It is amazing how much we have to remember to be able to recognise words and read them.
Because there is so much to remember, it is difficult for pupils to assimilate all they need to know to make their decoding fluent. Most letter combinations and blends require reinforcement many times before they are understood. It is only when those concepts are understood that they become part of the our own communication abilities.
This activity, that challenges pupils to work out the beginning sound of words, is taken from How to Dazzle at Reading, a book designed for slower learners at KS3, however, it can be used with any beginner reader.
The small steps covered in the activities in the book will help pupils to develop their visual and aural skills of discrimination, recognition and memory. Many of the strategies can be modified and adapted to suit the specific needs of your pupils. The tasks in the book are kept fairly short, to facilitate concentration. The text on the pages is kept to a minimum, and the content of the pages is applied to contexts that the pupils will find motivating. In many cases there is an element of puzzle or competition to the activities to provide greater motivation. The extra task at the bottom of each sheet provides reinforcement and enables pupils to use the skills they have learned in a functional way.