Blending, segmentation, phoneme manipulation, fluency, vocabulary, punctuation … there are so many skills to cover in phonics. And there’s one thing we know: students need plenty of phonics practice.
Practice can take place in the whole class learning session, individual work, activities or games done in small group work directed by a teacher or done on their own in stations — and it happens at home through carefully thought out phonics practice homework. Homework is really helpful for kids to practice phonics and consolidate skills.
Make a phonics practice plan
One way to assure students get the phonics practice they need is to create a phonics practice plan. You assign the plan for students to complete during their time in a literacy station or at home (or a mix of both). Each week’s plan should include a variety of activities that help students practice specific sounds or skills that you are currently working on while also building on and providing reinforcement for sounds and skills already mastered.
Map out your phonics plan
Here’s a sample plan for one week:
Tap it, map it, zap it (TMZ)
Pick 6 words from your word list and complete the TMZ. One sound for each square. Say the sounds as you write them.
Change the sound
Write the words to match the pictures. Circle the sound in the second word that changed to make the new word. Look at both words and read them. Remember, only one sound changes.
Read the sentences. Add in the missing capital letters and full stops. Did you spot all of the missing punctuation? There are 5 missing full stops and 7 missing capital letters.
Write your own sentences
Read the words and underline the sounds in them. Choose 3 words and write a sentence for each one. Remember to reread your sentences to check that they make sense and for correct punctuation.
Word of the week
Read the word of the week and complete each section of the template. Talk to an adult about the word. Try and use the word during the week in your speaking and writing.
Make your own roll and read game
Use the words from your word list to make your own roll and read game. Play the game with a friend on another day. Remember you must read each word correctly to be able to move your counter forward.
Notice that students get phonics practice in a mix of skills as they work through this sample week. They practice segmenting and blending; reading and speaking words; writing; punctuation skills and editing. They get real-life practice using a word from their list. And the mix of skill practice is accomplished through a mix of activities.
Other ideas to work into your phonics practice include:
- Filling in missing sounds
- Making a cootie catcher
- Matching the word to picture
- Dictation sentences
- Splitting words into syllables
- Identifying synonyms or antonyms
- Fluency boards
- Designing a comic strip
- 4-in-a row word game
Make phonics practice easy on yourself
Having a plan for phonics practice pays off. Having all the games and activity sheets you need pays off even more! That’s why I created Fun Phonics Homework, a bundle of 100 weeks worth of phonics practice. It’s broken down into 10 sets of homework.
These are arranged sequentially and work from simple sound/spelling correspondences (such as CVC words) to more complex patterns (such as one sound but many spellings) so that you can have appropriate phonics practice as you move from skill to skill throughout the year.
In addition to activity sheets and games, each set also includes a directions/tracking sheet for students. The student tracking sheet also helps families understand what their child is supposed to do to practice phonics at home. You also get a teacher tracking sheet, so you know what you’ve assigned and what students have done.
I’ve been talking about lesson planning and getting ready for back to school for a few weeks now, and when you’re doing both, it helps to know you have resources that will last you throughout the year. If you need done for you phonics practice homework you can turn to again and again throughout the school year, get Fun Phonics Homework here >> https://topnotchteaching.com/fun-phonics-homework/