Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working really hard on learning word families! We do this orally, by listening to chunks in words. My students have been coming up with words in the “at” family, and we sing our word family song. This past week, we’ve used our knowledge of word families to help with our reading fluency!

One of the most important skills for beginning readers to attain is fluency in reading. Fluency means the ability to read text quickly and accurately. When students gain an understanding of word families, and start to see “chunks” in words, they become better readers. Instead of sounding out each phoneme, or sound, in the word, they are able to transfer what they know about “chunks” and apply it to their reading. Word family fluency is a great way for your students to practice reading accurately and fluently.

We used the large foam dice I found at the Dollar Tree because large dice makes any game fun 😉 I introduced this game during guided reading groups. My students took turns rolling the dice, finding the matching number on the paper, and touching each word as they read it. Some of these students, who knew 0 letters and 0 sounds at the beginning of kindergarten were reading like champs!! #happyteacher

Here’s a short video of one of my students demonstrating how to play the game. Since we are just working on the “at” family words, we only used this mat. As we learn more word families, we will use more!

You can try out the at family fluency in your classroom too! Grab the free download {here} in my store!

We have also started using our Rhyme to Read app during reading groups. When the developers of this app asked me if I wanted to try it out in my classroom, I jumped at the opportunity!

 Last year was my first year with an iPad in the classroom, and I’m always looking for different ways to use it. My students also love reading books on the iPad. They are pros at swiping the pages to turn them {which is also hilarious to me when they try to turn real life books the same way ;)} Rhyme to Read is a beginning reading program comprised of 20 short books all focusing on sight words and word families.

We started working on Book 1 since our focus is “at family” words. The words on the left are an introduction to the words in the story. I had my kids practice reading those words before reading the sentence. The great thing about this app is that is is self-correcting. If my students were stuck on a word family word or sight word, they could just touch the word and it would be read to them. So cool!

Each word family is color-coded throughout the series with a different color.

The color-coding of each word family encourages students to use visual similarities and differences to decode, a strategy employed by successful readers. The color-coding also helps students develop phonological awareness by providing cues for sound discrimination and categorization.

At the end of each book, there is a list of sight words found in the stories, as well as all the word family words learned. This reading program is cumulative and truly helps beginning readers!

Here’s a short video from Rhyme to Read that shows the app in action.

We have enjoyed using this app in our classroom so far and I know your students will love it too! You can try one of the stories for free by downloading it from the app store {here}, or you can purchase the whole series for 30% off through December {here}.

If you use this program, I would love to hear how it goes with your class!

follow @misskindergarten on instagram for more great ideas!