As a former First Grade classroom teacher, I have a lots of fun ideas for teaching my kinders to read. However, as a homeschooling mom of 4 with a baby on the way, I don’t always get to the fun stuff! Here I’ve included some of the most practical activities we do, but we don’t even get to these every day or even every week. Some days we just read, and that’s okay. ;)
For ease, I’ll divide this post into 2 categories: PHONICS and SIGHT WORDS. I think mastering both elements are important steps on the path to becoming a good reader!
For now, each week, we work on basic C-V-C short vowel words and 2 or 3 new sight words.
- curriculum & workbooks
- pocket chart cards
- building words with magnets and letter tiles
- word family lists
- shaving cream
- phonics readers
- flash cards
- sight word readers
- sight word sentences
- flash cards
1. Curriculum / Workbooks
We have been using Explode the Code Book 1 and Alpha-Phonics to aid in learning phonics this school year. I couldn’t be happier with either one! I use them as a guide for introducing word families. Explode the Code has been great practice in writing as well as following directions.
2. Pocket Chart Cards
I use a pre-made set of word family cards and pictures but plan to add some of my own cards and pictures using simple clip art. My kinders think of this as a fun matching game! We don’t always use the pocket chart… the floor works well, too! :)
3. Building Words… Magnets and Letter Tiles
This is hands-on fun! We build words with letter tiles on our “mats” (pieces of construction paper) and use our magnets on cookie sheets. It is a great way to practice working with words while taking away the added difficulty of writing. It’s so easy to move one letter and change “bit” to “fit” and then “fit” to “fix” etc.
We also use our tiles and magnets with the pocket chart picture cards. It is a step above simply matching the words and pictures. The kids now have to build a word sound-by-sound.
4. Word Family Lists
I love using the tiles to create word family lists. Simply move one tile to make lots and lots of words! We have used these word family books (pictured below) (and only $1.25!) , and I liked them so much, that I decided to create some pages of my own. You can download them for your kiddos at the conclusion of this post! :) We
Much like tiles and magnets, stamps enable kids to build words without the added difficulty of writing. Plus, they are fun! :)
6. Shaving Cream… need I say more? :)
7. Books! Phonics Readers
One of my favorite resources for phonics readers is Sam’s. Yes, that’s Sam’s, as in the wholesale club. I have found numerous sets of Bob Books and Starfall Readers that have become old friends for us this year! Check out the book section the next time you’re picking up toilet tissue!
Another favorite and often-used resource for phonics readers for us is Hubbard’s Cupboard. Oh my! So many free resources– including phonics and sight word readers– created by a teacher and available FOR FREE! I print at least a book per week!
8. Flash Cards
I use little notecard flip books! It’s so easy to quickly grab a book and read words when we are in a time crunch!
Sight Words (2 or 3 new words per week)
We use our poetry notebooks to learn new sight words! When things rhyme and are repetitive, the kids just remember them! Here is an example of our “Up” poem. (For sight word poetry resources, use the link above to see our poetry notebooks post.)
I don’t choose a sight word poem for our notebooks every week. Sometimes we just find sight words in other poems.
2. Sight Word Readers
Each time we learn new sight words, the children get a new sight words book! These are some of the resources I use…
These are great little repetitive books!
Hubbard’s Cupboard Sight Word Books (AGAIN :) )
I use these every week! :) I just click over to the site and scroll down to the words we’re working on! Easy peasy and free!
3. Sight Word Sentences
We use these for reading, illustrating, and copying sight word sentences! Our next step will be to write sentences on our own! :)
4. Flash Cards
I keep these on rings and in notecard flip books, but I also like to keep some on loose cards to display all week.
I keep a little homemade bingo printable on my desktop so that I can quickly fill in sight words we’ve learned. I write them in the boxes, and we have a free game! :)
You can download my Bingo! board by clicking the picture, but I warn you, it’s not too pretty! ;) You could use with any subject… Latin words, science vocab, etc…
If you’d like to use my word family note booking pages, please click the picture below to download your own set! You won’t find every short vowel word family, but I’ve included the main ones, along with 2 different blank formats for you to use!
CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW TO DOWNLOAD.