Monday, March 13, 2017

What Phonics Looks Like in my Classroom

Recently, I've received quite a few emails of people asking me what my Phonics block/instruction looks like.  I've posted about it in the past, but today I am going to do a more detailed post explaining it for new followers who may have missed older posts.  I'd like to preface this post by saying that my building does not currently use a specific "program" for our Phonics instruction.  Each grade level does their own thing.  This makes it fun and allows creativity to plan instruction!  I'm holding my breath as I type this, however, because I heard "something is coming" next year.  This saddens me. We've already adopted a Math curriculum and a Reading curriculum and now Phonics is on it's way. It's hard, because where I teach, we've always been allowed to "do our own thing."  That's all changing.  While I enjoy having a guide for curriculum, I feel that rigid programs stifle teachers' creativity.

Ok, back to the topic at hand: how I teach Phonics in first grade.  I will start off by saying that I have about 20-25 minutes dedicated to whole-group Phonics instruction each day.  In addition, my students are in leveled guided reading groups, where they get more Phonics on their levels.

Each week, I select a short vowel, long vowel, diphthong, the digraphs, or really any other skill that I want my kids to learn for Phonics.  I find a coordinating poem to match the type of words we'll be working on.  I use the two poetry books shown HERE for all of my poems.  I have a dedicated space in my classroom for our poem of the week.  It's a pocket chart with the poem written on sentence strips.  We read the poem every day of the week, but we might do something different with it each day.  For example, Monday we might visualize the poem, Tuesday we might echo read the poem, Wednesday we might read the poem with a flashlight in the dark, etc...On Friday, the students get their individual copies of the poem.  We read the poem one last time for the week.  I let volunteers lead us in an echo read for this.  The kids then look for the specific phonics pattern in the poem and color those words with a crayon.  They also get to color the picture on the poem.  They place these into their "Poetry Folders," which are 3-prong folders {that I get for like 10 cents in the summer} with clear sheet protectors inside.  *Each Friday, after we've added our new poem, we go back and re-read our old ones.  This is great fluency practice!  The kids also have the opportunity to read the poems during silent reading time any day of the week if they wish.

On Monday, we also make a T-chart or web where we brainstorm words that follow the specific Phonics patter we're working on.  For example, if we are learning oi and oy, the kids would come up with words where they hear the sound and I would write them under "oi" or "oy."  The kids almost always have their own recording sheet to follow along with, as well.

As the week progresses, we play many Phonics games to go with our skill!  We love Jeopardy, board games, Concentration/Memory, Scoot, and many others!

On Friday, students are tested on 10 words that follow the specific Phonics pattern we are working on.  We review the pattern with our whiteboards or THESE papers/activities.  Grab some FREE Spelling test papers HERE.  

So there you have it, Phonics instruction in Mrs. Wheeler's room!  It's a lot of fun!  To see my favorite Phonics resource, click below.  It contains games and printables  to go with the most common Phonics patterns for first graders.  It's a fantastic resource!  Click HERE to see all of my OTHER Phonics resources!



Anita Holtzapple said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is great, thank you! Is the test over the sounds on Friday instead of a traditional spelling test where the kids study 10 words for the week, etc? I've not done it this way but I'm thinking it might help theme to understand the pattern instead of just memorizing words for a week?!? What do you think?

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