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Keys for the Teacher
The knowledge of letters and sounds includes identification of letter symbols and individual phonemes. Linking the letter symbol with the corresponding phoneme produces a single “unit.” Children can then begin to combine these “units” into words.

Within any classroom of young children there is a wide range of skills. While knowing letters and sounds is essential, other reading skills may be introduced before com- plete mastery of the alphabet has been met. When strategies are layered together, they mesh and support one another. Ultimately, it is the interconnectedness of these skills that builds strong readers.

Learning letters and their accompanying sounds are tools that make reading easier, faster and more enjoyable. Feeling the sense of urgency to acquire these tools can be powerful motivation. Being in a literacy rich classroom, using print in authentic ways, and targeting instruction to need is best practice for learning letters and sounds.

Keys for the Children
Good readers work hard to learn the letter names and sounds. Being able to say letters and sounds quickly will make reading easier.

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