Fun with Phonics and Phonemic Awareness

Welcome to the Reading Crew's summer blog party!  Today's theme is fun with phonics and phonemic awareness.  One of the ways I like to practice phonics skills with younger students is through the use of word chains.
Personally, I think word chains are fun.  I *think* my students do too.  Basically, a word chain is when you simply change one letter in a word to create another.   Here is a simple example:

The best thing about word chains is that they can really be as simple or as complex as you want to make them depending on the level of your students.  You can do something as simple as changing the initial consonant of a three letter word to changing vowel sounds or blends.  While not necessarily a word "chain" I also like to have students switch letters around or rearrange the letters to make a new word.
While we are all pretty good at thinking off the top of our heads, my best advice would be to plan.  And all I mean is to quickly jot down a list of words in advance.  You will accomplish much more, much faster by doing this, I promise! Phonics in second grade was always a very brief part of my reading lessons and by writing down exactly what I was going to do, my instruction was much more explicit.

Try out a variety of materials and see what works best for your students.  Letter tiles are great because you can limit the amount of letters available but that takes some preparation.  However, for lower students limiting options is helpful as is being able to actually manipulate the tiles.  For higher students, you may be able to just use a white board and marker.

Repeat and spiral!  If students struggle with a word, work your way back to it again a minute or two later.  They might not even notice or they will think you're trying to trick them and find it amusing.  Also make sure to spiral skills.  You may be working on short o this week, but take the opportunity to review things you've taught in the past, especially for struggling students.

Last summer (yep LAST summer...) I began a working with words product focusing on word building with short vowels.  I finally finished it up the other day.  It contains five lessons for each short vowel sound with teacher/aide directions (i.e. use three letters to build the word hat, change one letter to make the word had, etc.).  Additional recording sheets are included if you'd rather have students build words on their own at a station as well.
You can download a small sample from the preview in my TpT store and also enter below to win a free copy if you'd like.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure to visit the other blogs linked up below and feel free to link up on the topic yourself if you'd like!  Below is the weekly schedule as well as the posting guidelines if you decide to join in.


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