the first sound you hear in the word elephant?”

Child: “/e/” (short sound of e)

You: “You got it! Way to go!”

Keep saying other random words as long as your child is interested. Stop if you or your child get frustrated. The idea is to keep them interested in learning. If they enjoy it, they will want to do it again.

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Missing Letter Deck

Here are a few ways you can teach the order of the alphabet. These cards are called The Missing Letter Deck. The first set shows two letters and the letter before is missing, the second set shows the letter in between missing, the third set shows the after letter missing, and the fourth set has both the before and after letters missing.

I cannot remember where I got these cards originally, but I learned the concept from the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital Literacy Program. I probably found them online, printed them, cut them out, and laminated them. If I can find it available and free, I’m all for it! Just do a search for The Missing Letter Deck and you’ll probably find several versions of the cards. If you are pressed for time or just don’t want to cut out 102 cards, you can order them at EPS for about $25.

Start out with the first set of cards with the before letter missing. Show the card to your child and have him say the missing letter and then read the following letters on the card.

As with most learning activities, try to make it into a game and stop before they get tired. Small bursts (5 minutes or so) of learning after your child has been physically active can be extremely helpful to them. 

Other ways to use The Missing Letter Deck at home:

  • If they are very unfamiliar with the order of the alphabet, print an alphabet strip for them. Then, have them take the card and find the letters on the alphabet strip to find the missing letter.
  • Use Sticky Tack to put them on the wall in spots your child will look and have him/her call out all three letters to you.
  • Have your child grab a set and call them out to you or another family member that knows the order of the alphabet.
  • If the deck is laminated, you could give your child a dry erase marker to fill in the missing letters. I don’t know what it is about writing with dry erase markers that is so exciting, but my students LOVE to use them! Little things seem to mean a lot, like using their favorite color of marker. One of the first questions I ask my students is, “What is your favorite color?”

This is just one of the many tools I use at Temple Tutoring. Enjoy this activity at home with your child! (Key word: enjoy!)

Why Choose Temple Tutoring?

Why should you choose me over a learning center?

  • One-on-one personalized instruction the entire session: Your child will not likely receive this at a learning center. I worked at a local learning center and there were three children at various grade levels working on different subjects with a different teacher each session. At Temple Tutoring your child will not have the distraction of other students at the table or even in the same room.
  • Strong, proven curriculum designed for struggling learners: My reading program is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach and designed for all  students, including those with dyslexia. The math curriculum I use has been the standard for over 30 years of excellence and provides a firm foundation for higher math skills.
  • Bite-sized, game-oriented lessons: Learning centers have one set curriculum they use for each child, no matter how they learn. I adapt each lesson to the child’s needs. I present the lesson in incremental steps at their learning pace and style. Since we review through games it doesn’t feel monotonous but gives the repetition struggling students desperately need.
  • The ability to address foundational gaps: Instead of just moving on to the next lesson, I have the freedom to focus on those critical areas, such as phonological awareness and basic math facts, for as long as the child needs.
  • Narrow niche=laser focus: Since I specialize in Kindergarten through third grade level students I am able to focus on exactly what young children need when they are struggling at these math and reading levels.
  • Over 10 different hands-on activities available: Learning centers use a program on a tablet or a set of worksheets with very few, if any, hands-on learning tools. Most young children do not look forward to sitting at a table after they have been sitting at a desk at school most of the day. I have a room full of activities that engage the child physically while they are learning.
  • Picture-based learning for the right-brained learner: In addition to all of these hands-on activities which are perfect for kids who need to move or have ADHD, I also have over 600 words that use colorful visuals and stories to remember. The multiplication tables are taught through stories, also.
  • My tutoring comes from a true passion, not just a career choice: I strongly believe that I was created to help young, struggling learners. I have dedicated countless hours to preparing each lesson and adapting it to each of my students, and I will continue to do so as long as I am able.
  • Lower Pricing: I am frequently told that I do not charge enough for what I do, but I want tutoring to be affordable to those who need it most. Since I tutor from my home I do not have the expenses of a typical learning center.

Why should you choose me over another private tutor?

With choosing a random tutor online you never know what you might get. It might be possible to find that retired teacher with 25 years of experience or you might end up with a college student who just needs to make extra money. Either person you choose may not have experience working with dyslexic students like I do. If all of the above reasons aren’t enough to convince you, at least schedule a free appointment to come see the tutoring room and meet me. At the same time I’ll assess your child to see at what level to begin the program.