read alouds

Phonics in First Grade

Phonics, in my opinion is one of the most important things that we first graders teach. It sets students up for the life long ability to decode and encode unknown words. Phonics is a huge part of our day in my first grade classroom. We do a whole group lesson/activity everyday that encourages students to critically think about their phonics words. Then, I also incorporate it into guided reading if the group needs it AND I also incorporate phonics into my students literacy stations for the week. So, when I say it's a huge part of my room, I don't mean I teach it all day. I mean, I teach it each day and plug it in elsewhere for consistent exposure.

Throughout my years in the classroom, I've used a few different programs. I've seen what works and what doesn't work too well. I've taken what I've learned and ideas I've gained to create my own phonics curriculum called, "Phonics Instruction." It's important to me that students have a consistent and engaging phonics curriculum. I want students to know what's coming next to save time on giving instructions, but I do not want it to be mundane and boring. In the Phonics Instruction curriculum there is critical thinking, reading, writing, comprehending and physical movement to decode and encode words. This isn't just a spelling program, but a whole language program that takes the words for the week and puts them into context so students are reading them, gathering meaning and using them to comprehend.

As a whole group in my room: the students partake in the following activities every week to grow their understanding of the phonics skill.

Here is a peek at the kind of things we do in my classroom during phonics on a weekly basis!

During my literacy station time, students are also getting more practice with their phonics skill for the week during their word work station. I place five of the activities out. Each day, students go to word work. They get to pick which activity they would like to do that day for word work. The only requirement is, is to have four of them completed by Friday. I place a checklist in the bucket and they check off their name when they finish. Also, place a folder in that same bucket for them to put their paper in for easy grading for you! I don't mind which order they do the activities, but they all will need to get done. The format of the activities is basically the same each week so I don't need to waste time explaining directions.

Here is a peek at the literacy stations included in all of the short vowel sets.

Everything needed to have a successful phonics program is included in each phonics file, including WEEKLY LESSON PLANS! I have used these activities during my years of teaching and I enjoy them because they provide students with opportunities to discuss words with one another and use critical thinking skills to problem solve with words.

Storing these activities for easy access each year is also very simple.
I simply print the plans, books and printables. I place them in a file folder.
Then, the prepped stations and correlating activity sheets go in a plastic bag.
I keep it all in a file folder until it's needed next year!

If you are interested in checking out the short vowel phonics program that is now available for purchase, you may click the image below!


  1. I am LOVING this! I wish I had seen it earlier in the year. This week we will be working on ee and ea. Do any of the phonics units cover this skill? Thank you!

  2. This is really great!
    Do you have a daily routine for whole group when using these materials?


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