FREE Kindergarten Phonics Scope and Sequence!!
Kindergarten is such an exciting year, at the beginning of the school year students are learning all the letters and by the end of the year many are reading! There is so much to teach throughout the school year and it can be a bit overwhelming.
I created this simple phonics scope and sequence to help guide myself throughout the school year. You may find it helpful in your classroom too. One of my favorite parts of thsi scope and sequence is the resource links on pages 3-4. This is a great guide to find resources for different phonics topics.
Since there is so much to learn in Kindergarten, let’s break down all thing major phonics topics you need to teach throughout the school year. This is just a guide to use along the year and I hope it helps you!
Learning the Letters
Learning the letters is the first major building block to early literacy. Many of your kindergarteners will start the school year knowing most of the letter names and sounds. Some may not, that’s the tricky part of any classroom! Therefore, it is always best practice to clearly teach ALL the letter names, sounds and formation. Never assume a student knows a specific letter and skip it.
Letters should be taught in a specific order. You can follow many different curriculums but I paced the letters following a similar plan to Fundations Wilson Program. This program teaches the letters based on letter formation and common letter sounds.
It will take nine weeks to learn all the letters, this may seem slow but it’s the best way to ensure your students master the letter name, sound and letter formation. Remember when you are teaching each letter you focus on the common letter sound, the name of the letter and how to correctly write the letter. These skills take time!
My absolute favorite thing to teach is CVC words. This is when students really start to gain confidence because they can actually read words. Simple CVC words are decodable and therefore students use their prior knowledge of letter sounds to read each word.
Blending three letter sounds together is tricky and takes some students more practice than others. I strongly suggest using as many hands on activities as possible. Also remember phonemic awareness activities are your friend. You don’t always have to put print in front of your students to practice blending sounds.
I spend several weeks working on CVC words in kindergarten. Typically the first semester is devoted to CVC words. If students are not able to master this skill, an interventionist is most likely needed. Students cannot move forward to other bigger skills like consonant blends without mastering CVC words.
Digraphs are two letters together that make one sound. For example, "sh" or "th." These pair nicely at the end of the CVC words unit. Students can still manipulate three sounds like in "ship" when decoding but you are introducing a four letter word.
Digraphs are also fun because students practice new sounds and feel confident writing and building bigger words. In kindergarten we only spend a few weeks on digraphs before moving on to even trickier words with consonant blends!!
Once students have mastered CVC words you can up the rigor and begin practicing consonant blends. These are typically four letter words like "frog" or "stop." Students can decode these words with basic letter sound knowledge.
The tricky part with consonant blends is that additional fourth sound. Students have practiced three letter words for months and now that fourth sound can really throw them off. Going from "fog" to "frog" can be a bit of a challenge.
Most students can master this quickly with the correct pacing and consistency. There are hundreds of different resources out there, but I really love my consonant blend intervention unit. It has over hundreds of different consonant blend activities!
CVCE: Silent E
Oh sneaky E! Just a fair warning this spelling pattern can be difficult for kindergarteners. It totally throws them off. We switch the vowel sound and make a letter silent!!? How insane! Silent E is just one of those patterns that takes a lot of practice. Students will practice this skill all the way up to second grade, so don't stress if your students are really struggling.
Some of the best activities I use are found in the Words Their Way Within Word Stage Resources Product. There are so many hands on activities for students to practice this unique spelling pattern.
Ending the year with R-controlled vowels is a great way for students to see how much they have grown. Remind your kiddos that back in August they were learning letter names and sounds! Now they are spelling and reading words with some tricky spelling patterns.
Some R-controlled vowels are pretty easy, like AR and OR, while the other three are not! They all make the same sound, so spelling these words is a mess. bird...burd..or berd?!?! Phonetically those all say the same thing! Nonetheless, students need exposure to these higher level spelling patterns because they will see these patterns in the higher level texts they are reading.
A lot of Kindergarten is spent focusing on handwriting. Sometimes it is easy to push handwriting to the side, we just want our kids to learn how to read and most school work is on the computer these days. But after a few years of virtual teaching I see why that is not the right mindset.
Students need to master correct letter formation and handwriting skills BEFORE they go to first grade. Proper letter formation leads to stronger brain connections as well.
Your kindergarteners need to not only learn letter formation but how to write a complete sentence with correct punctuation and spacing. These skills are practiced throughout the entire school year leading up to even composing short stories and informational texts.
Writing is a blast because it allows your students to take their learning to the next level and truly demonstrate the skills they have learned. Writing allows your students to show their mastery with spelling CVC words to R-controlled vowel patterns! It is a great tool to use for progress monitoring and assessment.
Sight words are my LEAST favorite thing to teach in any grade level. They are boring but so necessary. In previous years I spent so much time and energy focusing on phonetic patterns and didn't address sight words. My students could not master the benchmark readers because they continued to get stuck on sight words.
The best advice I have for sight words is to be consistent and repetitive. One of the major tools that I learned to use was when I created my own decodable book series. I found that my decodable books needed to build off each other, especially with sight words.
Students need to practice sight words for multiple weeks, do not just move on to the new words the following week and never go back to review old words. There are plenty of ways to practice sight words, I love using my Fry 100 Resources. There are over one THOUSAND pages of activities. Such a game changer having it all organized and ready for me right in one spot.
Kindergarten is a sweet year with tremendous amount of growth. Students learn the building blocks to reading and it all starts on that first day! I hope you have an amazing year with your kids and remember to check out my Kindergarten Phonics Scope and Sequence!
Click Here to Download the Kindergarten Phonics Scope and Sequence!