Some people call this the “advanced” sound for a. I guess it is, if only because many phonics programs keep it a secret until the very end. I don’t really see a reason to do that. After all, these kids speak English. In other words, it’s not like they are unfamiliar with the sound. All we have to do is bring it to their attention — they already know it and use it with regularity.
This is ä as in father or ball.
And here’s the binder chart card:
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