For Parents – Where to begin with Heidisongs?

If you’re a parent or grandparent with a child who’s struggling with a subject in PreK, Kindergarten or 1st Grade, we’ve put together a set of questions that will direct you to solutions to help. The questions center around the federal Common Core knowledge standard, which is designed to clearly outline what students are expected to learn at their grade level. Heidi’s products were developed to specifically target and exceed these standards in a fun and developmentally appropriate way, so you can have confidence that your child will succeed! Select from both Reading and Math below and follow the questions and links to identify the best starting place for your child’s individual needs.

You can read more about the Common Core standard here www.corestandards.org/


Where to Begin in Reading?

Common Core Knowledge for Children in Pre-K:
(Children are commonly expected to know these concepts when they begin Kindergarten.)

1) Does your child know the alphabet and letter sounds?
If you show your child the letters of the alphabet all mixed up and out of order on flash cards, would he or she be able to tell you the letter name and the sound for all of the capital and lower case letters?

No:
Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds CD or DVD

Songbook, Flashcards & Bingo to support Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds
(You will not be able to play the bingo game unless you have at least three people, but you will still want to have the “Sing-Along Songbook” to go with the CD or DVD, and the flash cards.)

Alphabet Action Book

Optional:
Alphabet Pattern Blocks (you will need to purchase physical pattern blocks from Amazon or any Teacher’s Supply store)

Yes: Skip to the Sing & Spell Series (below), beginning with volumes one and/or two.


Common Core Knowledge for Children in Kindergarten:
(Children are commonly expected to learn these concepts sometime during their Kindergarten year.)

1) Does your child know how to read and spell the first 25 basic sight words? (“sight words” are words that appear most frequently in the english language and are considered essential for early readers, yet can’t be sounded out and thus difficult to learn.)
If you show your child the following words on flash cards, will he or she be able to read them immediately and without hesitation? Would he be able to spell them and/or write them easily? (Note: Most schools do not require that the children also be able to spell these words as well as read them, but this knowledge is helpful when they learn to write. Also, those that learn to spell them as they learn to read them, usually learn them better than those that don’t.)
The first 25 basic sight words: and, are, can, for, go, have, he, here, is, like, me, my, of, on, play, said, see, she, that, the, they, to, was, with, you

No:
Sing and Spell the Sight Words Vol. 1 CD or DVD

Worksheets & Songbook to support Sing & Spell Vol. 1
(The songbook is the most important thing here, especially if you are using the CD. Children need to see the words in print. This is a “print it yourself” resource.” You may or may not need the worksheets in this set.)

OR

Sing and Spell Vol. 1 Vocal Sheet Music and Song Book
(This songbook is already printed and doesn’t come with any worksheets, but it is a little more expensive than the “print it yourself” resource above.)

Optional:
Workbook, mini-songbooks, and flashcards to support Sing & Spell Vol. 1

Yes:
Check the word lists on the remaining Sing & Spell the Sight Words CD’s and DVD’s to see which ones your child needs the most. If necessary, put your child in front of the computer and have him or her try to read you the list of words included on each product. That should help you figure out which one he or she needs.

The basic order of difficulty of the sight words on the CD’s is roughly:
Sing & Spell Vol. 1and, are, can, for, go, have, he, here, is, like, me, my, of, on, play, said, see, she, that, the, they, to, was, with, you
Sing & Spell Vol. 2red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, white, gray, pink, an, at, big, do, down, has, in, it, no/yes, not, small, this, too, up, we, what, who.
Sing & Spell Vol. 4A (the word, not the letter!), all, am, as, be, by, came, dear, did, friend, from, good, had, his, I (word), if, love, made, nice, now, out, over, put, some, then, very, will, and your.
Sing & Spell Vol. 5Zero the Hero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, about, around, but, eat, fight, find, funny, get, into, new, ride, please, pretty, saw, say, says, so, under, which.
Sing & Spell Vol. 3again, away, because, come, could, help, house, how, jump, little, look, make, one, run, should, their, there, they’re, three, to, too, two, want, we’re, were, when, where, who, why, and would.
(And yes, we realize that this doesn’t make sense! Long story….)

