I'm definitely a believer of teaching phonics. :-) Another shout out for MVCA/K12's curriculum...their PhonicsWorks curriculum is lovely! I so wish my other kiddos had experienced this. Not that they didn't touch on phonics at brick and mortar. They did, but they didn't go into as much as K12's does. The other kids are learning quite a bit from our 1st grader's lessons that is helping their spelling! I find that my own 2nd grader tends to balk at writing and some of it is because he's a bit of a perfectionist and he doesn't like it when his words are spelled wrong. So now we are going back and teaching phonics rules. Here is a few of the activities we've done for 1st grade with regards to phonics. I wish that I took more pictures of some of the phonics things we do. Oh well, that's the way it goes. This is just 3 of many.
Broke the paper into 4 categories for nouns-
person animal, things, places
On the post-it, child dictated two nouns to go with that category. Underneath, he wrote a verb (making sure to use the correct form of the verb) to go with that noun. Then each day he chose one noun/verb pair from each category and wrote a complete sentence.
1. Does it make sense? (Subject and a predicate?)
2. Does it start with a capital letter?
3. Are there finger spaces between words?
4. Is there punctuation at the end of the sentence?
5. Are your forming your letters correctly? Do they bump the line?
(Penmanship has come a LONG way for Mr. L. So I pick and choose my battles when it comes to what I have him erase and rewrite. Now that he's on the right track with pencil control, correct letter formation, and stamina...I want him to begin to enjoy writing vs. it just always being "hard work". With this activity in particular, I was trying to help him move from HWT's paper to regular penmanship paper because one never knows what the future holds and he may need to know how to write on regular penmanship paper. I do love HWT's paper though!
Post-Its are lovely! Picture is poor. Sorry!
ed as /ed/, /d/ /t/
This was a quick activity before heading out for our Children's Museum field trip. I wrote the sound that ed can make on post its to make 3 categories. Then he chose an orange post-it, read the word, told me what I needed to do to make it past tense (double the letter or not) and put it in the column of the sound he heard at the end of the word. Now when they hear a word like "helped" they are less likely to write helpt. :-D Why? Because we have learned that ed can make three sounds. We also have learned about what a base word is. I love to hear them talk it out to themselves. "Base word is help. The verb tense is past. Let me finger stretch it. /h/ /el/ /p/ /t/. h, l...no, wait...I need at least one vowel in every chunk... h-e-l-p-t. No, past tense is ed. h-e-l-p-e-d." Makes a BIG difference! Now that we have a few rules under our belts, :-), I very seldom just spell a word when they ask anymore. We go through clapping out the word, finger stretching the sounds, thinking of different rules, etc.
I decided to make a very simple -ed sort mat for this activity though...my 3rd grader is having a bit of a time hearing the ending sounds that -ed makes so this will work for her also. For good measure, I think the 2nd graders will do it also. I typed base words and they have to state what the past tense of that word is (knowing you add -ed). Then figuring out if you have to double the last letter before adding -ed or not. Then they'll sort it into the correct column.
You can get download it for your own use here if it's something that may be of use for you.