Hi everyone ! It's Bex from Reading and Writing Redhead. Thanks a ton to Andrea for having me guest post! I appreciate it.
I teach second grade and also recently got my degree and certification as a reading specialist. Therefore, lately I have been thinking a lot about and working a great deal on phonics. I have a few activities here that might help you to teach phonics to your students. The activities are all for small groups and are fun enough that the students don't really notice they are working hard on practicing those phonics skills!
First up is Word Slide. I found this game at the Florida Center for Reading Research website, or FCRR, as it is referred to. When my school began implementing RTI, someone tipped us off about their amazing website and wonderful resources. I have been able to use some of their ideas in my own classroom and this is one of them. I copied the real/nonsense word charts on cardstock, as well as the two parts of the slider and laminated them. I then cut two slits in the word family cards so that students could slide the strips through them (see below).
The students choose a word family card and a slider (there is a variety of each) and begin to make some words. As they make words, they sort them into the appropriate column. It's a lot of fun for them and it is interesting to see how the students do with this activity. Below is an example of a nonsense word a student might make. She would then write it in the "Nonsense Words" column.
The next activity I have found helpful is also from FCRR and is called Word Steps. Again I printed the steps page on cardstock and laminated it. Then I did the same with the letter cards and cut them out. Students are to find the letter cards from the word at the bottom of the step. They they look at the other letter cards and decide what new word they can make by changing one letter in the word. They record the word on the next step up. They repeat the process and write the next word on the third step and so on until they fill all the steps. For example, dip can become rip, then sip, then sit, then fit.
A modification to the activity is students could use the letter cards to spell the words right on the steps. You might have to make multiple sets of letters though because there are not very many for each page.
Finally I have nonsense word bingo which is a nice way to practice using those phonics skills in a new context. Its a great way to see if students really have their phonics skills down pat and if they can transfer them to these nonsense words. I used an online bingo board creator called Bingo Card Creator ( It was free in 2011 when I first found it but it looks like you'd have to pay for it now; however you could easily make your own). It came up with the nonsense words for me. I had to do some fiddling to come up with boards that had many of the same words but placed on different spots on the board. I also made a caller's list of all the words. Ideally, I would have a small card with each word on it and then I would be able to shuffle them each time I played so it would be very random. Perhaps something I will do this year. The kids have fun and find a lot of these words to be silly and fun (especially jubjub)!
What are some of your favorite ways to teach phonics and have your kiddos practice their skills? Comment and let us know!
Thanks, Bex, for some super fun ideas! Head on over the Bex's blog to find out why reading aloud is so important! There might even be a fun freebie for you there!