2) Does your child know how to sound out, read and spell the basic three letter words that begin and end with a consonant, and have a vowel in the middle? (These are words like “cat,” “pig,” “mud,” and “net,” etc.)
If you show your child words like these on flash cards, all mixed up, would he or she be able to sound them out and then tell you what the words are? If you tell your child to write the word, “mop,” will he or she be able to do so correctly, without hesitation, just by thinking of the sounds in the word?

No:
CVC Word Family Workbook, Vol. 1

CVC Word Family Workbook, Vol. 2

Optional:
Little Songs for Language Arts CD or DVD?(listen especially to the “How Do You Sound It Out?” song. If you are short on funds, then skip this product, because the focus here is just the ONE song.)

Yes: Skip to the Sounds Fun Phonics Program (below).


Common Core Knowledge for Children in Grades K and 1:
(Kindergartners are expected to learn some of these concepts, and first graders or higher grades are expected to learn others.)

1) Does your child know how to sound out, read and spell words with basic phonics spelling patterns, such as:

(Kindergarten)
– words that end with “ay,” as in “day”
– words that begin with ch, sh, or th, such as “chin,” “shop,” or “thin”
– words that have the “ee” or “ea” spelling pattern, such as “feel” or “seat”
– words that have the “ing” spelling pattern, such as “sing” or “going”
– words that have the “ink” spelling pattern, such as “pink” or “think”
– words that have the “unk” spelling pattern, such as “bunk” or “trunk”
– words that follow the “Bossy E” phonics rule, such as “make” or “bike”

(First Grade)

– words that have “ai” in the middle, as in “sail”
– words that have “r-controlled vowels,” such as: (car, star), (her, tiger), (sir, stir), (fur, blur), (or, for)
– words that have the “au” or “aw” spelling pattern, as in “auto” or “awful”
– words that have the “ew” spelling pattern, such as “new” or “few”
– words that have the “igh” spelling pattern, such as “night” or “fight”
– words that have the “oa” spelling pattern, such as “boat” or “foam”
– words that have the “oi” or “oy” spelling pattern, such as “coil” or “toy”
– words that have the “oo” spelling pattern, such as “food” or “book”
– words that have the “ou” or “ow” spelling pattern, such as “found” or “how”
– words with a “Magic Y” at the end, such as “happy” or “mommy”
– words that follow the “Vowel Walk” rule, such as “die” or “suit”

No:
Sounds Fun Phonics CD or DVD

Sounds Fun Phonics Flash Cards

Sounds Fun Phonics Word Building Kit

Optional, but highly recommended:
Sounds Fun Workbook, Vol. 1: Large & Small flashcards, plus 5 different worksheet formats for each of 14 sound spelling units including: sh-, th-, ch-, -unk, -ink, -ing, -ay, -ai, -ee, -ea, -oa, oo, Bossy E, Vowel Walk

Sounds Fun Workbook, Vol. 2: Large & Small flashcards, plus 5 different worksheet formats for each of 14 sound spelling units including: -ar, -or, -er, -ir, -ur, -oy, -oi, -ow, -ou, -aw, -au , -ew, -igh, Magic Y

Yes: Congratulations! Your child doesn’t need us for reading support anymore!



Where to Begin in Math?

Common Core Knowledge for Children in Pre-K:
(Children are commonly expected to know these concepts when they begin Kindergarten.)

1) Does your child know the numbers from 0-10 and the basic shapes?
If you show your child the numbers from 0-10 out of order on flash cards, will he or she be able to tell you what number you are holding? ?If you show your child the following shapes on a flash card, will he or she be able to tell you the name of the shape? ?Circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, star, diamond.

No:
Jumpin’ Numbers and Shakin’ Shapes on CD or DVD

Jumpin’ Numbers and Shakin’ Shapes Printed Flashcard Set?-?(You will not be able to play the bingo game unless you have at least three people, but you will still want to have the “Sing-Along Songbook” to go with the CD or DVD, and the flash cards.)

