Primary Chalkboard: Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Intervention Activities

Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Intervention Activities

Hi Friends,

Nicole, from Mrs. Rios Teaches, here!  I am teaching a 1st and 2nd grade combo class this year, and had 5 of my first graders come in considerably behind in reading readiness.  I immediately set aside a 20 minute block of time to work with these students, and I am so happy to say that all of them have made wonderful progress!

Here is how I structured this powerful learning time.

Learning objectives keep the kids and me accountable for our time together.

I schedule this 20 minute block of time for first thing in the morning.  We say the Pledge of Allegiance, and then it's work time!  The rest of the class does Read to Self at this time.  We meet everyday, except Wednesdays, because we have our PE teacher that day.

I keep notes on all of our meetings for RTI purposes, and to keep track of student needs and progress.  I also keep track of students who miss our group due to absences or tardies.

I just got a new 2nd grade student on Monday, who has had to join our group.  So,  I have had to color code my notes because I am essentially running two groups within one now.  EEK!

Download the form above, and a Comprehension Strategies monitoring form, for FREE below!

Here is our daily routine!

What is that? I bet you are asking yourself.

We use these little treasures to practice segmenting and blending words containing our focus pattern.  I made these by cutting legal-size envelopes down to 6 1/4 inches long.  I put a little tape on the back to keep the envelope closed.  Then, I cut sentence strips to about 6 1/2 inches long so they stick out a bit, and oila!

This is a great opening activity for us because it is independent.  So, if kids come in late, it doesn't hold back the rest of the group.  Also, students can be working on different words.  Right now, I have my 5 first grade students working on -dge, and my new student working on short a words.  But, everyone is doing the same activity, which makes it easy for me!

Now before you run out and start cutting envelopes and sentence strips,  I am going to be honest and tell you that prepping these is a bit of a pain in the neck.  I have been using mine for several years now, and have most of my sets made.  Come to find out that my bloggy friend, and new Primary Chalkboard contributor, Karen Jones from Mrs. Jones' Kindergarten, has an adorable set of these available in her TPT store!  One of the things I love about her set, is the little picture at the end of each card so that kids can self check.  Brilliant!  Next time one of my sets looks like it's been through the ringer, I'm buying these! Click on the image below to find out more.

Next, my students use whisper phones to read decodable books containing our phonics focus.  These books are from Reading A-Z.  LOVE!

Next, my students practice spelling words with our pattern focus, and writing simple sentences.  We use these fantastic Interactive Phonics Booklets from Laura Martin's TPT store. Click on image below to find out more.

I love these booklets because they are so versatile.  I can have kids cut and paste with the provided letter sheets. I can have students just write in their letters, or I can use letter tiles!  I like to mix it up!

As for the sentences we write, I keep them focused on our mastered and current spelling patterns, and try to incorporate some High Frequency Writing words from this list.  Click on the pic above to download!

I also have some alternative activities.  For example, my new student will be working with my Phonemic Awareness Task Cards on Thursday.  We will start by just having the him place his finger in each box as he segments each phoneme.  When he is successful with that, we will place letter tiles in the boxes to solidify the letter-sound connection.

You can find these cards in my store.  Click on the pic below to learn more.

This is our 4th and final activity! The lists I use are the ones from our district.  I listen to all of the students read their lists everyday.  Each time a student reads a word correctly, they are able to star their paper!  My 1st grade kids started with the Kindergarten list at the beginning of the year.  This little one above has mastered almost all of the first grade list now! 

Well, that is how I do it!  Still looking for more ideas?  Check out this great assessment for early readers, by Read Like a Rock Star.

And here is a great Freebie for CVC words, from Victoria Moore!

I would love to hear how you structure your intervention or small group time. Please share by leaving a comment below.

See you next time.



  1. This is a great post filled with awesome ideas and reminders. Thanks!!!!!

    1. Thanks, Maria! I am so happy you found this post interesting, and hopefully informative!


  2. This is an AWESOME POST Nicole! I LOVE all of your ideas!!!!!

  3. I love how organized you are Nicole! I have used that trick with the envelope for years but with their first name and helper of the day. I would slowly pull out the first letter and anyone with that letter as their first in their name would stand up, then the next letter and so on. It became a fun tradition in my class. Love all your ideas my friend.

  4. Some great ideas and resources here!

    1. Thanks Alicia, I hope you found something useful. So glad you stopped by.


  5. I love the envelope idea! I have a few 2nd graders that have trouble sounding out/chunk words! Brilliant!

  6. Love the envelope! We used to do this & then switched to "core" stuff. I am going back to the tried & true! Thanks for reminding me of good teaching practices! YEAH! Wendy 1stgradefireworks 1stgradefireworks

    1. You are so right, Wendy. Good teaching is just good teaching. It really doesn't need to be fancy. I really love the hands-on aspect of these cards, and my students think they are fun. Thanks for stopping by.