EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue: Building Literacy Skills: A Hands-On Approach with Junior Learning CVC ToolBox

Monday, August 31, 2020

Building Literacy Skills: A Hands-On Approach with Junior Learning CVC ToolBox


Phonological and phonemic awareness skills are key to building a solid reading foundation. We're always looking for engaging, tactile approaches to help kids improve these skills and this week we are really excited to share about a fantastic set called the CVC Toolbox by Junior Learning. We love this kit because it provides hands-on learning activities and can be used as a direct instruction tool or an independent activity. Check out the CVC Toolbox below, as well as a brief explanation about literacy development and how to enhance your child's reading abilities.

How Do Reading Skills Typically Develop?
I often explain to parents that reading development is similar to a staircase, with skills continuing to build upon each other as we get closer and closer to reading literacy. This is one of my favorite research-based visuals to show typical development:


Your child needs instruction and practice at each step on the staircase in order to build solid phonological awareness skills. The CVC Toolbox is one way to provide this practice.

About the CVC Toolbox
 This toolbox was created specifically to focus on simple consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) word patterns. It contains 30 thick cardboard picture cards and 70 word-building color-coded tri-blocks. The color coding matches the position of the sound in the word (initial, medial, or final). Junior Learning provides instructions for building words to match the picture cards, which falls under the 'segmenting sounds into words' category of the chart above. After your child has attempted to build the word that matches the picture on the card, they can flip the card over to check their work! This added feature makes these cards perfect for independent use by the child, or as learning center within the classroom. 

Additional Suggested Use
In addition to word building, these cards can be used in a variety of ways to practice nearly every step on the phonological awareness staircase. Here are some of my suggestions below:
  • Rhyming: Use the picture cards to identify words that rhyme (or do not rhyme). You may want to provide 3 picture cards and ask your child to identify the two cards that rhyme, or simply present two cards and ask if they rhyme or not.
  • Alliteration: Your child can practice sorting word cards by similar initial or final sounds
  • Onset-rime Segmentation: Sort the cards into word families. Ask your child how the words are the same (matching rimes) and how they are different (different initial sound)
  • Segmenting Initial and Final Sounds: Provide your child the CV or VC portion of the CVC word and ask them to complete it by providing the missing sound.
  • Blending Sounds into Words: Provide the spelling of the picture card for your child and practice blending the sounds together. You may also want to provide two to three pre-built words and two to three picture cards. Ask your child to blend the sounds of each word together to read it, then match it to the correct card.
  • Delete/Manipulate Phonemes: Once your child has built a word, choose another letter, remove the first or last block letter and replace it with the new letter. Ask your child to read the word with the new letter attached. (e.g. Begin with the word 'hat'. Take the 'h' away and replace it with 'm'. Ask your child to tell you what the word is.)

As you can see, there are many ways to use this Toolbox and it brings such happiness to kids' faces when they get to practice reading skills in a unique, fun way that breaks from routine. We highly recommend the CVC Toolbox and hope it brings some excitement to your home, clinic, or classroom!

Check out the video demo below:


Where to Purchase
Head over to Junior Learning to order the CVC Toolbox delivered right to your door. While you're there, browse the rest of their collection as well! 


Disclaimer: The product in this post was provided by Junior Learning. As always, our posts are our own, honest opinions.