Mike has known all his letter sounds since the beginning of summer. The struggle has been to get him to understand how to combine those sounds to read words.
He has been covering that concept for several weeks in kindergarten and two and a half months on Reading Eggs. Tired of the whining that reading is too hard while Mike does his reading list for kindergarten, I told him that he knew all his letter sounds and he just needs to say the sound of each letter of words.
Everything clicked two days ago in Mike. He whipped through three columns of words on his weekly homework. I was so excited and so was Mike. He also showed his preschool teacher some words he could read from his weekly homework.
Two months ago, his kindergarten teacher was concerned that Mike could not grasp the concept of combining letter sounds to read words, in addition to rhyming and identifying ending sounds. Now, Mrs. Warner is finally showing some enthusiasm I have never seen. She has been working hard to help Mike every way she can but her enthusiasm in today’s e-mail says it all.
“I am definitely seeing Mike trying to sound out more words on his own. Hopefully this will continue!!,” she wrote to me after I told her about Mike’s new development at home.
Then today, Mike brought home a double-sided worksheet on beginning and ending sounds. Mike missed one answer for the ending sounds. That is remarkable after Mike could hardly get a few answers on ending sounds right on worksheets with Mrs. Warner helping Mike one-on-one.
Last week, he matched several words on his own for a worksheet. At the same time, Mike’s reading specialist recommended this free website to help him with rhyming. Now, Mike rhymes well on his own and understands rhyming so much better.
This new development comes in perfect timing. Mike will be tested for DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) next month to see where he places among his peers for reading. With some work on reading, he should do well on DIBELS as he did in September.
Mike would not be reading words if I wasn’t on top of his teacher to make sure he gets the help he needs in school nor working one-on-one with him at home. His academic developmental delay doesn’t doom him to struggle in school for years.
Mike needs more help than some students but he can be successful if he gets the right help as soon as problems are noticed.