Phonics Fun! CVC Words

When I was teaching Kindergarten, I spent most of the year teaching CVC words.  Now that I am teaching first grade I spend about the first quarter of the year teaching and reviewing CVC words.  When the children are more secure on their CVC skills, we move on to blends, then digraphs, and finally vowel teams. 


I use Words Their Way to differentiate my Word Study groups, and within these groups I have kiddos working on beginning sound sorts all the way up to more complicated long vowel words. 

I still, however, need to teach the grade level content.  I don’t spend a lot of time during whole group teaching this content, but I will throw it into work stations and during our small group teaching time. 

These are some of the resources that I use:

CVC intervention short uCVC intervention short aCVC intervention short eCVC intervention short iCVC intervention short o

I use the activities in this bundle not only for Intervention, but for guided reading activities, center activities, and whole group lessons.

One of my favorite activities for whole group are using the CVC sliders:


The number of sliders included in each kit varies, but there are more than enough to practice each vowel sound.  The children can’t get enough of these!

I have bundled these sliders in a separate set if you’re only interested in these, but they are included in the CVC kits.

short vowel cvc sliders only

I love playing card games in small groups – learning is so much more natural and fun when we can actually have FUN!  After we have played each game numerous times, I will put it in a center for the children to play with partners.  Each set has practice for hearing the individual phonemes (and blending), independent practice, and fun card games!

*I wish I had real pictures of these products in action, but they are all on my old computer, and I haven’t been able to get them off! I hope that you can use your imagination! 



I have also included some fun board games to practice hearing and blending sounds together.  Again, we play these in our group time and then move it to a center for more practice!






We also practice hearing onsets and rimes with a different type of slider!  There are sliders included for each word family and a recording sheet for independent practice.


There is also plenty of independent practice!


When I taught Kindergarten, I used these throughout the entire year – in first grade, I use these more at the beginning of the year to make sure there is a solid foundation of CVC words before adding blends and digraphs.  (Next project!)

Another activity we love to do whole group is called CVC Bang! I project it on my IWB and the kids LOVE it!


You can download this game for free {HERE}

During workstation time, my kiddos have a variety of centers to choose from based on the skill that we are working on for the week. 


These stations are a set that I made this year.  I wanted the children to have some practice with our weekly phonics focus, but I wanted to work smarter, not harder!  The activities stay the same each week, but the skill changes.  They LOVE these stations, and are SO engaged!!


We also will spend some time building words the old fashioned way! With letter cards and mats! We do this activity as a whole group on the first day that I introduce the phonics skill.  The children have a box of letter cards (the red box in this picture) that have only the cards needed to build with.  I call out words, and the children build the words on their mats.  I am able to glance around quickly and see who can do it, and who will need more time in groups practicing the weekly skills.


On day 2, we work with white boards and practice writing the words.  Day 3, we read some phonics books that focus on the weekly skill.  We will first read them whole group, and then partner read.  On Day 4 we take the same letter cards that we used on Monday and work with a partner to write as many words as we can with the phonics focus.  On day 5, we take a short 5 words assessment – just to progress monitor.


IMG_4643Phonics is such a foundational skill that we spend a LOT of time in whole group, small groups, partners, and 1:1 to make sure they grasp this skill!

Do you have a favorite way to practice CVC words?  Leave a comment and share with the community!

First Grade Stations!

Our literacy workstation time is such an important time in our day!  Like most teachers, this is the time when I pull small groups for guided reading.  The children have to be able to work independently, rotate quickly, all while practicing skills that have been taught whole group. 

I thought I would give you a quick peek into our Workstation Time so you can see what my kiddos are working on!

First, the ever important guided reading time.  I try to pull 3 groups every day.  I see my lowest groups every day, and my higher groups 2-3 times each week.  We are lucky enough to have the Jan Richardson Guided Reading kits in our district.  These are AMAZING.  I highly recommend them! If you aren’t able to afford the whole kit, her book (The Next Step in Guided Reading) lays everything out for you! If you read her book, then you’ll know exactly how to structure your guided reading lessons. 




While I am teaching small groups, my kiddos are rotating through 3 stations (unless they are joining me for a lesson).  We rotate every 15-20 minutes.  I display the rotation chart on my Interactive White Board and they check that to see where to go next.  I do love the Daily 5 format of choice, I just let them choose in a different way.  Instead of choosing WHICH center they go to, they choose which activity within that Daily Activity.

The activities that students go to within a week vary, but here are the categories that I have:

  • Read to Self
  • Listen to Reading (either on Epic! or ipods)
  • Buddy Reading
  • Phonics
  • Sight Words
  • SeeSaw (sharing something they are working on)
  • Benchmark Advance (different activities that I assign them – each child’s assignment varies – it might be some word work, listening to a book, a writing activity, etc)
  • Writing Center

Here is a peek at some of the activities the children are doing:

These are all Phonics activities.  There are 6 different activities to choose from – the phonics skill changes each week based on our whole class focus, but the activities stay the same. 


For listening to reading the children can either choose to grab an ipod that is loaded with several books or grab an ipad and use the free app Epic!


Read to Self is pretty self-explanatory! The children grab their book boxes and READ!  They always read the books in their green folders first – these are the books that we have read together during our guided reading time.  The children switch books on a specified day in the morning so they always have fresh books in their bins. 


At the writing center, the children have a variety of tasks they can choose from.  Right now, the most popular choice is book making!  I have a variety of special writing tools and paper that the children can use to keep them excited and engaged about this center.  I switch a few things out each month to keep it fun!


Buddy Reading is pretty self-explanatory.  The children partner up, grab their buddy reading binders and read together.  We add new poems, stories, and reader’s theaters to this weekly to keep things fresh and exciting!  They LOVE reading together!


So, I realized I don’t have pictures of a few of my stations – so I’ll give a brief explanation and try to add pics later!


The children each have a differentiated word list that they will grab when they are at this station.  They do a variety of activities with their sight words – fancy writing, rainbow writing, stamping, and so on.


At the SeeSaw station, the children use the SeeSaw app to add something to their Online Journal.  This is their choice – they might choose a piece of writing to photograph and record, they might a grab a book and video themselves reading it, or they might even take out their word sort and read and sort it.  I wanted them to have some ownership in their portfolios, and it also a good little assessment for me to see what they can do independently.


Our district adopted the newest curriculum from Benchmark Literacy this past year.  This is my second year using it since I was a piloter, so I feel a lot more comfortable with a lot of the components.  When kids are at the Benchmark station, they grab an ipad, log into their Benchmark account, and complete the assignments that I create for them.

What about work work?

Our differentiated work work is done at a different time of day! This is a whole separate blog post, but I LOVE word study time!!


If you are interested in some of my activities, here is what I use for some of my stations:


(I will be adding to this series throughout the year – next up is blends!)

Fix It! Read It! Write It! November Sentence Scrambles

Sight Word and Spelling Activities for the Frugal Teacher

Fix It Up! {AGAIN!} - Sentences for Grammar, Sight Words and Handwriting

Have a great week!! Leave a comment if you have questions!