Try these fun games and activities for kindergarten phonics practice and reinforce letter-sound knowledge.
Importance of Phonics
Learning to connect the written symbol (the letter) to its sound is one of the foundational skills that students need to become readers and writers. Phonics needs to be explicitly taught and practiced with students. I use a routine to teach my students letter sounds, and it is working incredibly well for them!
As a kindergarten educator, learning about how children learn to read and using a sound wall has changed my practice for the better! Using games like I Spy a Sound also helps my students solidify their phonics knowledge in an engaging way.
Can you guess my letter?
I start by drawing the first stroke of a letter, and my students have to try and guess which letter it is. For example, a downward stroke could be an l, t, k, h, etc. I give them a couple of chances to guess, then do the second stroke.
Usually, they guess it at this time, and I ask them to make the letter sound! My students love this, and it works on letter recognition and sounds at the same time.
I played this with my students as a whole group activity. I tested our whiteboard markers on the tables before doing this, and the markers did erase from the tables. You could also give your students whiteboards and markers.
I started by just saying the letter sound, and students had to write the corresponding letter. Then, once they have had a chance to write it, I write it to see the correct letter formations.
My students LOVED this, and we have done this numerous times with amazing success.
I Spy a Sound
This is a fun way to play I Spy by substituting colours with sounds. You can play it with objects in your classroom or try out this fun I Spy a Sound literacy activity.
Kindergarten Phonics during Transitions
I love to use all the time I have throughout the day to work on skills with my students. This includes transition times! When dismissing students, you can say something like, “If your name starts with the sound /t/, you can get ready to go outside.”
You can also dismiss students individually and ask them to give you a sound before they transition, “What sound dies the letter T make?”
What are your favourite activities or games to work on phonics skills? Let me know in the comments!