September 25, 2016

Learning Blends & Digraphs Through Movement - Physical Phonics {part 2}

Once students have mastered their alphabet and letter sounds, it's time to start teaching them more advanced phonics skills that will help them with decoding words. After I teach the alphabet, I work on digraphs and blends. Research shows that using a multi-sensory approach to learning, can help students learn the information in multiple ways and retain the information better. I created Physical Phonics to do just that! Physical Phonics helps meet the needs of all of your students, no matter which way they learn best. I have found that students are not only more engaged when they use Physical Phonics, but they also retain the information and learn their sounds quicker. 
Here's a little preview of what is included in my Physical Phonics Alphabet set. 
(turn your sound on)

Below are the teacher direction cards. You will use these cards to teach your students the blends and digraphs letter pairs and sounds, all while incorporating movement. This helps the brain learn through a variety of learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic movement. 
 Lesson Example:
1. Say the Sound: First I show the students the card and tell them the sound the blend/digraph makes. We say the sound 3 times. I do this because learning sounds is the most important thing to help them become readers and I tell them the letters are how we show that sound. The picture of the little kid at the bottom of the card, lets students know that is what they will say.  
     Remember:When you say the letter sounds, make sure to say them quickly and not add the schwa (uh) sound at the end. Bl says /bl/ not /bluh/, make sure that you're not dropping your jaw and accidentally adding the UH sound at the end. If you do, then when students start to write they'll want to add the letter u to many words. 

2. Say the Picture Clue: Then I will tell them the picture clue and how we hear that sound when we see it in a word.  EX: flower begins with the sound /fl/ I will show them the hand motions we will do to help us remember the sounds. Then we'll practice and say the sound 3 times, then name the pictures EX: /fl/ /fl/ /fl/ flower  I will then give the class a list of a few more words that begin with that sound and see if they can come up with any. 

3. Say the Letters: Last I will show them the letters that we write to represent these blends and digraph sounds. 
Finally you are ready to put it all together and practice the sounds again. Say the sound 3 times, say the picture clue, then the letter.   EX: /gl/ /gl/ /gl/  glove  (say all this while pretending to put on a glove)

I created instructional videos that you can use to learn all of the movements, but the students really enjoy watching the video and playing along. The video is in alphabetical order, so if you teach the sounds in a different order, you can quickly just scroll to the sound you are teaching that day.  The first part of the video works on blends, then I take a break and tell students it's turn to learn their digraphs. You can these videos with students in whole group, small group, or let them watch it during center time on your computer to give them extra practice.
These charts can be printed as is or blown up into poster size and will be a helpful reminder for your students. One set has the directions on it as a reminder for you, parent volunteers, or a substitute.  These would be great to hang up at your writing center, throw in centers for your students to use as a reference, or keep these at your small group table. 
 These students strips will be a great resource for your students that they can keep in their folders or you can throw into center tubs.
I created a small set of just the picture cards as well. These are great to throw in centers, use in your small group, or send some home with students to get extra practice. Students could play memory with these cards and the blends/digraphs cards below, match magnetic letters to the correct picture, or use a wipe off board to write down the sounds they hear. You can always use picture cards! 
 I also made some simple cards with just the blends/digraph letters.
I wanted to create a book that is sturdy enough to last for weeks as you teach students all of the blends and digraphs. This book is divided into 2 sections deepening on which skill you teach first. It also has a list at the front of the book with all of the blends and digraphs taught. Simply print the pages double sides, add the cover, and then staple together. Easy-peasy!
Here's what the inside of the book looks like. Each page has the picture clue and the blend or digraph at the top. If you want to differentiate this activity, you can have your students draw pictures that start with that sound, they would just write words for that sound, or they can do both. Use these in centers, during writing time, or while you are teaching them the new sound. When you are finished they will have yet another resource to refer to when they are working on blends and digraphs.
This Physical Phonics set has been in the works for a long time, so I'm thrilled to have it done. I hope you really find that your students learn and retain their blends and digraphs sounds more now that you have incorporated some moment. You can find this Physical Phonics bundle on TPT here

I have also created Physical Phonics Alphabet set for the beginning of the year and a Physical Phonics Word Work Bundle as well.

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