How To Have Fun With Phonics

Phonics are an important part of early reading instruction, and therefore a big part of kindergarten and first grade classrooms. Making connections between written and spoken letters and sounds is absolutely necessary in learning to read, so phonics lessons are well worth the time! In order to teach young students most effectively, a broad range of activities are needed. Children love variety, and luckily there are plenty of ways to teach phonics! 

Learning the relationships between letters and sounds can be- well- a not so interesting topic. In order to keep kids excited and learning, teachers can incorporate fun activities. Phonics lessons can include a broad range of styles, so there are lots of options when choosing the best activities for your class. 

Here are some of my favorite activities for teaching phonics. 

One of the easiest, yet most effective strategies is to use songs! Jack Hartmann phonics songs are easily available on the web, and your students will love singing along while they are learning. 

Another fun activity is frog hop blending. Students can move a toy frog (or a finger) along individual sounds, then blend them together to make a word. 

Make and take books are a perfect option to practice phonics skills and word families at home. Students can create the books at school and practice reading the sounds at home. Throughout the year, you may choose to focus on different word families that the kids can read to their parents. 

As students become more skilled with phonics, you may want to try word building and sentence building activities. They can use familiar letter sounds to create new words, and eventually create entire sentences. 

Looking for a variety of phonics activities for daily use? I have you covered! Check out my Phonics Worksheets for Kindergarten and First Grade

phonics

This bundle includes an entire year’s worth of daily lessons. 

Here are just a few of the resources included: 

  • letter identification 
  • letter sounds
  • building words
  • word family work
  • building sentences
  • writing stories 
  • Sight word lists
  • ABC letter cards
  • Word family books
  • Phonics pocket phones

phonics

With one easy download you’ll be ready to tackle these lessons each day with time-tested strategies.

For more reading strategies, check out my post here! 

What are your favorite reading activities? Let me know in the comments!

phonics

 


 

Reading Strategies With Phonemic Awareness

Phonics and phonemic awareness are two of the most important parts of reading instruction. They are  necessary as children learn how to make sense of letters, sounds, and words. But what exactly is the difference between the two?

Phonics is the relationship between letters and sounds. Phonemic awareness is the ability to HEAR, identify, and manipulate individual sounds in a word.

I like to remember the difference by saying that phonemic awareness can be done in the dark. It uses the ears rather than the eyes AND ears like phonics.

Phonemic awareness is critical in the early grades. It can powerfully affect reading and spelling development in students. The more opportunities students have to work with sounds in the classroom, the more confident they will become. Getting phonemic awareness practice in your schedule daily may seem daunting, but making it a routine can help!

The options for phonemic awareness activities are varied and easy to do with your students.

Blending boards are a simple, effective tool for helping students recognize sounds in words. You can also use flashcards to practice sound identification, and focus on different parts of words. Playing games with students is of course one of the best ways to get students engaged in learning about phonemes.

An easy way to have all the tools for effective daily practice is with the Phonemic Awareness Activities Systematic Curriculum.

phonemic awareness

The year-long bundle includes everything you need to help your students confidently identify and manipulate sounds. Blending boards, worksheets, and even videos are included.

phonemic awareness

The oral task cards are perhaps the best part of the curriculum, as they include practice with all the following skills:

  • Sound deletion
  • Sound addition
  • Blending
  • Substitution
  • Segmenting
  • Beginning, middle, and ending sound games
  • Syllables
  • Rhyming
  • Onset-rime
  • Nonsense Words
  • CVC Words

Using these task cards daily will greatly enrich your students’ understanding of sounds in words. There is also an assessment included so you can address their individual needs and see their growth.

Dive into the activities today and daily practice will no longer seem impossible!

 


 

Fun Ways To Practice Sight Words In Kindergarten

Students learn so many valuable things in elementary school. We set the foundation for their education for the rest of their lives. Among all of the important things they learn in school, it all starts in their kindergarten classroom when we teach them the building blocks of reading, writing, and math. 

