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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

A Reading Activity for a Rainy Summer Day

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Here is an easy activity to promote phonics, spelling, and word recognition, important ingredients when learning to read! 

You will need old catalogs, magazines, flyers, or greeting cards; plain paper; and glue or tape.

  • Help your child write some simple words they know on the front and back of some plain pieces of paper. Put only one word on top of each page (for example, ant, ran, hen, pig, hot, etc.)
  • Then have him find pictures for each letter in the word. For the word “ant,” he might find a picture of an (a)pple, a (n)ut and a (t)ree.
  • Have him glue the pictures on the paper, in that order, and write each beginning letter underneath, to spell out the word “ant.”
  • Staple the pages together to form his own phonics picture book. Add to the book every rainy day, all summer long.

An activity like this helps young children remember what they learn by combining vision, hearing, and touch. This is a fun way to help him increase his “sight” word vocabulary, as well as, reinforce letter/sound connections. Knowing sight words and understanding letter/sound connections are important skills for decoding new words when reading.


#1 Diane Kulback 2012-07-12 10:47
This is such a great idea. Anytime you can make learning multisensory, engaging and fun, children will learn and retain what they learned.

Thank you for a great idea!

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?