My #1 Strategy to help readers with Ending Sounds:
Ending sounds. Why do we need to teach them specifically? Last week I talked about Beginning sounds. If you missed out on that blog, click HERE to read the blog! I give tons of different ideas of how to teach beginning sounds through EASY hands-on strategies that you can use at home. ALL my strategies are made for BOTH parents (who have no education background) AND teachers, because we all can use more support. Ending sounds help strengthen students’ phonological awareness, which is the sound structure of words. Often new readers will read the first few letter(s) of the word and then miss the last few letters. This is NORMAL for new readers, but something we can’t ignore, especially when kids are just learning how to read. When books get more complex, without high accuracy in ending sounds, comprehension will inevitably go down.
I know this sounds so simple, but my #1 strategy is tracking and/or following with your finger. Why? Kids easily lose their place. It is also easy for kids to think to themselves “got the first part of the word, this must be the next part!”. Unfortunately, the English language doesn’t work like that. We don’t want them guessing words, but rather, using their knowledge to break up the words and then put them back together.
Hands-on Strategies can never go wrong!
One of my go-to strategies for teaching all phonics is using magnetic letters! I know, I know. You’ve heard it all before. What’s the rage, right? Well, the truth is, kids love them, they’re somewhat affordable (I found mine at the dollar store), they clean easily and they can be used for SO many different activities, including beginning, middle, ending sound activities, name activities, and so much more! For ending sounds, I like to write the words first and then have kids match the letters to the end of the word. I wouldn’t recommend just giving them tons of letters and have them search for the words. Instead, write a handful of words down, leaving the ending sound off. Then have only the magnetic letters left over and use those to match the sounds.
Finish the word!
Picture cues are always essential when teaching new skills. most of us are visual learners and when we can physically see something, we are much more likely to make a connection. We don’t want to trick kids, but give them the tools they need to build a strong foundation. Similar to magnetic letters, kids find the matching ending sounds. Here I’ve used a white board and my picture cards that I use ALL the time! You can find them HERE. My kids LOVE this activity and ask to do it time and time again! Straight forward activities like these build confidence, empower the kids and reinforce that learning can be fun!
Ending Sounds : Fit the pieces together!
In this activity I wrote the words down and cut them up by their ending sounds. This is one of the first steps to blending sounds together. The reason why I left “nest” as “ne”- “st”. Or Ladder is split into sounds like “ladd” – “er”. The sounds “er” and “st” go together, so keeping them together is so important!
Ending Sound Task Cards
As a teacher, I love task cards. As a mom, I also love task cards! Why? They’re SO easy to store and they have a lifetime of use! If you don’t have time to create the activities listed above, you can simply purchase, print and use these ones! I like to laminate them so that they can be used over and over.
Ending Sound Worksheets:
While I’m not the biggest fan of worksheets, they definitely come in handy! I just think that we need to be conscious not to use them as the only method of instruction. Definitely, these come in handy when you don’t have time to do anything else! Or you just need some peace and quiet!
So those are the ending sound all-star activities! I hope you try out one or two of them with your aspiring readers. Please let me know how it goes! Every new reader is different, but one or more of these strategies are sure to help them begin to identify those all-important ending sounds – a key building block that is critical to success.