Disclosure: I received a Tiggly Words product to review. All opinions in this post are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
What are CVC words?
CVC stands for words that follow a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern. Words like cat, bun, and pot are all CVC words. For many kids, CVC words are some of the first words that they begin to decode because the pattern of CVCs words makes them easy to break apart.
How Can I Help My Child Read CVC words?
Practice with Magnetic Letters on the Fridge
One of the easiest ways to have your child explore CVC words is to have them manipulate letter on the fridge. Consonants come easier to kids than vowels, so don’t be surprised if they have difficulty at first determining which vowel to place in the middle of the word.
1. One way to support this is to pull the vowels (a, e, i, o, & u) to one area.
2. Say a word, for example, fan.
3. If your child has difficulty with the middle vowel sound, say each vowel sound aloud, followed by the word fan. Ex: /ayh/ fan, /eh/ fan, /ih/ fan, /ah/ fan, and /uh/ fan. Ask them to determine which one makes a sound similar to the middle sound in fan. This strategy will help them determine which vowel sound most closely matches the sound in the word they are trying to spell.
Teach them to Sound it Out
Did you know that many of us as adults sound out words incorrectly for kids? We put too much space between the words as we break them apart. Let’s look at the word, bat.
Many people will sound out bat as buuuh/ahhhh/tuuuuh. Ever see a kid add extra u’s to words? This is one of the culprits. Since a consonant is difficult to voice without a vowel sound attached, breaking apart a word like this may result in a child adding extra letters to their writing. You can avoid this by stretching (instead of breaking) the word apart. So by stretching the word, bat, you get: bbbbbbbaaaaaaaaattttttt (and no extra sounds!).
Play Word Family Games
We play word games all day. Sometimes we’ll choose an ending word family (e.g., -an, -ob, etc.) and see how many words we can come up with that follow that pattern. Sometimes we write the words, other times we’ll call them out in the car. Other times we will see how many we can use in one silly sentence.
Use Technology to Support their New Skills
It is no secret that I have been a big fan of Tiggly since first being introduced to these technology manipulatives last summer. My kids ask for Tiggly by name and use their shapes and math sets frequently. As a literacy specialist, I literally squealed a little (and then told several colleagues) when I heard that Tiggly has released Tiggly Words, a set of three apps geared toward readers ages 4 through 8.
I really love the range of this app. Both my 6 year old who is reading at a Fountas and Pinnell Level D and my 4 year old who knows his letters and most sounds can find activities that challenge them appropriately. There are 5 vowel manipulatives and three apps that come for download with the Tiggly Words set. Kids can either use the manipulatives or their fingers to use the Tiggly apps.
Tiggly Submarine is a game that helps kids identify short vowel sounds and simple words while exploring an undersea world.
Tiggly Doctor provides kids opportunities to work with little words i.e., “chill” or big words, “millionaire” to help treat their sick, animated patients.
Tiggly Tales, my favorite of the three apps, allows kids to construct new CVC words based on an initial and ending sound. When children choose a vowel to go in the middle, the app animates the word to enhance their understanding of the vocabulary.
What challenges have you had in helping your beginning reader gain confidence in their abilities?