When my students enjoy a particular phonics center, I want to keep using it even when we move on to a different phonics focus! This way I know students will be happily engaged, and I won’t have to spend time explaining a new activity every week. Below are some of the phonics centers I use through the entire year for centers, morning work, small group lessons and even take home work. I hope it inspires you with some new ideas! [Read More…]
How do you manage the rest of the class while you’re doing small group lessons? There are many ways to organize this situation, and I’ve tried them all! The most important part for my students is to make sure the centers are both engaging and easy to manage (so I don’t have to stop and explain directions over and over!)
When I find a task my students enjoy, I like to make different versions of that task for all of [Read More…]
Over the last few years I’ve spent more and more time during my reading block on small groups. This means I need to make sure the rest of the class is engaged and learning independently. My solution has been to fill up my literacy and writing centers with simple, effective and fun tasks that my students can complete independently.
SAME TASK, DIFFERENT SKILLS
One of the things that make planning easy for me is to create a task my students enjoy, and [Read More…]
Segmenting and blending sounds can be tricky when students are first learning to read. Reinforcing these skills, particularly with hands-on manipulation of letters, can be a great help for reading development.
Segmenting (separating sounds like /d/ /o/ /g/) and blending (combining sounds like /dog/) are core skills for phonological awareness, and necessary for learning to read.
Assessing Spelling Readiness
Are your students ready to blend and segment sounds? There is a general progression for most students: 1) identifying alliteration and rhyming words [Read More…]
It can be tricky to support your emergent writers who are tackling spelling. Early writers may have a delicate confidence when it comes to spelling, and they often don’t realize that guessing and making mistakes is an important part of learning.
It’s our job as teachers to explain that they are not expected to know how to spell every word! Always take time to let your students know that you’re looking for the effort and the attempt. Our mantra is “Make [Read More…]
Phonics: Classroom Practice
Much of our phonics instruction comes from our daily practice. Most of the activities are embedded into PLAY. Apart from some direct full class and small group lessons (including guided reading lessons), most of our phonics practice takes place through game boards, sorting, word building and creative writing.
Here are some specific ways to find phonics practice happening in our classroom.
PHONICS BOARD GAMES
The easiest to prep, and a big class favorite through the whole year is phonics game boards.
I have [Read More…]
I recently updated my classroom phonics posters to match my classroom decor. There was nothing wrong with them – I just wanted an update to match my new themes.
That got me thinking about ways I could use them to teach about phonics.
Here are some ideas I came up with in my classroom:
BE THE TEACHER CENTER
My students LOVE to be the teacher! One of my most popular centers is also the easiest to prep for. Students get a fancy hand pointer [Read More…]
Phonics centers are the core of my teaching when it comes to emergent readers. As an early literacy teacher for over 25 years, I’ve learned a thing or two about how children successfully acquire and practice reading skills. In Kindergarten, our focus is letter sounds. That is the foundation of decoding letters as symbols for sounds we hear in language.
Once students can tell you which letter makes which sound, we are ready to move on to isolating those sounds. The [Read More…]
How do you teach letter sounds?
Teaching letter sounds can be tricky, and takes a LOT of daily practice. I try to use as many different approaches as possible so that I am addressing the many different learning styles in my classroom. I use songs, videos, books, small group intervention, and whole group lessons.
Here are some ideas for you to try!
LETTER SOUNDS: VIDEOS
Below are some videos that my students enjoy.
Click on any picture to watch the video with your class!
Jack Hartmann [Read More…]
This post is all about teaching reading, and it also contains a FREE alphabet printing activity for you to download!
You may have seen my recent post about my HUGE teaching dilemma last year: a new teaching partner who had no experience with teaching primary math! How could I make sure that my new partner stayed on track without spending HOURS talking about math lessons, planning, intervention and reporting?
My solution? I had the idea to make a whole year of paperless daily [Read More…]