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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Fun Phonics Activities that Align with the Science of Reading

If you're a teacher in the primary grades you surely know that one of our most important tasks is teaching phonics skills. As children progress in phonemic awareness it's our job to help guide them towards becoming a reader! While this might sound simple, we all know that a lot is at play here. We've got to consider the best methods and practices for helping our students reach their full potential! With that in mind, let's chat about the Science of Reading and fun phonics activities to support how kids learn best! 

Include these fun phonics activities in your daily lessons.

First Off, What is the Science of Reading? 

The Science of Reading refers to an evidence-based model on how experts believe children learn to read. The Science of Reading is based on scientific research that has been conducted over the last 5 decades around the world. There are 5 key components to this model which include:

Phonics activities help you make the most of the science of reading model to help your students master phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.
  • phonemic awareness
  • phonics
  • vocabulary 
  • fluency 
  • and comprehension 
Mastery of these 5, key components makes up "what it takes" to become a strong and successful reader. Luckily, as a primary teacher, you're likely already using teaching strategies and techniques that support these five skills! Once we understand what the Science of Reading is comprised of, it's a lot easier to recognize phonics skills that will support the five components. 

The Importance of Making Phonics Fun 

As teachers, we value progress among our students. We know that in order to be successful, they must "level up" over time and gradually increase their understanding of specific topics. 

While using phonics activities in your classroom keep them fun for maximum engagement from your students.
But we also know that if it's going to stick... it's gotta be fun! This couldn't be more true for the primary grades. 

We all know that children can learn to memorize things, but will they really remember if the lessons aren't engaging and fun? It's unlikely, right?! 

So with that in mind, it's time to shake things up when it comes to teaching phonics skills. Let's break free from the norm, explore new teaching methods, and best of all get those kids excited to learn! 

Not sure how to do that? Not to worry friend, I've got 5 tried and true, engaging phonics activities that align with the Science of Reading and make learning fun! 

1. Inference Phonics Riddles

I loved using songs, rhymes, and riddles in the classroom. Seeing my students light up with joy with these whimsical wordplays warmed my teacher heart to the core! Not to mention, they make teaching just about any topic SO much more fun. During small group time, one of my favorite phonics activities to use were these Inference Phonics Riddles. 

Include inference phonics riddles like these in your phonics activities for fun rhymes, beginning sounds, cvc words, blends, and digraphs, and vowel teams practice.
To use, you'll read the clues aloud to your students one at a time. Students will combine the informational clues with the phonics sound presented to determine the correct answer. Best of all, these cards each have a fold-back flap with the correct answer hiding until it's ready to be revealed! Self-correcting cards and fun riddles make this resource a total win! Phonics skills targeted in these activities include:
There is also a set of blank cards as well, for endless possibilities! I think once you give these a try in your own small groups, you'll find that the engagement factor is MUCH higher than you'd find with typical, phonics worksheets. Plus, you'll love watching your students build their knowledge with these fun phonics activities! Check out the full bundle here for year-long learning made easy.

2. Phonics Anchor Charts 

Looking to create a print-rich environment that's filled with words that are relevant to your lessons? Look no further than this great, big bundle of Phonics Anchor Charts. Each chart has a list of words for a target sound along with a picture of a keyword that's marked with a star as an example. Included in the bundle you'll find colorful posters for 7 different phonics skills including:

Phonics anchor charts like these are a great addition tor your fun phonics activities you can use in your classroom each and every day.

There are over 120 charts included in the bundle and many ways to use them! Display them as you teach new skills, use them as teaching tools in small groups, have students use them during centers while writing words, display them on a sound board, or attach them to a homework folder for reference. The options are endless! These phonics anchor charts are such a valuable tool as you work through various phonics activities and skills with your budding readers!

3. Phonics Picture Cards 

Looking for a simple way to introduce new sounds to students? These Phonics Picture Cards provide the perfect visual for primary learners! They offer a simple and effective way to introduce individual letter sounds, digraphs, spelling patterns, or word chunks. Each card features a colorful picture to illustrate the target sound. 

Include phonics picture cards like these in your phonics activities centers for independent or small group practice.
To help keep things organized, each card is marked in the bottom left corner by skill. And finally, a picture key helps to avoid confusion! These will come in SO handy during small groups and whole group teaching as you introduce new sounds to your students. 

The bundle includes 800 different picture cards, so you'll be ready for the whole year! Simply print, laminate for durability if desired, and store in plastic photo boxes. Then, as you're teaching, grab the set that aligns with your group's abilities and you're ready to go! These task cards make it simple and fun to provide examples of new sounds for students. 

4. Phonics Fluency Strips 

Alright friends, let's talk fluency! Reading fluency refers to the ability to smoothly read words and sentences accurately, and with the correct tone. In other words, fluent readers are able to read words automatically, without decoding. This is another key component of the Science of Reading and an important skill to practice in your phonics activities. If you're looking for a simple way to incorporate fluency practice in your lessons, I've got just the thing! 

Use fluency strips like these in your phonics activities for targeted phonics practice you can use for differentiation throughout the school year.
These fluency strips allow you to hand off a word list to a student and have them start reading! They're the perfect way to provide meaningful and consistent practice with reading fluency that is tailored to each child in your group. Inside the resource, you'll find cards for 42 different phonics sounds. Each card has 11 words, giving students ample practice with the target phonics chunk. 

I love using these in small groups. They're a great way to see how individual children are progressing with various phonics sounds. They're also fantastic to send home in weekly homework folders too! Having parents oversee the weekly reading list will give students more opportunities to become familiar with the phonics sound and ultimately become fluent readers! 

5. Phonics Skills Scoot Games 

I saved the best for last! If you're looking for a recipe for engagement in your phonics activities, these games will be the golden ticket! We all know that primary students tend to be a wiggly bunch. They need opportunities to stretch their legs, move around the classroom, and have a change of scenery. Why fight it? With fun Scoot games, you won't have to! You'll be able to target important phonics skills such as: 

A scoot game like this not only gets your students up and moving but helps them practice magic E, vowel teams, beginning digraphs, and more as part of your phonics activities.

To play, simply choose a skill and prep the cards. Then, lay them out around the perimeter of your classroom and supply each child with a clipboard and recording sheet. Every kiddo will start with a specific card and their pencil in hand. As they arrive at their card, they identify the phonics sound/word being targeted on their card and write it on their recording sheet. Then, when you give the signal, they "Scoot!" to the next card. This is such an engaging way to practice important phonics skills and I know your students will love it! 

Fun Phonics Activities for the Whole Year 

Teaching students phonics skills can be exciting with the right activities. This post is filled with my favorites for making daily phonics activities engaging for students! But the fun doesn't need to stop here... be sure to check out my TPT Shop to see all of the phonics activities and lessons I've used over the years! Once you've got engaging phonics activities at the ready, teaching to align with the Science of Reading is a snap! 

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Pin this post on Pinterest so that you can come back to these engaging phonics activities when you're ready to plan your lessons! 

Looking for ways to get in extra phonics activities into your daily lesson plans this year? Use these engaging phonics activities to help your students learn important phonics skills they can carry with them throughout their school years. #tarynsuniquelearning #phonicsactivities #thescienceofreading #thescienceofreadingphonicsactivities

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