Explicit and systematic instruction is key for phonics instruction however, once we teach phonetic skills students must have multiple opportunities for review. I’ve shared meaningful practice ideas that make learning phonetic skills fun! Make sure to download the free word building activities!
We know phonics instruction is an integral part of literacy instruction, but it can be overwhelming to know where to start and how to adequately cover it all. In my last blog post, I talked about how important it is that phonics instruction be systematic and explicit and shared a scope and sequence to help guide you.
But simply exposing students to a phonics lesson one week and then moving onto the next the following week is not enough. Mastery of phonics requires students to have plenty of opportunities for review and repetition. All too often we underestimate the amount of time it takes for our students to master phonics skills.
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 and reminds us that once you introduce a new phonics skill you are “in it for the long haul”.
Most curriculums move pretty quickly, so you really need to be purposeful about how and where you will fit phonics review into your day. Today I’m eager to discuss what Blevins recommends to ensure adequate review and repetition, as well as share with you resources that will make it easy for you to seamlessly add this type of review work into your day!
Ways to Build in Systematic and Purposeful Phonics Review and Repetition
In his book, Blevins suggests weaving the following types of practice into your day to provide students with the review and repetition they will need for mastery.
When giving your students blending work list words with the new target phonics skill as well as words with skills taught in the prior four to six weeks.
We do this during whole group instruction as a warm-up and during small guided reading groups. Blending work provides students with guided practice in reading these words for many weeks after the initial introduction.
Word Awareness Activities (Word building and Word Sorts)
In word building, students use a limited number of letter cards to build a series of words that vary by one or two letters. For example, words would be built in this sequence: up, cup, cut, but, bug and rug.
You can build in review by modifying the sequence to include a few previously taught skills. Add the short vowels a and i and the sequence becomes: up, cup, cap, cat, cut, but, bat, bug, big, rig, rag, and rug!
In this time of distance learning and the possibility that when we return to the classrooms students won’t be able to share center materials, I’ve created a full year of word building activities with AUDIO!!
Now students will continue to develop word awareness and vocabulary skills while using this interactive and consistent word building resource!
Would you like to try these Free Word Building Phonics Activities? I’d love to teach your class, click below to download!
For Word Sorts students have word cards that they must sort by related sounds or spellings.
To build in the review and repetition, you can include words with patterns you have previously taught. This can require students to fully analyze and carefully distinguish spelling patterns that are very similar to each other.
If you have fairly strong word building and word sorts routines in place, an engaging exercise to continue the development of word awareness are Word Ladders.
This activity is perfect to add to independent learning centers once students have had multiple exposures to the word patterns.
Word Ladders Phonics BUNDLE – digital & printableProduct on sale
First model how you transfer the phonics skills you’ve explicitly taught to spelling and then allow students to apply and try it out. Focus on the phonics pattern of the week but also include a few words with patterns you have previously taught.
Dictation is a form of guided practice, not as a formal assessment tool. I’ve shared one of my dictation routines in this my Word Study Routines post.
Reread Decodable Stories
Rereading stories is a wonderful way to build fluency, but it is also a great way to extend the practice of skills over time. Blevins recommends creating a system where students reread stories independently or with a partner while you work with small groups.
You can make “Story Sheets” by typing the stories out in pieces of paper (they’ll usually fit on a single page) and making copies for students. Numbering the stories will make it easier for you to keep track of what you’ve assigned. So, for example, on Monday you may assign students to reread Story Sheets 1 and 2. On Tuesday, 3 and 4, and so on. To keep things fresh, you can also type out new stories that focus on previously taught skills. You can also send Story Sheets home for students to reread with their families.
To get you started here are links to several websites that offer FREE decodable passages you can use right away!
Activities that Provide Phonics Review and Repetition
The following activities make it easy for you to add a systematic and purposeful review cycle into your day WITHOUT increasing your instructional time!
They can be used as literacy center activities, small group phonics instruction, warm-up activities, or even as homework! All three of the resources I am sharing below come in both PRINTABLE and DIGITAL versions, making them perfect for in-person instruction or distance learning!
Additionally, The activities in each of the bundles all follow the same format. This means you don’t have to waste time teaching procedures and expectations for each and every task you assign.
Once students have gotten the hang of one of the activities, they’ll be clear on how to complete the others. All you have to do is assign them! And with so many activities included in each bundle, you are sure to have enough phonics activities to last you all year long!
These essential word awareness activities give students explicit and systematic digital phonics skills practice, even while learning at home! Let me teach your students!
Using these digital phonics word building activities, students will listen to the then build words in a specified sequence.
Each new word only varies by one sound spelling from the previous word. For example, “Change one sound in the word pat to build the word pan”. Students press the audio button to hear me state the word to build, blend the phonemes of the word, say the word again, and use it in a sentence to develop vocabulary.
This is a NO PREP resource! The 31 digital lessons have been PRELOADED for you, with 1 click add them to your Seesaw library or Google Drive, then assign to your students!
These DIFFERENTIATED word sorts will help your students master phonics skills and spelling patterns with these engaging, interactive word sort activities.
Included are two levels of word sorts: whole words and words with the missing target spelling pattern to assign to your students. Students will look for common spelling patterns, sort, then communicate what they notice and have learned about the words they’ve sorted.
There are 38 word sorts (2 levels of each) – enough to last you the entire year!
Word ladders are an engaging phonics activity to complement and support your word study routines. Students must think critically to figure out the next word to build using the letter or picture clues. As they manipulate the phonemes, students will receive immediate feedback using these self-checking phonics activities.
This NO PREP resource includes 42 word ladders that are BOTH PRINTABLE and DIGITAL. The digital version has a slider for students to self-check their work.
Also included are answer keys to print out and keep in a basket for students to check their work while completing the printable worksheets.
Word Ladders Phonics BUNDLE – digital & printableProduct on sale
Students will love these hands-on phonics activities! They will seek words by indicated phonetic pattern, sort them into columns, and read the lists of words.
Included in the year-long Seek, Sort, Read phonics bundle:
- CVC (short vowels)
- Digraph & Blends
- CVCe (silent e) & Long Vowels
- Diphthong and R-Controlled Vowels
This is a NO PREP resource bundle that provides interactive and engaging word work practice and review for Kindergarten, first and second grade students!
Seek, Sort, Read Phonics Bundle – digital & printableProduct on sale
Students will love these interactive phonics sentence activities! This resource includes both PRINTABLE decodable sentence worksheets and NO PREP DIGITAL activities.
There are 265 decodable phonics sentences with early sight words that students must read and match to a picture, then reread to build reading fluency. There are 5 sentences on each slide/printable for students to read.
Included in the year-long Phonics Sentence Matching Bundle:
- CVC Sentences
- Blend & Digraph Sentences
- Long Vowel Sentences
- Diphthong & R-Controlled Vowel Sentences
Sentence Matching Phonics Bundle – digital & printableProduct on sale
I hope the information and resources I’ve shared today will motivate you to provide your students with more opportunities for phonics review and repetition, and help you to see that it does not have to mean more work for you!
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