One of my favorite things about teaching kindergarten is seeing the tremendous growth my students make in such a short period of time! I think back to the start of the year when we are working on identifying the letters of the alphabet {and that there are actually specific symbols that represent those letters!} and matching up those letters to sounds. We are now working on using those letters and sounds to read and write words! It is so fun to watch them grow!


We work a lot on matching letters to sounds all throughout kindergarten. We start with beginning sounds because
they are the easiest to hear! We do lots of practice orally and once we
have the “hearing” mastered, we transfer our skill into writing!


During guided reading groups, I have my students pick a card and verbally tell me the
picture they see on the card. This way I can make sure they know what
the picture is and if they can hear the sounds correctly. After they
tell me the picture, I have them write the letters with a dry erase
marker. If my students aren’t quite ready to write the letters, I have
them use a magnet letters instead.


After we work on beginning sounds for a while, we move onto ending sounds. This one is a little bit trickier, especially for my students who drop the last sounds in words. I have them touch each box as they sound out the words to make sure they are hearing all of the sounds.

Once we’ve mastered our beginning and ending sounds, we work solely on the middle sounds. A lot of the vowels sound alike and are hard to differentiate so this is a skill we work on A LOT!

Finally, we get down to business! Now we have to use our knowledge of sounds to build CVC words without any support. At this point my students are rocking it and can almost always apply their knowledge when writing in their journals!


My students also love working on building words during centers. This is a great time to practice their skills independently, or ask their classmates if they need assistance. Just like the cards we use for guided reading, they can build their words using magnet letters, bottle cap letters, or dry-erase markers. Same skill…different look…works wonders every time 😉


One of their favorite games to play during center time is POP! It’s a partner game where they take turns picking letters out of a bag and using the letters to build the words on their mat. If they choose the POP card, they get to take a letter from their partner.

As a way to check my students’ understanding, I like to provide them with some hands-on paper & pencil activities as well since I don’t always get a chance to check on their center work. They love building words and taking ownership over their work! Plus, all the cutting and gluing is really great fine-motor practice!

{you can try the -at family word builders for free HERE!}

You can find any of these activities mentioned above in my TpT store by clicking on the covers below.
If you are looking for all of the resources I use to help my students become strong readers, you might be interested in my Guided Reading Intervention MEGA Bundle. It is listed at more than 30% off and gets updates monthly! If you own any of the units included in the bundle and want to make the switch please email me at

follow @misskindergarten on instagram for more great ideas!