Jumpin’ Numbers Songbook and “Classic” Flashcards -?(You won’t need the classic flashcards, but you will still want to have the Sing Along Song book to go with the CD or DVD.? It is good for the kids to see the words to the music in print.? You’ll have to print it out yourself.)

Optional:
0-30 Number Pattern Block Manipulatives (will need to purchase physical pattern blocks from Amazon or elsewhere)

Counting Creatures 1-10 Number Workbook

Jumpin’ Numbers Bingo Activity (You’ll need at least three people to play.)

Yes:
Skip to the Jumpin’ Numbers 11-30, Vol. 2 (below) to teach your child to recognize and identify the numbers 11-30 out of order. If he already knows the numbers 11-30 out of order, all mixed up on flash cards, then you don’t need Jumpin’ Numbers Vol. 2, either! Skip to Musical Math (below).


Common Core Knowledge for Children in K:
(Children are commonly expected to learn these concepts sometime during their Kindergarten year.)

2) Does your child know the numbers from 11-30 out of order, all mixed up on flash cards? Can he or she write these numbers when asked?
If you were to show your child a number 12, would he say 12, or would he say 21? Or would he say, “One two!” Can your child write the numbers 11-30 if asked to do so? If you said, please write number 15, would he or she know what to do?

No:
Jumpin’ Numbers Numbers 11-30, Vol. 2.

Jumpin’ Numbers Songbook and “Classic” Flashcards (You won’t need the classic flashcards, but you will still want to have the Sing Along Song book to go with the CD or DVD because it is good for the kids to see the words to the music in print. This is the same set that goes with Jumpin’ Numbers Vol. 1, because it just continues from zero all the way to thirty.)

Optional:

Counting Creatures 11-20 Number Workbook

0-30 Number Pattern Block Manipulatives (will need to purchase physical pattern blocks from Amazon or elsewhere)

Matching Sets Worksheets

Yes: Skip to Musical Math (below).


Common Core Knowledge for Children in Kindergarten and Grade 1:
(Children are commonly expected to learn these concepts sometime during their Kindergarten or First Grade year, depending on the skill.)

3) Does your child know how to:
Count to 100?
Sort objects three ways?
Make patterns?
Identify coins and give their values?
Count by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s?
Identify a sphere, cube, and cone?
Do basic addition?
Do basic subtraction?

No:
Musical Math on CD or DVD

Musical Math Sing Along Song Book and Visual Aids Set (You will probably not need the visual aids, but will still want to have the Sing Along Song Book to go with the CD or the DVD because it is good for the kids to see the words to the music in print.)

Optional:
Counting Creatures Addition Worksheets

Counting Creatures Subtraction Worksheets

Bean Toss Addition and Subtraction Worksheets

Butterfly Addition and Subtraction Worksheets

Shark Teeth Addition Activity and Worksheets

Spring Addition and Subtraction Worksheets

Musical Math Fun Addition Book and Games (The books are fun to make, but you may need at least three people to play the games because they are designed for classroom use.)

Musical Math Lift the Flap Subtraction Book and Other Games (The books are fun to make, but you may need at least three people to play the games because they are designed for classroom use.)

Musical Math Games and Activities: (The Coin Trading Game is especially helpful for teaching children about coin identification and learning their values, and can be played with just one child and one adult. The rest of the games may not be useful to parents helping their children at home.)

Yes: At the present time, that’s all we offer for PK/K/Grade 1 Math!


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  1. My daughter was in a self contained first grade classroom. We are now homeschooling and I have been looking for fun ways to teach her. Just doing workbooks isn’t working. I answered no to 5 of the questions above. Is your program all that I need for her to learn the things mentioned above?

