Books for Emergent Readers- Nick Sharratt

Nick Sharratt has produced a book that even the most reluctant reader is sure to love. It is bright, funny, imaginative and weird all in one.  I have always found that emergent readers just love to dive into this book and read it again and again.  You’ve got to love the title!

This split-page book  allows emergent readers to create their own story by simply turning the flaps. There are just an amazing amount of hilarious combinations for your child to create.  How about a duck in your lemonade?  Fancy jam in your bath? Surely you’d just adore custard on your toes!!!

Once again important  “tricky words” or “Dolch words” are covered ( do, you, like, your) .  You know my thoughts on practicing tricky words by now!  I love that fact that the same 4 tricky words along with “on” and “in” appear page after page. This will really support your child to either learn or consolidate ( know for once and for all 😉 ) these words.

There are some words to test your childs phonetic decoding skills such as chip, toast, bath, toothbrush, powder, ice, cube.  The clear illustrations will provide a visual clue. I would encourage you to get your child to sound out these words anyway. Practice makes perfect and relying on just visual clues will not a proficient reader make. What happens when there are fewer or no pictures?!

My old friend Book Depository is selling Ketchup On Your Cornflakes for 6.88Euro. Please click here for a link.

Not all of Nick Sharratt’s books have such simple text and limited words. I would recommend that you get this one first.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Books for Beginner Readers to Read themselves!

I get asked this question a lot “What books can I buy that my child can read himself/herself?!”. Buying books for beginner readers isn’t as simple as it seems. Most of your child’s favourite books such as “Owl Babies” or “The Pig in the Pond” are far, far too difficult for a Junior Infant child to read. In fact, by the time your child can read all the words necessary for these books he/she will probably consider it too “babyish” and dismiss them off hand.

I really like the “Bob Books” series. Set 1 Beginner Readers is perfect for Junior Infants or those in their first year of school.

Your child only need to be able to sound out the letters M, A, T and S to independently read his/her first book! New letters are added gradually, until by book 12, children have read books with all letters of the alphabet (except Q).

The series consists 12 books. 12 pages each. 3-letter words.

Here is a close-up of a page from the series. The story and the illustration is very simple and clear. Cute or what?!

While these books give good practice decoding or “sounding out words” this is not enough to achieve reading fluency. Your child should also be able to read some “Tricky Words” which are non-phonetic and are important connector words in stories such as ” the, has, he, she…”

May I introduce Bob Books: Sight Words Kindergarten 🙂

This series introduces the following words that are commonly found in stories for children this age, some are phonetic and are included due to their importance:

after       as      can      did        down      fly      get       go
goes       had   has       home   in             is        jump  look
not         off      on       over      ran         saw     see      she
some     they  to        was       went       who

The box contains:

10 easy-to-read,s small books, 12 pages each.

Stories are told in three and four letter words, plus  3 new sight words in each book.

Context clues and illustrations give sight word hints.

 30 two-sided, sight words flash cards.

You can see that they are nice and easy to read. The tricky word “saw” is the focus. I can state from experience that no child can have too much practice and exposure to these tricky words. Children who have a good and automatic knowledge of these are more fluent readers and have a greater understanding of the story they are reading than children who don’t.

For a long time these books were not readily available outside of the U.S. A big thanks to Book Depository for saving the day yet again. They deliver worldwide, yippee! I just love those guys! They are good value and reliable, I use them all the time.

You would imagine that these would cost a small fortune. Thankfully they are really, really affordable. I am currently saving to purchase the entire series!!!

Bob Books Set 1 Beginner Readers is only 10.68 Euro.

Click here for a link to the site

Bob Books Sight Words Kindergarten is only 10.64 Euro.

Click here for a link to the site

Books Depository currently have a 10% off offer making them even more affordable.

I hope that you find this post useful. I will be blogging about books for beginner over the coming weeks. If you have any questions please email me at or leave a comment on the end of this post.

Let me know if any of you purchase them. I would love to hear what you think.

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Preparing your Preschooler for School- Discriminating Sound

Here is another challenge for your child to encourage him/her to pay close attention to environmental sounds. I hope that enjoyed the last game that I posted about.

