read alouds

Learning the /AR/ Sound!

This week in phonics we have been learning all about our first r-controlled blend!! -AR-
In my classroom I feel like we are always on a time crunch and fitting in phonics along with everything else just seems near impossible. So, I have been trying to combine a bit to hit it a lot of content at once! In have been creating phonics packets to do just that! They focus on phonics, comprehension and all sorts of other language CCSS.

We have a basal at my school and honestly... I use it- but, not on a weekly basis! Sometimes the stories are just blah and my team and I just decide to do our own thing in a sense! (Like these phonics packets)!

Alright, so enough jibber jabber! Here is what I'm talking about!

-This week we began our phonics unit with a poster full of AR words that can be found here.
I display the poster on my interactive whiteboard and students help me break apart the words and identify the different AR word families.

After we learn our words we write the room! I love write the room because it gets the kids up and moving and reading their new words--Oh, and they talk about them too!! That's just amazing!

That is normally our mini-lesson as a whole class on Mondays! Then, I provide extra instruction to my struggling students during our reading station time!
On Tuesdays we break into our phonics story of the week! 
The phonics story also has a focus on a comprehension concept. This week it was how a characters feelings can change throughout the story with a mix of how to answer questions using complete sentences! ;)

We do read this book together and as we read each page we go on a 'search' for the /AR/ words. (Remember--it's still a phonics lesson too) Students underline the words with yellow and I have a lead student at the interactive board who highlights them as well!

Below (if you can see it--oh, how I need a camera and not an iPhone camera) - this little guy did an awesome job answering the questions in complete sentences! This week we read the questions together and then students would share complete sentences with one another - we share a few together and then students write their own sentence! Love it!! (Can you say we hit that speaking standard?) :) :)

1. Shark Dark felt happy when he got his art homework
2. When shark saw everyone else's card he felt sad because the other cards were different.
3. Shark felt happy because his art teacher said his card and jar and candy was the best.

On the back of the page above I copied the other comprehension practice page. This part just reviews some previously learned comprehension concepts. This week we reviewed main character, setting, sequencing and identifying a detail in the story! This was the students morning work this morning!! ;)
This is how I save time so we can get other things in!! :)

On Thursdays we practice spelling our words together in the morning and that takes about 5-10 minutes. I provide extra phonics support in small group throughout the week AND there are three HAVE TO activities that students must complete during their literacy station.
They are below! :)

Students magnify the tiny words. They write the words correctly and illustrate. Having the students illustrate tells me if they can actually read the word or not. It's a very easy way to assess! :)

I always love a sorting station to help students differentiate phonetic sounds. Students this week are sorting words with AR sounds and other A sounds. Then, they color code them (with a few extra words added in) ;)

 This week I put in an ABC order center and I know, I know this little one got one wrong but... guess what I do with that! I take her back and review with her how to alphabetize words that begin with the same letter!! (Plus she has a cute picture--so blog post worthy)!!

Students also have a simple assignment that they complete at read to a partner each day and it is all about fluency!!
Students read all six sentences to their partner while their partner times how long it takes them! I swear this works and OMG they have a blast!!! It is so cool to see their times decrease from Monday to Friday!

All of these goodies can be found in my packet below called, "Working with /AR/"

Also, stay tuned for my next upcoming phonics packet!! Oh, this one is going to be just as great!!
This one will focus on the R-Controlled vowel /OR/!

I have a few other phonics packs as well! I hope to get all sorts of phonics packs like these completed for you guys to enjoy with your kids!!


  1. I love the shark theme! The magnifying activity is a great idea... way to mix it up a little to make it exciting... I wonder if I could do that with my lower groups for letter recognition. I am running out of ideas!

    The Big Apple Teacher

    1. I bet you could! The kids have so much fun with the magnify stuff!! :) It is by far their favorite station to do.