Why teaching high frequency words to beginning readers and writers is so important and how to best teach them sight words.

We've all met the beginning reader struggling with their fluency. 

They stop at nearly every word trying to put their early understanding of sounds to good use to decode the word. Decoding doesn't mean they isn't just sounding out words, it requires children to take apart the sounds (segmenting) in words then blend them back together. 

t-h-e... w-h-a-t... w-a-s...

A child has to have a understanding of both single sounds and digraphs to have any hope of working out those words. Many words are just not spelled the way they sound making reading hard work at the beginning reducing a child's confidence and making comprehending what they are reading near impossible.

What are sight words and why are they important to reading and writing in the Early Years?

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Teaching Sight Words - practical ways to teach high frequency words plus printable sight word mats to use | you clever monkey


Ready to print, these alphabet wheels are perfect for preschoolers or primary aged children learning their beginning letter sounds.

Working in an Early Years classroom, hands-on materials are a must. Countless studies tell us young children learn best through play but how to best 

As a classroom teacher, I'm constantly looking for those areas that my students need further exposure too.

One concept my class still needs is more opportunities to practice differentiating between initial letter sounds in words.

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Initial Sounds Alphabet Circles - practice differentiating between beginning letter sounds while building fine motor skills and correct letter formation | you clever monkey


Use this one FREE printable to build fine motor skills this Christmas season.

As educators working in Early Years settings, we all know how important fine motor skills are in early childhood. 

Without good fine motor strength or control, a child cannot hold or use a pencil correctly. And studies now tell us that fine motor strength in preschool is as good a predictor as any of later success in school.

This Christmas holiday season I've created a simple printable to help build fine motor skills through play.

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Christmas Fine Motor Skills Mats - build and strengthen fine motor skills with the help of these Christmas themed printable play mats | you clever monkey