Hands up if you are teaching remotely. Me too. I have come to really love the time I have with my students over zoom. Finding ways to re-create lessons virtually in as developmentally appropriate ways as possible. Remember, none of us think that virtual preschool is the optimal learning environment. Still, we are trying our best to provide rich and engaging early learning experiences during COVID school closures. Ready to check this phonics activity for zoom out?
This year I am teaching a multi-age class, and my PreK students and I meet for one extra zoom a week to spend some small group time on literacy and math. This phonics game is for that small group. In my whole class lessons and small group, we don’t adhere to a traditional letter of the week. In contrast, I do introduce one letter sound a week. All other activities are whole alphabet and use both upper and lowercase letters. Why? The simple answer is because that’s how we use letters and how our children see them being used.
Before the pandemic, when I did this small group activity with children, I used figurines. I am a big fan of children touching and moving things around as they learn, even when that movement isn’t a must for the skill we are working on. I like putting the figurines in boxes or Tupperware with the letter on the top, then they open the box and pull every item out. Which doesn’t belong? I’ll ask… maybe we will repeat each item and listen to the initial sounds more carefully. Then decide which item does not start with the letter sound.
This is how I’ve adapted this for a virtual preschool environment. Here is a video of me practicing it before I tried it with my students. I will use probably 3-5 sheets each time we play, but I will watch their interest, and if we are having fun, I’ll do more. If they are tiring, I’ll cut it short. It’s great to have more than you need on hand, so if they are in the zone, you can keep going. When I do a game like this one, I will choose some letters my students have shown mastery with and some they are less familiar with. One boosts confidence; the other is great intro/practice.
*Please note all vowel sounds in this packet are short vowel sounds. When I am teaching, I will often explain that some letters make more than one sound, but for games like this where we are differentiating sound, not spelling, I stick to the short vowel sounds, so the correct ones are all very similar.
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You can make your own game sheets by using online photo-editing like canva.com, or you can download all 26 pages here for just $1.99. Trust me. It takes a long time to do every letter, so you might want to click that button.
Need more Zoom Games like this Phonics Activity?
Click the image or right here for more phonics and other lessons to do over zoom with preschool, PreK, and kindergarten.