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“The two best predictors of early reading success are alphabet recognition
and phonemic awareness.”
-Marilyn Jager Adams

We spend a lot of time working on Phonemic Awareness and Phonics skills in kindergarten and first-grade, so we want to make sure that we create games and activities that will hold the interest of our students.  My goal is to create activities that the students will want to come back to over and over again.  Here are a few of the activities that are included in my Alphapalooza 2 unit.

I SPY Letter Mats  These are included for each letter of the alphabet and can be used in a variety of ways.  In the picture above I used them with Magnetic Wands and chips.  You can get them at a reasonable price here.
The kids love sweeping the wand over the work mat to pick up all of the chips, and I love that I can use the work mats over and over again.  Note: These would look great printed on Astrobrights paper.

Another way to use the work mats would be to let the students color them or dab them with dot markers.

Where do you hear the sound?  This is a fun phonemic awareness activity that can also be used in a variety of ways.  This allows students to practice listening for a target sound and determine where it is in the word.  For example, the teacher might say, "Where is /a/ in jam?  The student would then segment the word to try and determine where the sound is located.  Then, place the cube (or tiny dog bone if you have them) on the space where he hears the target sound.  

In phonemic awareness, you don't use the letter symbols, so I don't show the students the cards when we are working with this work mat in the beginning.  However, They are versatile, and they can be moved to a center for phonics practice so that the students can continue to work on segmenting words by actually seeing the letters that make up the sounds.  For this activity, the students use the picture cards with the letters mixed up. For example,  Student asks himself: "Where do I hear the a sound?"  and places the cube in the spot where the a sound is heard.  This can be repeated for all of the letters in the word, and then the students can write the words on a whiteboard if desired. There are 30 different picture cards that come with this activity.

Three in a Row! This activity comes with a variety of Bingo cards so that you can use this in a small group.  The teacher segments the words by reading the individual sounds /h/ /e/ /n/ and then the students blend the sounds together to determine the word.  The first student to get three in a row is the winner.  Again, when students are ready to go to the next step these can be moved to a center, and they can independently read the word cards and cover the pictures.

Sound Switch!  For this fun game, students will work on building words and then changing the beginning sound in the word to make new ones.  They will then determine if the new word is a real word or a make-believe word.  There are 10 cards and a recording sheet with this activity.

Playdoh Alphabet Mats There is an alphabet mat for each letter of the alphabet.  The mats include pictures that represent the letter sound as well as a place for them to make the letters with playdoh and trace them.  These are available in both color and black and white.

Sound Snap! This fast paced game is fun to play in small groups.   There is a work mat for each letter of the alphabet.  Each student has a different target sound they are looking for.  In the example above the target sound is /m/ as in mouse.  As the cards in the deck are turned over the students are looking for pics that match their target sound.  As soon as they see one they grab it and put in on their mat.  When all four spots are filled they call out,  "SNAP!" The first one to fill their mat is the winner.  This game also works well in a center for groups of students to play.

Sound Switch 2! Students will choose a picture card and say the name of the picture.
They will use magnetic letters to create the word, OR they can write it on a whiteboard.
Students will then say the name of the second picture and change the beginning sound to make the new word.  Note: These are color coded for differentiation.  There are 9 cards with a pink dot for changing the beginning sound, 9 cards with a green dot for changing the ending sound, and 9 cards with a yellow dot for changing the middle sound. 

These alphabet books are for students who are struggling to learn their letters and sounds.  I have a routine that I follow with my intervention group that has been extremely effective in helping them learn their letters and sounds.  The routine that I use is laid out in the units step by step, as well as the materials and directions for making the alphabet books.

This is the assessment sheet that I use to help me keep track of student progress. I use a different colored marker each time I assess so that I can tell at a glance how much progress has been made.

This resource includes everything I've shown you and A LOT more! You can view it by clicking on the image below.  

Table of Contents Skills covered:
*Three in a Row {Demonstrate understanding of spoken words}
*Spot the Sound {Beginning, middle & ending sounds in words}
*Sound Snap {Letter/sound correspondence}
*Sound Switch & Sound Switch 2{CVC words & changing letters in words to make new ones}
*I Spy Letter Mats {Letters and Sounds}
*Dob a Letter Mats black and white {Letters and Sounds}
*Play-doh Letter Mats color {Letters and Sounds}
*Alphabet Songs & Letter Cards {Letters and Sounds}
*Phonemic Awareness Activity Cards on a Ring: {Rhyming, Syllables, Letter & Sounds, Onset & Rhyme, Blending, Changing sounds in words to make new ones.
*I Have Who Has Games {Letter Identification. Letter Sounds}
*RTI Lesson ideas and alphabet books
*Spin a Letter game for letter/sound recognition
Over 330 pages of fun. 

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