• Kindergarten to 1st Grade

    By the end of kindergarten, most students have mastered letter and sound relationships, which is referred to as "breaking the alphabetic code." A child who struggles with the alphabetic principle will struggle with reading.

    There are early danger signs; listen to the first grader read. As you listen, see if he/she is able to link letters to sounds, to match initial letters in a word to the right sound, and whether he/she recognizes common word families such as -ate, -at, and -ite. In addition, the following characteristics are often present:

    • History of talking later than most children, noted by pediatrician
    • History of poor auditory memory for nursery rhymes and chants
    • Difficulty with learning letter names and their corresponding sounds
    • Difficulty with learning numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, and how to spell and write his or her name
    • Fails to understand that words come apart; for example, that snowman can be pulled apart into snow and man; and that the word man can be broken down further and sounded out as /m/ /a/ /n/
    • Can learn individual sounds /c/, /a/, and /t/, but cannot blend the sounds into a word
    • Reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters (i.e. big for goat)
    • Inability to sound out common one-syllable words such as mat, hop,and car
    • Complaints about how hard reading is