My plan is to post every Friday with some fun Phonics based activities and ideas. With a holiday weekend next week and being in Vegas the week after that, I’m not promising consistency (at least for the next couple of weeks). But I do plan on posting more ideas for you to add to your ever growing list in the weeks to come!!!
Just like every other theory/trend/philosophy/belief in education, there are always two schools of thought. We either think the idea/theory/trend/philosophy/belief is important and relevant and believe wholeheartedly in implementing it into our classroom OR we don’t think it has any value. And no matter what the case, we always seem divided. Things are no different when it comes to phonics instruction. There is some research suggesting it’s irrelevant while other research strives to prove its importance.
I think much of the way we feel about different ideas/theories/trends/philosophies/beliefs are based on our own personal classroom experiences. I often feel like mine change from year-to-year based on the kids I teach. While there are things that work like magic one year, they may look totally different and yeild completely different results the next. I personally tend to see the value in phonics instruction and believe it holds a very important place in the classroom. Of course, this is all based on my own personal experience 🙂
Research tells us that phonics instruction is particularly beneficial for students who are at risk of learning difficulties. We ALL have those kids and I want to give them every opportunity to be part of the successful statistics. This is just one of the many reasons I value phonics instruction in my classroom. Here are some things to keep in mind….
While I know some districts and schools provide their teachers with a phonics curriculum, I don’t always think it’s a one-size-fits-all practice. I think the same can be said for anything we do in our classrooms…nothing is (or should be) one-size-fits-all. I do believe that we can take any program or curriculum, implement it as we’re required to do, and then adapt it to fit the needs of our kids and make it as engaging, interesting,and relevant as we can. This doesn’t necessarily require us doing MORE work, but rather thinking smarter.
Sometimes we make teaching too difficult, don’t we?!?! (Can I get an AMEN?!?!)
Research tells us how important it is to get our kids decoding words in and out of context. Here’s a quick and easy way to help with that.
You can grab these little notebooks at the Dollar Tree. Just cut the pages inside leaving space for the onsets/rimes. The first flap is filled with initial consonants, blends, digraphs. The second flap is filled with vowel teams and word families. I have these little notebooks in a tub along with a phonics phone and plain pieces of paper. I encourage my kids to flip the flaps and read the words (out of context) then determine if the words they read are real or nonsense. A super simple and effective way to get kids decoding words. This is a great independent or partner activity.
Speaking of decoding words out of context, I also love using blending boxes. I created these for all the short vowels and word families. I keep these blending boxes in a tub for kids to use during independent /partner learning (literacy stations). While this is the exact same activity as above, I like that the format is a little different. Keeping the exact same thing out for repeated use can wear on the kids. When the novelty wears off, the kids become disengaged and when they become disinterested the problem behavior comes out. Thanks, but no thanks 😉
These blending boxes…along with LOTS of other short vowel activities/printables/puzzles/games….are in my Short Vowel Ventures Bundle. Since we’re on the subject, I’m making this my steal of the day. You can grab it for half off TODAY ONLY (Friday, June 26th)!!!! With over 400 pages of printable games/puzzles/activities, this is definitely a STEAL!!!
This is one of my favorite whole group phonics games. I always try to get my kids up and moving and engaged in what we’re doing. I want them to have FUN learning and this little game is just that…FUN!!!
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