Kindergarteners have been practicing listening for all the sounds in words. For adults, this can be tricky because we think about how many letters spell the word. For our new readers, they have the advantage of not necessarily knowing how to spell words, so they can focus on just the sounds.
There are two ways we work on listening for these sounds. One way is by moving objects into sound boxed for each sound heard. Another way is to finger stretch. Students learn this particular method in class during Blast time. To finger stretch, first say the word. Then, starting with the thumb, put up a finger for each sound you hear.
I tell kids to use the hand they do not write with so when they do write their words, they can write as they stretch. Plus, for older students still needing to stretch, they can “hide” this under the desk and still write.