(Grades K, 1-3)
What is it?
Phonics is an understanding of the connection between letters and sounds.
Why is it important?
The ability to decode is a crucial element in reading success. Knowing the sounds of letters and letter combinations will help students decode words as they read as well as knowing which letters to use as they write words. Phonics instruction plays a key role in helping students to comprehend text.
What can I do at home?
- Play with magnetic letters. See how quickly you can put them in alphabetical order while singing the alphabet song.
- Have students sort pictures and objects by the sound you're teaching. At each stage, have children say the letter sound over and over again.
- Hunt for Letters: Turn old magazines and catalogs into phonics activities that develop your child's comprehension even further. Pick a letter and spot everything in the catalog that has the same phonetic sound. Grab the scissors and cut those items out of the pages. Together you'll make a flashcard as you learn the letter and its sound. Kids will have the visual of the word, such as alligator, along with the letter you're studying. You only need a few household items to get started.
- Where’s the Sound? Help your child make a three column chart on a white board or use a cookie sheet and either masking tape or even a dry erase marker. Label the first column beginning, the middle column middle and the last column end. Give them a collection of letters (magnetic, written on post it notes, etc.). Have a pile of pictures available to draw from. Have your child draw a card. Tell them to identify either the beginning, middle or end sound of the picture. Ex. They pick a picture of a pig. Ask your child what sound they hear in the middle of pig. Then they would place an “i” in the middle column on their board. Vary the activity so that they are listening for sounds in the beginning, middle and end of the word.
- Take advantage of the many online resources and educational apps for phonics activities