Beginning Sounds Center

When students are learning to read, research has shown that it’s MUCH more important for them to learn letter SOUNDS than letter NAMES because they’ll immediately be able to use those sounds to read words. And these beginning sound cards a playful, hands-on way to help kids practice just that!

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The Best Way to Teach Letters

Sometimes the simplest little tweaks make the biggest impact and that’s certainly true here. Instead of calling letters by their names, research has shown that you can help students best by referring to their sounds every chance you get.

For instance, when a child is trying to spell the word CAN, you might ask, “What sounds do you need?” instead of asking what letters they need.

Or when you’re playing with alphabet magnets, you could ask the child to show you the /b/ (sound) instead of B (letter).

It’s a simple little tweak in focus – you’re just referring to the sounds instead of names – but it will help students memorize those sounds a lot more quickly…

And THAT means they’ll learn to read FASTER!

Beginning Sound Cards

These beginning sound cards use the same logic! They force students to really hone in on those letter sounds.

To play, just place the cards in a stack next to your basket of alphabet magnets.

Each child will grab a card, say the word shown, and then find the beginning sound they hear.

For example, if a student grabbed the CAKE, she might say:

“CAKE. Cccccc-ake. That starts with /c/.”

And then she’d grab the C magnet and place it in the empty box.

Students will continue picking, reading and matching until they’ve worked their way through every card in the stack.

How to Differentiate

These beginning sound cards are really easy to differentiate!

For new readers, give them 5 or 6 cards to focus on. When they’re finished, challenge them to brainstorm other words that start with the same beginning sound. For instance, for the letter C, they might suggest cat, cup, candy and corn.

For kids who are ready to be stretched, give them all of the cards at once. Then challenge them to use the cards to sound out words. For example, they might use the beginning sound cards to spell CAN or TEN.

Snag Your Set

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  1. Dana Hunter

    Hello! I love the cheerful, engaging pictures on your beginning sounds cards!

    Can you please tell me if the picture for letter /e/ is “eat?”

    The others vowels are short sounds (apple, igloo, octopus and umpire) and I’m trying to determine what the picture is if it, too, begins with the “short e” sound?

    Thank you!!

    • Kaylee

      Hi Dana! I am so glad that you love the beginning sound cards! Yep, you are correct, the /e/ is “eat”!


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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!