One of the best places to learn about phonics (other than here, of course!) is the book “Phonics from A to Z” by Wiley Blevins. It is one of my phonics favs, and provides tons of great information is a way that is understandable. He provides word lists for each phonogram, books to read for phonics patterns, and much more. One of the things I especially like are the charts that show the frequencies of patterns.
Words that have the same ending pattern (rime) often rhyme with the same ending sound. They are sometimes called word families. They are a great way to introduce a pattern that you are learning as part of a reading lesson.
Blending Onset & Rime together is a part of phonemic awareness, an important skill for learning to read.
Onset – the part of the word before the vowel
Rime – the part of the word with the vowel and what follows it
(Rime & Rhyme are homophones, words that sound the same but are spelled differently and can have different meanings.)
Some options for free printable word family sliders can be found at my Pinterest board on Word Families and Ladders. I especially like the ones from Little Bunny because there are lots of phonograms. They have cute illustrations and are in black and white so they don’t use a lot of color ink to print. But since compact resources are essential for a portable tutor kit, I created a very plain and simple set of clip strips for this purpose.
Print and Assemble:
After the introduction, the next few pages are an index. The phonics pattern is printed on the left. These are word endings, or rimes. Print the index pages on regular paper & cut across by patterns to use them as labels on long envelopes for storing the strips.
Print the remaining sets of strips on card stock.
Cut the bottom strip off across. These are word endings, or rimes, that will be cut apart to attach to the back of matching strips in step 5.
Cut remaining strips apart horizontally (down). Leaving the top margin and a small right side margin on is helpful.
Cut apart each ending (rime) from the bottom strip (or a 1″ circle punch works) and attach to the back of the matching strip with velcro dots. Store the strips in labeled envelopes.
Select a strip with onsets, and attach the ending (rime) with a velcro dot to a clothespin.
Move the clothespin down the strip, with student blending the sounds into words.
Brian P Cleary is a prolific author who has written many books, including the titles below that are perfect for practicing different phonics patterns. Follow the sequence for teaching reading to introduce these.
Short u – “The Bug in the Jug Wants a Hug” by Brian Cleary
Silent e – “Nice Mice in the Rice” by Brian P Cleary
Vowel Teams: AI – “The Frail Snail on the Trail” & EA “The Peaches on the Beaches”
Digraphs: “Whose Shoes Would You Choose?,” “The Thing on the Wing Can Sing,” and “Spring in the Kingdom of Ying”
Diphthongs: “Whose Shoes Would You Choose?” and “The Clown in the Gown Drives the Car with the Star”
This Phonics Focus is about the website mrnussbaum.com, a Phonics Fav with many free helpful tools and games. More resources can be obtained with a subscription. While there are resources for many subject areas, the language arts category is of most interest for learning to read. Mr. Nussbaum makes great use of audio. In the video, we highlight:
The Animal Antics A to Z series by Barbara DeRubertis includes a book with each letter for teaching the alphabet. Each title is an example of alliteration, with the repetition of the same or similar consonant sounds in words that are close to one another. Rhyme and alliteration help to develop phonological awareness skills.
The end of 2020 also means the end of Flash. Many online games that are great to practice phonics skills use Flash, but Adobe will no longer support Flash after December 30, 2020.
Some websites have made games that are more mobile friendly without Flash, notably: ict games, kizphonics, mr. nussbaum, and room recess. Some of these games can be found at the mobile friendly symbaloo.
A work-around found through an article from How To Geek that led me to Ruffle, has been working for me on my laptop. Please note that the instructions do require downloading and unzipping a file to add an extension to Chrome.
The work-around above may be helpful to use games with Flash at some websites like Galactic Phonics, Literactive, and more found at the Symbaloo collections. Sadly, Professor Garfield and clever learner, both excellent for phonemic awareness, have not been working at this writing.
Books that are funny are especially popular with kids, which is why “Gran on a Fan: silly short vowels” by Kevin Bolger is a great choice for beginning readers. The author does a great job of creating fun stories while staying within the limitation of using words with short vowels. The illustrations by Ben Hodson are wonderful.
The author has other books for readers as they progress: “Lazy Bear, Crazy Bear” has a focus on long vowels. Two books with sight words are “See Fred Run” and “Fun With Ed and Fred.” Check out his website at www.kevinbolger.com.
Some one syllable words with the letter o and a silent e at the end make the long o sound, like drove and home. Others that you might expect to have a long vowel sound do not. Instead, they make the “uh” schwa sound, which sounds very similar to short u. Some, love, and glove are a few of these. Practice these words after learning about Silent e (III.a).
Notice that this often happens when the letter o comes before the letters m, n, & v. Of course, some words DO follow the Silent e guideline and have the long o sound.