Reading Teacher

6 Ways to Teach Decodable Words to First Graders

6 Ways to Teach Decodable Words to First Graders



As a first grade teacher, you play a crucial role in your students’ reading development. One of the key aspects of learning to read is teaching decodable words. Decodable words are words that can be sounded out using the phonics rules and sounds that students have learned. By teaching decodable words, students can build confidence and independence in reading.


What are Decodable Words?


Decodable words are words that can be sounded out using the phonics rules and sounds that students have learned. These words are typically short and simple, and they provide a foundation for students to build their reading skills. Examples of decodable words include “cat,” “dog,” and “rat.”


Importance of Decodable Words


Decodable words play an important role in helping students learn to read. They provide a bridge between sounding out words and recognizing sight words. By sounding out decodable words, students can gain confidence in their reading skills and become more independent readers.


Way #1: Building Phonemic Awareness


Phonemic awareness is the understanding that words are made up of sounds. To help students develop phonemic awareness, start by teaching them to listen for individual sounds in words. Then, help them blend those sounds together to form words. This is a crucial step in learning to read decodable words.


Way #2: Incorporating Rhymes


Rhyming is a great way to help students understand the sounds in words. Start by teaching students to identify rhymes and then have them create their own rhymes. This will help them develop their phonemic awareness and begin to recognize patterns in words.


Way #3: Exploring Word Families


Word families are groups of words that share a common ending sound. For example, the word family for “at” includes words like “cat,” “hat,” and “mat.” By exploring word families, students can begin to see patterns in words and learn to read new words by sounding out the common ending sound.


Way #4: Playing with Sounds


Playing with sounds is a fun way to help students learn to read decodable words. You can play sound matching games, sound bingo, or even make your own sound cards. This will help students learn to recognize individual sounds and build their phonemic awareness.


Way #5: Teaching Sight Words


In addition to decodable words, it’s also important to teach students sight words. Sight words are words that cannot be sounded out and must be recognized by sight. Examples of sight words include “and,” “the,” and “was.” By teaching both decodable and sight words, students will have a well-rounded reading vocabulary.


Way #6: Encouraging Reading Aloud


Reading aloud is an important aspect of learning to read. By having students read decodable words aloud, they will develop their fluency and pronunciation skills.

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