In this post, I’m sharing information about decodable sentence building activities that are a perfect extension activity to go along with decodable passages and comprehension questions, as they give students cumulative practice and review of the targeted phonics skills you have taught. Be sure to download the FREE decodable sentence builders and give them a try in your kindergarten, first or second-grade classroom!
The science of reading has taught us so much about how children actually learn to read. This body of research has led to instructional shifts in elementary classrooms all around the world. Sound walls have replaced word walls, teachers are using the Heart Word method to teach high-frequency words, and replacing their leveled texts with decodable passages.
Today I’m excited to talk more about the effectiveness of decodable passages and introduce you to my decodable sentence builders. It is a differentiated activity that gives students practice and review with the targeted phonics skills you have taught.
Why Use Decodable Resources?
Studies have shown, students who use decodable controlled texts in their early reading instruction get off to a stronger start in their reading instruction. This is because decodable texts give students practice applying the skills you have taught to authentic reading experiences. This connection is essential for building a faster foundation in early reading.
We also know that in order for students to master the phonics skills we teach, they must have lots of opportunities for practice and review. All too often we underestimate the amount of time it takes for our students to master phonics skills. It simply isn’t enough to explicitly teach a target phonics skill and then practice applying it using a decodable passage for a day or two. Students need opportunities to practice and review that skill well after you have taught it to them.
In fact, in his book, A Fresh Look at Phonics, Wiley Blevins states that a new skill should be systematically and purposefully reviewed for four to six weeks after being introduced for the first time. Once you introduce a new phonics skill you are “in it for the long haul”!
My decodable sentence activities give students ongoing practice applying the phonics skills you have taught them. We know this is what they need to master those skills! So let’s take a closer look at this resource and better understand how you can use it in your classroom.
My differentiated decodable sentence building activities resource gives your kindergarten, first and second-grade students practice reading and writing words that contain targeted phonics skills you have taught. It contains 210 phonics-based controlled sentences and is the perfect practice activity to go along with my Decodable Passages bundle. Use it for review, independent work, or as a literacy center!
Each sentence is a phonics-based controlled text sentence. It contains target phonics skill words, previously taught phonics skill words and irregular high-frequency words. This ensures students get the cumulative review we know they need for mastery.
Systematically designed, the sentences build on phonics skills and in complexity. As you progress through the resource, the sentences get more complex. You’ll find compound sentences and a mix of punctuation. Later sentences even include quotations and commas.
After building each sentence with word cards, students write the sentence on their printable. To help you differentiate I created two versions of each printable sheet. One version has a sentence stem that requires the student to only fill in the blank with a target phonics skill word. The other version requires the student to write the entire sentence.
In addition to printables, this resource includes 210 digital sentence building Google Slides.
Finally, I included 2 versions of sentence building word cards. There are large word cards that work well with a pocket chart. This option is great for when you model the activity, for guided practice, and/or small group instruction. The small cards were designed for small group instruction and students’ independent practice at their desks.
Eager to give these decodable sentence builders a try? Download a FREE sample and give it a try in your classroom!
The science of reading tells us that the connection between what our students learn in phonics and what they read and write is imperative for building a strong foundation in early reading! I hope you’ll see how these decodable sentence builders will make it simple for you to provide your students with the cumulative practice and application we know they need for mastery of the phonics skills you teach!
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