Why word mapping will change how kids read!
If you’re looking for ways to help kids build the strongest foundation of reading skills, this is a lesson you CANNOT miss! So what’s the secret sauce? There’s a complicated process that all kids go through when transitioning into readers – called word mapping or Orthographic mapping. That is the process of moving from (1) seeing letters and learning their sounds (phonemic awareness) to (2) sounding out those letters (phonemes) within the order of a word, to (3) saying/hearing the word! Understanding this process and then breaking it down for kids is how we can build confident readers who can move forward to tackle any combination of letters systematically.
When frequently used words become “sight words”
Orthographic mapping is one of the most powerful ways to teach kids how to “map” words, taking them from sounds to words with meaning. Of course the most frequently used words become the first casualties of our kids brains moving very quickly through the orthographic mapping steps and just knowing the words from sight –> sight words, but done properly.
Letter Sounds —> Blending sounds together —> Words —> Meaning —> FUN!
So how do we “map” words?
Understanding the high level process for learning how to read, it clarifies the importance of all the building blocks along the way: phonemic awareness, blends, CVC words. These building blocks prepare kids to make that magical leap from sounds to words.
Repetition of the building blocks of letter sounds, simple words, rhyming are all used to give kids the tools and comfort to make the leap between these little skills and seeing/hearing the words. Ensuring we give kids the strongest foundation of phonemic skills will enable them to approach the stage of reading with confidence. There are two other blogs that I LOVE that talk further about this topic. Here is a link to another great blog on Orthographic Mapping: Sarah’s snippets.
Orthographic Mapping + Phonics:
Each child learns differently. By breaking the steps down we can focus on finding ways that help them learn and master each of the building blocks. Different approaches will be needed for different kids (which makes all the difference), but the goal of mastering the building blocks remains the same. Slow down, break up the words into their sounds, and make sure to isolate sound patterns like – th, ow, fl, ar, etc. Then we teach them how to put them together. Step-by-step we can make a difference!
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