Our school has a big focus on phonics and phonemic awareness. We believe that when students can decode words automatically, it increases their ability to comprehend what they’re reading. We include sight word practice, to help students read those words that cannot be easily decoded.
In first grade, we have an hour called skills block. During this time students have independent practice of differentiated phonics skills while the teachers pull small groups. It is important that students work on activities that they can complete independently. Every first grader works on the same independent activities using different word lists.
We begin each week with a sort. Students cut out the word list and store them in a plastic baggie. They use these words to complete activities all week! Our students glue each page into an interactive notebook. I’ve found that it’s an excellent way to track student’s growth. These pages work just as well when completed independently and not stored in a notebook.
Mondays – Cut out the word list & practice sorting
Tuesdays – Scrambled words
Wednesdays – Read & Draw
Thursdays - Fill in the Blank
Fridays – Word Search & students glue their words onto the sort sheet