Saturday, January 29, 2011

What is Phonics and How Do I Get Started?

After your child learns the names of the letters and their sounds, you may want to start teaching phonics more formally (if you taught them the sounds of the letters, guess what? You already have started teaching phonics!)

Phonics is the body of knowledge of the association of letters and letter combinations with sounds---e.g.  g sounds like /j/ or makes a hard sound; oa makes the long o sound as in oat.

NRRF Phonics Primer – to brush up or learn about Phonics, as well as to get tips for reading, check out this PDF, it is very helpful. 

The key to phonics is to be consistent and review often. I try to build review into every session. As with the alphabet, you can reinforce through games and other fun activities to drill the knowledge in.

Over at the TJ blog, I have a little daily phonics routine that I worked up to form the core of my daily lessons, you may find it helpful.

Phonics Resources

There are so many resources on the net, but I’d like to share a few of my favorite ones

Don’s EducationPage. – one word---wow!  When you first get to the page you may feel overwhelmed---there’s a LOT of stuff—but do stay there because there is a wealth of information and dozens of free phonics downloads.  There are quite a few old school books that teach phonics. One of my favorite books is Remedial Reading Drills, which is basically a list of words for each phonemein addition to teaching tips.  I use it for my beginning readers sometimes. 

A few others: – a popular site among homeschoolers as someone is always recommending it. I like it, it has stories for phonics practice and activities, but for me it is just a supplement.

Stairway to Reading: offers a full phonics program with lessons and supplemental material.
Again, there are so many others, but I highly recommend taking a look at Don Potter first because it’s like a search engine for phonics (in one page) and ones like the Starfall and Stairway to Reading appear on there too.

Phonics is generally taught from grades K-2.  After that, it is taught in the subject of spelling (remember the word lists in school based upon one central sound? That’s phonics too.) The main difference, is that the emphasis in spelling is learning how to spell the words while the emphasis in phonics is the actual sounds and reading words and sentences with those sounds.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Short O


Games/File Folder Activities


Short O Board Game – use as a game or for reading drills

Short I


Games/File Folder Games

imageShort I Board Game – use as a game or for reading drills

Short A



Games/File Folder Games
imageShort A Board Game – use as a game or for reading drills

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Phonics: or words


Word List

imageor, cork, fort, born, for, fork, sort, corn, nor, stork, port, horn, short, torn, worn, dorm, cord, shorn, form, lord

Printable copy of OR word list



Flashcards/Matching Cards


Nine word-picture sets. Use for flashcards or matching game activities.





OR worksheet (trace OR, trace OR words, read words and draw picture to imagematch.






imageFill in the blank with an OR word






imageGiven two words, choose the OR word that matches the picture






Online Games/Activities

OR Make a Word to Match Picture (





imageOR Picture Hunt ( – Search for OR words

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Short e


Short e word list

beg, leg, Meg, peg, bed, fed, led, red, wed, Ben, den, hen, men, pen, ten, Ken, jet, pet, wet, set, bet, get, met, net, vet, yet


Downloadable Copy

Short e activities



Short E Worksheets

Classification Worksheet from (classify short e words)

Label the picture with short e words from

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