If you have not yet read the article, you really should as it explains the educational reasons behind games such as these. Please click here to read the article. Discriminating environmental sound correctly and with ease is a prerequisite for phonics.


Click here to play the Listen and Match Game

Your child needs to  listen and match the cans that make the same sounds. As you can see there are no visual cues at all!! The can on the bottom shelf needs to be dragged up to make a match. This game is a much greater challenge than Bailey Bear. If your child found that game way too easy then this is for you!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Preparing your Pre-Schooler for School: Discriminating Sound

It is hugely important to prepare Pre-School aged children for Primary School. If  your child is well prepared he/she will have a less stressful transition and experience early success in school. This will in turn lead to a positive attitude towards school and much needed boost to his/her self-esteem.

Here are 2 fun, easy and free games that you can play with your child over the coming months. When September comes around you will both be glad that you did.

The game is called  “A Listening Walk”. Your child can choose between a walk in a city or a walk in the countryside. Bailey Bear hears lots of different sounds and your child must click on the image that matches the sound.

This game will train your child to tune into sounds and also to listen carefully and distinguish between sounds (General Sound Discrimination).  Bailey Bear will  challenge your child to  listen to and remember sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) in order to play.

When your sit with your child and talk about all the sounds heard you will be developing vocabulary and language comprehension skills. Discuss the sounds that you heard and the sounds of the others images shown.

Play “Which one am I” before moving on to the next part of the game. Make a sound from the image above and ask ” Am I an airplane, police car, pedestrian crossing or children playing a ball game?”. Take turn with both you and your child making the sounds.

Play “I spy” with the pictures. “I spy with my little eye something with wings. Who am I?”.

All of this will enlarge vocabulary and encourage logical thinking.

These skills important pre-cursor to phonics instruction in school. If your child cannot distinguish the difference between the sound of a motor bike and an airplane, for example, distinguishing between “p” and “d” will be a huge struggle.

Click here to play

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

St. Patrick’s Day Printables

I can hardly believe that St. Patrick’s Day is only around the corner! My class have been busy preparing for our “cruinniú sa halla”. They have so many amazing “rann” and “amhráin” that I don’t know what to pick!

Our P.E Class yesterday was entirely “as Gaeilge” and we had a ball. We  warmed up with Ceann, Guailli, Gluan is Cos (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes) and played “Soilse Tráchta” (Traffic Lights) and Isteach is amach trí na Cloigíní Gorma (In and out the dusty bluebells).

Next week I plan to do a St. Patrick’s Day activity daily.

Here is the first of the series:

Click here to download

Children need to help Liam Leprechaun collect more gold by reading and colouring only those words that make sense. All words are based on the Magic E which we have been studying ( a-e, i-e, o-e, u-e).

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

PDF list of “oa” words

Do you ever get weary of writing up words to blend and decode? I decided to create a short cut!

Here is a PDF of lots and lots of words, 20+, that contain the vowel digraph “oa”.

It am really looking forward to whipping it out tomorrow on my super duper interactive whiteboard! As it is a PDF document you should be able to open it with your software and have children highlight/circle the digraph and then blend the word.

Please let me know what you think! I will make lots more of them for different digraphs if they would be of use.

Here is a sample page:

Click here to download

It’s pretty simple but useful I think! Just grab your elastic band and blend those sounds 🙂

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Venetian Masks for Sight Word Practice Fun

I was in Tesco a few weeks ago picking up some treats for the 1st birthday of While in the party section  I saw these cute masks and just couldn’t resist!

Tesco is just a fantastic place to pick of teaching and art resources. I would encourage you to wander around it some day when you have time. It is just a treasure trove!

I picked up my lollipop sticks in Freemans in Oylegate. Another shop with a great carousel of art supplies. You can also pick them up in Tesco. I just happened to have some already. When purchasing the lollipop sticks  make sure that you pick up the wider, tongue depressor kind.


I simply snipped the elastic from the back of each mask and sellotaped on a lollipop stick. That’s it! These Venetian masks are a fun, cheap, and novelty way to practice sight words.

My class enjoyed using them today when we were practicing our sight words on our Interactive Whiteboard. The Venetian masks would also be just perfect for “read the room” activities.

If you have a particularly ” girly girl” or a child who enjoys dress up then they would be lovely for homework also.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