Welcome Kindergarten Parents!

Fun With Fundations

Learning Activity Overview

What is Fundations?

Research indicates that systematic and explicit phonics instruction is effective for all children. Fundations provides a systematic and explicit approach to reading and spelling with phonics. We will combine this instruction with the reading of good literature, which is just as important for your child’s development.

Fundations is systematic because it follows a very definite sequence for teaching and it follows a very definite procedure to teach those concepts.

Fundations is explicit because this program does not leave room for guessing. It teaches all concepts directly. The children will review letters and how to form letters. They will learn sounds using keywords to help them remember. They will soon move on to blend the sounds into words.

As the year progresses, Fundations introduces many aspects of word structure and sentence structure. We shall be sending home guides and activities for all of this.

Skills Taught In Fundations: Fundations systematically and comprehensively instructs students in phonemic awareness and word study (both phonetic and high frequency sight words) and contributes greatly to fluency, vocabulary development and the applications of strategies for understanding text. All of these are necessary for the successful development of reading comprehension. Additionally, Fundations sets the foundation for writing with the direct teaching of handwriting, the study of English orthography for spelling, as well as, the basic skills for capitalization and punctuation.

You are also probably wondering, “How can I become a successful Coach in this reading program?”

As a “Coach” you can:

1. Read the Fundations letters that are sent home. These letters will contain up-dates, program information, and activity suggestions.

2. Set aside time to do the “home activities” with your child.

3. Monitor your child’s progress and share successes as well as concerns with us.

We feel certain that you will find working with your child in Fundations very rewarding. Your child will treasure your involvement!

Help Develop Oral Expression and Vocabulary

WE can help your child develop oral language (the spoken word) with the following ideas.

-Encourage children to answer “wonder” statements. “I wonder why a dog barks?” or “I wonder if Grandpa likes spinach?”

We can help children expand his/her vocabulary by rephrasing. When a child says something such as, “He’s scared,” we could say, “Yes, the dog barks because he is frightened, you are correct!”

We can ask open-ended questions. Instead of asking, “Are you raking leaves?” ask, “What are you doing with your rake?”

Verbally interacting with children simply means taking every opportunity to talk with children. With our busy lives, interactions between adults and children are often directive (do this, do that) or negative (don’t run,). Together speaking with our children will have pleasant experiences and will help to develop oral expression and vocabulary.

Meeting Echo… The students will look as a large white owl is held in front of them to meet. The teacher will ask the children to name the kind of bird they see. The teacher will explain that owls have very good eyesight and hearing. The students will be told that this white owl’s name is Echo. The students will be asked if anyone knows what the word echo means. The students will be told that Echo the Owl is going to help them learn their letters and sounds and that she wants the students to “echo” her whenever the teacher holds her up.

New Concepts – Student Learning Plan: The students will learn how to the writing grid as they learn about the sky line, the plane line, the grass line, and the worm line.

A Typical Day Working With Fundations…

Drill Sounds/Warm-Up: Every lesson starts with a quick, warm-up sound drill. This activity helps students master the alphabetic principle of letter-sound associations. Eventually, students should be able to say the letter name, keyword and sound when the sound card is presented without modeling.

Introduce New Concepts:

Sky Write/Letter Formation: Students use gross-motor memory to learn letter formation following the teacher’s verbalization. This activity also helps students make a multisensory association between the auditory sound of a letter, the grapheme or its visual representation, and use the kinesthetic memory of its letter formation.

Echo/Letter Formation: Students reinforce the skill of matching a letter with a given sound. This activity helps to solidify sound-symbol correspondence, and sets the foundation for spelling. Procedure – Say a sound and hold up Echo. This is the students’ cue to echo the sound. /t/ and hold up Echo. The students will echo the /t/ sound. Next, the teacher will ask, “what says /t/?” The teacher will call on a student to answer “T” by naming the letter that makes the sound.

Student Notebook: Students use tactile and motor-memory to practice letter-keyword-sounds and letter formation in their Student Notebook. This activity helps to solidify the link between a letter, its sound, and its formation. It supports handwriting and spelling.

Direct the students to find the letter that the teacher is working on in their Student Notebooks. When the students find the letter,

Ask – What is the name of this letter? What is the picture to help us remember the sound? What is the sound that this letter makes?

The teacher will say the letter-keyword-sound and the students will echo. Next, the teacher and the students will trace the letter with their finger, and the verbalization from the letter formation guide will be used, (b is a sky line letter. It starts on the sky line. Point to the sky line. Go down to the grass line. Trace up to the plane line, and around to the grass line. The teacher will say, b-bat-/b/, the student will repeat and echo.

Phonological Awareness: Phonological awareness is a broad term. It is the understanding that spoken language consists of parts: The students will practice explicit activities to teach phonological awareness. Listening games, segmenting and counting individual words in sentences, (Jonathan loves to follow storybook activities about hippopotamuses, 8 word sentences) rhyming words, ( knee, flea) compound words (two little words that make one big word, “story” “book”, storybook), counting syllables in multi-syllabic words (hippopotamus, 5 parts/breathes/syllables), sound blending of 2-3-4-5 part words, /u/ /p/, up, /c/ /a/ /p/, cap, /l/ /e/ /f/ /t/, left, /s/ /t/ /r/ /i/ /p/, strip. Finally, the students will manipulate isolated phonemes/sounds and replace with a new sound. Anew word is created. /b/ /a/ /t/, bat, let’s take away the first sound and replace it with /m/. Now it is mat. We are manipulating sounds, not letters….

Word Play: Word Play activities teach or reinforce the development of print awareness, phonological awareness, and beginning decoding and spelling skills. Students will also learn the elements of basic sentence structure, including capitalization and punctuation.

Storytime: Storytime involves listening, reading, and writing activities designed to help develop the students’ awareness of print visualization, understanding of story structure, verbal memory, and comprehension.

Trick Word Practice: Students identify trick words by listening to and repeating the words as they are used in sentences. Students then practice drilling trick words with Trick Word Flashcards.

We also will practice Alphabetical Order, Dictation/Sounds, Words, and Sentences.