Phonics is a necessary building block for reading and writing and an important part of any balanced literacy program so I try to spend a little time there every day during Reading/Writing Workshop. I try to make the lessons as engaging and participatory as I can and having iPads in the classroom has certainly made this possible.
I used to have students use letter cards or magnetic letters to build words and then use paper and pencil for word sorting and transfer. This was time consuming for me from a preparation standpoint and a bit messy for the kids as they often lost word cards and letters or turned a d into a p by moving the letter card upside down. Now, I use a few iPad apps.
The app MagLetters is used to manipulate the letters into words. Scholars pull the identified letters onto their screen then move them around to make each word. Below is an example.
For word sorting, I like the app Word Mover. Scholars create a card for each word then sort the words into groups based on attributes of the words.
The Word Mover app is also great for transfer, i.e. building word families. This week we tried a little 'App-Smashing'. Scholars created the word families in Word Mover then read the words using screen-casting apps like the IPEVO app or the DoodleCast app.
Teaching Phonics has never been easier or more engaging!