Aside from letters, and numbers, a huge focus is on learning sight words. Sight words are generally words that students will see the most often while reading. Little learners should have them memorized to help them continue to learn to read and write. They help them produce meaning and skip difficult decoding skills as beginning readers. 

When deciding on what activities to do to practice sight words in kindergarten, the sky’s the limit! They are young and excited to learn new things. There are a number of fun and engaging activities you can do to practice sight words with them. 

Here are some of my favorite sight words activities for my students

  • Have a sight word hunt while reading. Choose your sight word for the day and have your students hunt for the word in their book. 
  • Get some yummy treats involved. Make a big bowl of pudding. Students can dip their fingers in the pudding and write their sight word on a pan with the pudding. If they get the word right, they get to lick their fingers! This one is guaranteed to be a hit. 
  • Do some task cards. Task cards are a fun alternative to worksheets. Task cards feel more like a game than work! 
  • Use magnetic letters. Get some cheap cookie sheets and some magnetic letters and have your students spell out the words. 
  • Make sight word necklaces. This resource includes 88 sight words that your students can use to make fun sight word necklaces. Everytime your student looks at their necklace, they will be reminded of their sight word. It is also great for getting parents involved in your students learning! 

sight words

  •  Use shaving cream. Spray shaving cream on the students desks and let them use their fingers to write out their sight words in the shaving cream. Fun and messy! 
  • If you are distance learning, try out these Sight Words Google Slides activities. These reading comprehension passages and questions are a fun and engaging way to improve comprehension and fluency while practicing sight words. 

sight words

sight words

 

Learning can be so fun when you are working with kindergarten aged students. Everything is new and exciting so just have fun with it! 

What are your favorite ways to work on reading with your students? Let me know in the comments!

For more kindergarten ideas, check out these free winter activity ideas!

sight words


 

 

Winter Activity Ideas For Your Classroom

Are your lesson plans ready for wintertime? After the excitement of the holidays, it can be difficult to plan for activities that get your students excited and engaged. Luckily, the cold weather provides plenty of opportunities for learning that is fun! There’s building a snowman together, drinking hot chocolate, and winter creative writing activities, just to name a few. 

Here are some of my favorite winter activity ideas, and I hope they’ll inspire you to get creative in your lesson planning!

One of my favorite topics for wintertime lessons is ICE!

The frozen water kids see on the ground, hanging from eaves, or on the local pond is a perfect springboard for science lessons. 

Ask your students about their observations outside if you have ice around your school. Then, lead them into a discussion of different forms of matter. Even younger students can begin to understand the relationship between water and ice, preparing them for more in depth learning about the water cycle in future years. 

winter activity

You can also grab some ice from outside (or from the freezer), and observe what happens as time passes at room temperature. This is a perfect opportunity for students to record observations and make hypotheses about why ice melts. Students will be engaged, and you’ll be covering important science and writing skills!

Another of my favorite winter activity ideas is creating beautiful snowscapes with puffy paint.

You will need to mix equal parts shaving cream and white glue to create the paint, and provide students dark blue or black construction paper for their canvas.

This activity is hands-on and a little messy, but so much fun! Students can create a scene using their puffy paint, or a snowman picture. They can then write a narrative to match their picture. You can have students share their narrative with the class or with a partner. Art, tactile learning, and writing skills are all involved in this one lesson! 

winter activity

A true student favorite for winter is my Stop Motion Animation resource.

Using a snowman animation from a real Disney animator, this activity gets kids super excited about creative writing. They will also get to create their own stop motion animation. This is an exciting and unique activity that they may never have experienced before.

winter activity

Included in this resource, you’ll find over three weeks of writing lessons and engaging activities. Your students will be thrilled to get creative with animation and writing!

Another favorite is having students (especially if you are teaching virtual), build a digital snowman and write about it! Google slides make it simple for students to copy and paste items to design the snowman.  Then, let their creative juices flow with writing about their snowman!

build a snowman writing

 I hope these ideas get you excited about winter learning, and ready to enjoy the season with your students!

winter activity

Check out these digital holiday centers for more winter activity ideas!