Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I LOVE Fundations.

It's no surprise that when kids come to kindergarten, you as the teacher have absolutely no idea what you're going to get. Some kids will be reading at the beginning of the year, others will have never seen their name in print.  So how are these kids who have no idea what a letter is supposed to catch up? How can you guarantee that those kids--the ones who tell you an O is a circle and a U is a smiley face--will leave reading on a level D? 



Well, they've got to learn their letters and sounds first--and quickly.  The Fundations letter tiles provide a routine way to review the letters, their sounds and alphabetical order on a daily basis.  Just give each kid a tray and call out the letter-word-sound combo.  Have the students find and match the letter tiles as they repeat the letter-word-sound combo back to you. 

This type of exposure, combined with instruction in text (poems, guided reading books) allows children to rapidly pick up the letters and their sounds.  And for you, the teacher, it helps you assess whole-group daily to see who knows which letters and who still needs help! Download the template HERE.  It's not the actual Fundations one, but I made it as close as I could.



The thing about the Fundations letter/sound combination is that they're easy to remember. "A-apple-/a/, B-bat-/b/, C-cat-/c/." They're also easy to recite and isolate as needed.  When I ask a child, what sound does F make? I'll hear them whisper to themselves "F-fun-/f/... it's /f/."  In my classroom, students have the Fundations cards on the word wall, they've got the Fundations alphabet chart in their writing folder and their take-home binders and there's a poster-size alphabet chart hanging on the wall for quick reference. Plus I show it on the SMARTboard when we're not using it for something else. So they're pretty much drowning in a sea of Fundations. ;)



Whether you're a parent or a teacher, you can use Fundations to help your children learn letters and sounds.  Just Google "Fundations support pack filetype:pdf" explore, print, and teach away! 



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