Lesson planning is often the most mentally taxing part of being a kindergarten teacher, especially for new teachers or new-to-kindergarten teachers. I remember being super excited yet nervous. How many hours were spent trying to craft lesson plans that covered everything my kids were supposed to learn? I have no idea but I’m sure it was excessive. Though I believed kindergarten should be the absolute most fun time of school, I also knew a needed a lesson plan for kindergarten phonics that was effective and fun.
JOIN A COMMUNITY OF KINDERGARATEN TEACHERS
All in all, in my early days (and honestly, even later on), veteran teachers were heaven-sent. As a matter of fact, I remember getting so much guidance in those first few years and now with the internet, novice teachers have access to even more amazing veteran teachers for support on how to add fun phonics activities into lessons. By all means, I love knowing that at our fingertips we have access to lots of fun ways to help our kindergarten kiddos learn to read while having fun and building their independence.
Here are 5 ways to add fun to your lesson plan for kindergarten phonics this school year!
Although we didn’t always call them task cards, they have been around for as long as I can remember. Overall, these are great tools for helping children practice specific skills. Want them to work on letter recognition? There’s a task card for that. Want to have your kiddos work on letter sounds? There’s a task card for that too! Another perk of using these little beauties in your lesson plan for kindergarten phonics is that they free you up to give targeted support. Especially because you know your children are learning the exact skill you’ve planned for but in a fun, independent way.
Hands-on Name Activities
What do we all love to hear and see in print? Our names! Consequently, it’s no different for little kids. This Flower Names activity from A Drop of Glue will Do is lovely. Especially because it gets little ones practicing their names and working on letter recognition. Obviously, those letters in their names are often the most important letters to them. So help them build letter recognition by starting with the ones that matter most.
All things considered, most kindergarten classrooms have different puzzles focused on different skills. However, what I loved was giving my children literacy kits that included puzzles that they kept in their cubbies. For example, in my lesson plans, I would specify when I would refer them to their literacy kits. Keeping the activities refreshed in their kits kept them interesting and fun while making sure they were focused on exactly the skills they needed to master.
Novel Tools or Tools Used in a Different Setting
Additionally, using common items in different ways or getting to use items kids only see adults use is always exciting. But don’t overthink it. For example, I loved this idea from The Kindergarten Connection because kiddos have the chance to use a hole punch to practice uppercase and lowercase letter matching. I mean who doesn’t love using a hole punch? But seriously, look around your classroom and see what you could let your kids use that they normally would not have access to. Overall, this takes a simple activity and breathes new life into your lesson plan for kindergarten phonics.
In general, beads are so useful in your classroom. To begin with, grab beads of different sizes and textures to keep kids engaged. Next, you can plan phonics activities like this one from Fun Frugal for Boys and Girls. The two uses allow teachers to differentiate the outcome but use the same resource. Then, those little ones who are working on beginning sounds can match real-life objects to the letters they begin with while those who are ready for spelling (and some of your kids will be ready quite early on in the school year) can spell simple words or make short sentences using pipe cleaners.
As can be seen, you have a few simple things to consider adding to your lesson plan for kindergarten phonics. Additionally, these are all free or economical ways to improve your kindergarteners’ phonics skills while also keeping planning from being more of a burden than it needs to be.
Do you have any other ideas to share that could help out a fellow kindergarten teacher? Leave them in the comments below!