5 Essential Early Literacy Resources
Updated: Jan 24, 2018
Founder @yunminds and @readwriterebecca |English Tutor in Hong Kong|EAL Expert|
A year ago, I decided to set up my own English tutoring service here in Hong Kong. The thought of having to come up with my own resources and creative teaching ideas was somewhat daunting! Would I miss out on key ideas and changes by stepping away from an educational establishment?
Absolutely not. After setting up my own Instagram account I discovered a wonderful community of educators, parents and early years enthusiasts readily available at my fingertips! I began to receive supportive comments and messages from users around the world, and I instantly felt welcomed into an international teaching community. Not only was I excited to discover how I could enhance my teaching, I soon realised that this community was so passionate about promoting literacy and playful learning, that many dedicated their time to creating fantastic teaching materials and heaps of resources for people just like me. For those of you still on the search for some fantastic early years resources, look no further! Here are my top 5 essential Early Literacy resources:
1. Say it Make it Write it Mats
You Clever Monkey
Colour, print and laminate this resource for a fun and interactive literacy session. These mats come in a range of colours and can be used for building literacy skills. Kids are fully involved in the learning process. First, they look and say the word. Next, they make the word using magnets. Finally, they write the word themselves. This three-step method gives students a routine to follow, combining movement and writing practice to make the process educational and interesting. Use them for sight words, vocabulary practise and more. The best part? They’re completely free!
2. Sight Word Bingo
It’s true what they say: games really do have a positive effect on learning! Each of my literacy classes starts with one of these bingo boards. My students work through each one, learning the sight words of each board before moving onto the next! The bright colours are so inviting for little ones, not to mention they can’t wait to choose from a range of game pieces. Do you want to be the butterfly, bee, ladybug or snail today? These boards are available in two separate sets, kindergarten and grade one.
3. Race to the Pond CVC Words
The Measured Mom
So your child now knows the sounds essential to early reading – great! Let’s get blending. This playful board is free online thanks to Anna at The Measured Mom. Each time a child lands on a word, they say each sound in the word before blending them together to read the entire word. For example b-i-t, ‘bit’. If your child struggles, model it for them and have them repeat after you. Blending can sometimes be a big step for early readers so make sure to give lots of praise!
4. Roll A Sight Word
Teachers Pay Teachers
Unlike CVC words, sight words need to be learnt from memory. Repetition without mundanity is key. And this resource gives children just that. Use it as a lesson warmer or cooler, this one will keep children on their toes. What word will I roll next? Which column will I complete first? The best thing about this resource (apart from the fact that it’s free!) is that it’s editable and available in both colour and colourless versions. You’re welcome!
5. SKETCH alphabet
Last, and certainly not least, comes Sarah’s beautifully made SKETCH letters. Such a simple yet incredibly useful idea for early readers. Before children can read they must first be able to identify the letters of the alphabet. Both upper case and lower case letters are included in the set. Use them in a matching activity, as an alternative to magnets, or even as a visual for teaching colours. it’s free and well worth the colour ink!
Author bio Rebecca has been teaching English as a foreign language for over 5 years. After moving to Hong Kong she underwent training in the British Phonics programme Read Write Inc. run by Ruth Miskin Training. Since qualifying she dedicates herself full time to helping students learn the foundation to reading and writing in English. All photo credit goes to her Instagram account @readwriterebecca