    • Hi, Heather!
      Well, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t use ANYTHING else in my classroom except my own materials to teach my students! The music is very helpful, of course, and helps kids in a lot of ways, but you would still need to read to her from a variety of books, work on phonemic awareness concepts (such as rhyming) in as many ways as it takes, and then she would need to practice reading from books that are at her level. And then as far as math is concerned, she will need to have real objects for counting, sorting, patterning, adding, and subtracting, etc. None of those manipulatives are included in my program; you would have to purchase them or get them somewhere else. Children can count and sort with lots of different things, though- many of which can probably be found around the house!
      One thing that I can tell you for sure, is that if you find that our program is not working for your daughter, will will refund your money- no questions asked. We treat people the way we would like to be treated. I will also be glad to help you in any way that I can along the way by pointing you to resources on the web, blog posts that might help you, and things like that. But then, that is true whether or not you purchase anything from us. 🙂
      Good luck to you and your precious daughter!
      Heidi

  2. Hi-I love your website and came across it when trying to figure out about the DIELBS testing. My son is in kindergarten and easily recognizes all the pre primer and primer dolch sight words, does well with vowel and consonant sounds and is able to sound out cvc words and two letter prefix or suffix blends. His teacher mentioned that he needs to work on blending sounds. Wasn’t too sure what she meant, but have noticed with the cvc words (Bob books) that he will sound out m-a-t mat or sometimes mmm-at. He doesn’t just read mat or sat, he will sound them out until he gets the constant pattern of the words. However he does really well with Dick and Jane books that seem to be mostly sight words. Do you think the blending DVD would help with this to reinforce reading the cvc words? Not sure where to help him besides continuing to read out loud. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi, Jean!
      It sounds like your son is better at reading sight words than at phonics, or sounding out words. The Sound Blending DVD is to teach kids how to sound out words. If your son is still making a lot of mistakes when he tries to sound out words, then he would probably benefit from the Sound Blending DVD! However, if what is bothering you is that he is simply kind of slow at sounding out the words- well, that means that he really just needs more practice doing just that!
      This is what I would do. If your son is able to sound out words correctly 90% of the time, but is just a bit slow at it, then you need to make sure that he is very QUICK at telling you the individual letter sounds. So show him a paper with the alphabet letters all out of order on it, and have him tell you all of the sounds as quick as he can. He needs to be able to say them automatically, without any hesitation- about 30 sounds in 30 seconds. What you are looking for is letter sound FLUENCY and AUTOMATICITY.
      Once you have established that he really does know the letters sounds extremely well and can say them quickly and without any hesitation, then start practicing the sounding out three letter words. Have him read as many three letter, consonant-vowel-consonant words as he can in two minutes. Write down the number. Then let him play for a while (and rest) and then come back a half an hour later and do it again. How many words can he read in two minutes? You may want to chart his progress so that he can see for himself that he is getting better and better at it.
      Your son’s teacher may have also been referring to words with “blends,” such as words with two consonants clustered together. Example: flat, plug, fast, etc. The fl, pl, and st are consonant blends. Other teachers also refer to the digraphs as blends (even though they are really not), so words with sh, th, ch, and wh could be what his teacher is referring to. You may need to go back and clarify what exactly she means. I’m happy to help you once you figure out what she meant. Ask her for examples of what to practice; that should help!
      Good luck!
      Heidi

  3. Thank you so much Heidi! You are truly an amazing teacher. After hearing about the DIBELS testing, we were sort of in a panic that our son was taken out of the classroom to work on cvc and fluency wording. We thought his reading out loud at home was going really well and didn’t know where to begin to support and help him at home. After doing plenty of searches on the internet, I started trying different things, but I seemed to question whether I was teaching him the correct way. Your website and quick response on email has given us a place to start! Thank you so much for your time, we REALLY appreciate it. We will start with nailing 30 letter sounds in 30 seconds and timed C-V-C words in 2 minutes. At what point to you add in the phonics DVD? I had him watch one of your clips on the website (“oo” monkey/zoo clip”) and now easily spells pool, stool, poop, tool and cool. Also, every time we come across an “oo word” either in our travels or in our readings, he mentions that we forgot that “oo” word. I think he responded well to the clip and would like to start the DVD, but don’t want to throw too much at him at once. Do you think that is too much, or starting ten minutes in the morning before school? Thank you again for all your help!

  4. Hi! My daughter recognized all upper and lowercase letters and their sounds. She also knows about 50 sight words and is working on rhyming words. Would you recommend teaching her the CVC words next? What is the order of subject matter on your website in which I should teach? I plan on starting guiding reading in the next month as well.
    I LOVE your blog!!!

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