Today’s post is all about phonics because I believe that phonics should be a huge part of primary classrooms.
My district uses its own phonics program that was developed by a teacher. I have to say, I was not a huge fan of this program when I started teaching because it was so scripted and I felt really uncomfortable teaching it. Mostly, because I didn’t know the phonics rules myself. Sure, I used them but how often does anyone stop to think about them unless you are teaching them to 20 children. But, the program works. In my first couple years of teaching, I saw the most growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year in phonics skills.
So, I’ve come to love this program and how much it really helps my students become better readers. However, I do have to jazz it up sometimes because I get bored.
My kids and I love watching videos on Between the Lions. They have some catchy songs that help kids remember about different phonics skills.
I adore The Electric Company! Whenever my kiddos earn lunch with me for doing their homework each month, we watch an episode of Electric Company while we eat. They have lots of short videos that go over those tricky phonics skills.
This summer, I tried my hand at making my own interactive game. I know my kiddos are going to love using this for a short vowel review. Click on the picture below to grab it for free in my TPT store.
I also spent last school year creating some phonics resources to use in my classroom during small groups and as whole group practice. I’m starting the year off with Fundamental Phonics (Part 1). These games really helped my lower readers last year and I can’t wait to use them again this year.
Click on the picture below to view on TPT. If you download the preview for this file, you will get the week of short vowel activities for free.
There’s also a Part 2 of Fundamental Phonics that covers the rest of the skills we learn in 2nd grade during the year. I use it after Christmas break.
I hope this post gives you some ideas for jazzing up your phonics instruction. It’s so important for beginning readers to gain those skills and you can do it in a fun way too.
Check out my next post about Questioning.