Monday, February 22, 2010

Phonics for Treyton

Phonics for us the last two weeks has been without a doubt an eclectic approach. We are working slowly through our Explode the Code book 1 (which was the plan). In fact, after spending over two weeks in it we just finished up lesson 1. Which I feel like is totally fine at this point. We have been taking it pretty easy in schooling in general and because we are just starting out Treyton is learning a lot of new concepts, concepts that I don't want to frustrate him with.
At this point, I am basically just using the ETC as a guideline for which concepts to introduce when and for worksheet practice. Because most of our phonics/reading learning is coming from hands on activities and manipulatives, I guess you could say our primary phonics curriculum is hands on with ETC as a supplement. 

Treyton is absolutely loving the Happy Phonics we got and was doing so well with it that I have ventured out and found more games/items that go along with what we are doing, because it just works for him!! I highly, highly recommend this program for any hands-on learner. While most of the games could be found on-line or made yourself the convenience of having it all done for you (minus the cutting up prep work... which can take a while) is great.

I, of course, have to tweak and add to everything - even the good stuff so here is what I have managed to find that we have used and enjoyed in the past couple of weeks:

Hands-On Printables:
KidzClub - The Word Family Worm, Happy Phonics has a "reading house" similar to this that Treyton gets TONS of use from so this is just another way to practice our word families and sounding-out.
* Side Note: I did have to extend the cover for the pictures because Treyton was able to remember the pictures and instead of reading the words he would remember the pictures - it wasn't hard though.

Sight Word Flashcards from SparkleBox (they call them 100 high frequency words) - to be honest, I have not done a good job of learning how to teach Treyton sight words so this is an area that we're both struggling in... I should get on that. Right now all I do is show him one of the three sight words that ETC had us introduce in the 1st lesson and we read them together.... I know... pathetic :) (any pointers though - feel free to send my way, this is something I need to work on!)

Rhyming Word Flashcards - found at Have Fun Teaching these I actually cut up and wrote the words on the back of the cards to copy a happy phonics game that Treyton particularly loves. On one side of the card is the word, after you have the student read the word you turn the card over and it has the word as well as a picture of the word - I was wanting more cards so instead of making my own I am using these. 

One of the things that has helped Treyton the most with his phonics is a game I got called "Read and Spell" made by Key Education. I picked it up at the Learning Shop here in town and WOW!! Treyton and I love it. I had been looking for ideas to teach Treyton how to blend his sounds together while reading (instead of them being choppy sounds) and I found this.
It is 86 interlocking cards/puzzle pieces. Each letter attaching to any other letter. There are lots of game ideas that come on the back of the box, but so far Treyton and I have only used it to make and read our words that we were working on. He takes each piece individually and will say the sound, he will then connect them and once he does this he properly blends the sounds together to make the word!! It was like magic the first day we used them, I could believe it!!  
Any time we start to work on phonics Treyton runs to grab the box and says "Don't forget these mom!". They have been a priceless addition to our phonics program. 
Word Whammer - I talked about this before, and we're still using it. Today after doing three fairly difficult pages of math Treyton says to me "okay mom, time for fun school" I said okay " what would you like to do?" and he says "close your eyes, hold on!" he runs to his room and grabs his Word Whammer so we spent the next 30 minutes spelling words together.... now that's what I call fun school... and here I was expecting an art project!! 

I printed off some Word Family Worksheets from Have Fun Teaching, I didn't print all of them I only printed the simple "a" sheets off for now.
Kidzone - Free Phonics Printables (For this week I printed off several "at" family worksheets as well as the "at" family reading book, but there is more here. 

I printed several little readers off (as well as using our Bob Books) but we haven't really started working on them that much yet. We're taking our time on these because Treyton isn't a smooth reader yet, sometimes the books can overwhelm him, plus he is VERY distracted by the pictures. The bob book 1 which we haven't read in a WHILE Treyton still has somewhat memorized by the pictures so we have to be careful anytime we use it - sometimes I will have to say to him "That's right, good job, but can you show me which word is 'sat'?"

Resources (articles and sites that I have used for idea)
Reading Rockets: Word Families
ABC & 123 - Teaching Word Families (alot of the links I have here are from here)
A Blog Post on the Importance of Teaching Word Families

Well, I hope these links help some of you - I am having a lot of fun with phonics. I am glad we are taking our time and am excited about all the resources I was able to find that Treyton enjoys AND that work for him. I am grateful that I am teaching during a time where there are not only so many hands-on resources available but that you can also get them for free!! (My mom, who home schooled me and my 3 sisters would have LOVED this!!)


Julie said...

Thanks for all of the phonics info.! Also, I received my giveaway package this weekend and it is great!! The girls were so excited. Thanks so much!!!

Ticia said...

Okay, awesome info, and I'm going to have to come back and read more in depth.
And a great way to practice sight words is to make two copies of the words and use them to play games: memory, go fish, so on and so forth.