Smart Skills You Need to Take You Far
“Perseverance!” That’s the rally call chosen by the class of adult learners I work with as a literacy tutor. Learning to read isn’t an easy skill to master, and it takes time and practice. But sometimes practicing the skills needed for reading can be fun! Many websites provide free online games that make learning more fun.
When I began volunteering with the organization literacykc.org to help adults learn to read, I discovered something astonishing. I may have learned to read a long time ago, but I didn’t realize how little I knew about the process of mastering this skill! I wanted to be a super good tutor, so I began to look for information on the Internet to learn more about how to learn to read.
There are many tools and sources of information for learning to read that are available online, but it takes a lot of time to find the best resources. If you are looking for great resources organized logically in one place, just check out the eBooks I put together. The free eBook “Learn to Read With Fun Online Games to Practice Reading Skills” has many links to free online games. This provides easy access for students to practice their skills anytime they have access to a computer and an Internet connection. Please note that many of the games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Puffin browser. Download the free pdf eBook by clicking on the link at the end of this post. If you want to learn more, consider the “Learn to Read: Smart Skills You Need to Take You Far” eBook, which provides more information and resources at a low cost. Now available at Amazon, see the link at the end of this post.
In becoming a literacy tutor, I learned about the importance of phonics: understanding the relationship between letters and sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language. With a few exceptions, the consonants make one sound. Vowels can make different sounds, and there are some clues to tell if the vowel is long or short. Finally, there are some other sounds made by different combinations and conditions. The games in this post are targeted to practice the skills needed to understand the sounds of the English language.
(If you are thinking, “what in the world is a diphthong?” see the glossary of literacy terms at the end of this post!)
3 Clues of a SHORT vowel:
- CVC (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant) Words, which have closed syllables.
- Closed syllables.
- A vowel that comes before double consonants, like apple, letter, dinner, off, summer.
3 Clues of a LONG vowel:
- Silent e.
- Open syllables.
- Diphthongs-some vowel teams make a sound like a long vowel.
To learn more about these clues and the other sounds, check out the eBook “Learn How to Read: Smart Skills You Need to Take You Far” at the end of this post.
Please note that many of the games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Puffin browser.
|ABCs/Letters-uppercase & lowercase||Alphabet antics at learnenglishkids|
|Letter Sounds||The quiet machine at pbskids.org, initial sounds at funfonix|
|Short & Long vowel sounds|
|Syllables: Open & Closed||word jumbler game at bbc.co.uk
syllable games at learninggamesforkids.com
syllable factory game at skillswise
double consonants game at bbc.co.uk.
|CVC words (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant)|
|Diphthongs (vowel teams) that make a vowel sound|
|Consonants w/more than 1 sound: hard & soft c & g, s|
|Consonant Digraphs||Beginning & ending digraphs sadlier-oxford. Digraphs at softschools.com Forest Phonics also has some digraphs. Mr Nussbaum Two Letters has both digraphs & blends.|
|Diphthongs that make new sounds||other vowels at galacticphonics.com|
Treasure Behind the Mask at Sadlier-Oxford
The games at Symbaloo
All the websites in this post in alphabetical order:
abcya.com – a teacher-created website that provides fun and educational games for kids. Pre-K through 5th grade, and includes games for learning letters (also numbers and more) It is free for use on pcs (ads) and can be obtained for mobile or tablet use with a subscription.
arcademics.com – arcademic skill builders are free online educational video games that offer a powerful approach to learning basic math, language arts, vocabulary and thinking skills. These are highly engaging and some are multi-player. Apps are available for both Android and iOS.
www.education.com – has many resources on a variety of topics. To access worksheets and more resources there is a subscription fee, but there are many games available for free for learning reading skills.
Funfonix.com – free online games (and worksheets) for phonics.
Ictgames.com – free online games for phonics
Kizphonics – an online phonics program which provides a few games on each level free, access beyond that requires a membership.
Learn English Kids -from the British Council
Learninggamesforkids.com – free online learning games
Mr Nussbaum – has lots of literacy games and interactive resources
pbskids.org – a website from the Public Broadcasting System which is aimed at preschool kids.
sadlier-oxford.com – an educational publisher of books and materials for grades PreK to 12+.
Skillswise – provided by the British Broadcasting Corporation, this website includes a section of English Games. There is lots more about reading, writing, and math for higher levels. Some archived games are at bbc.co.uk as well.
softschools.com – provides many resources for free. A premium subscription is available that removes ads and lets teachers set up student account to track progress.
starfall.com – provides some free content on phonics aimed at early grade levels, with expanded content available for a subscription.
turtlediary.com – provides many resources for free. Premium subscription removes ads.
yourchildlearns.com – some free online games for reading.
Glossary of Literacy Terms
- Digraph-a pair of letters representing a single speech sound (consonant digraphs, and vowel digraphs or vowel teams)
- diphthong-two vowels combine to make one sound with mouth positions that change.
- grapheme–the written representation of a phoneme
- phoneme-the individual sounds that make up a word
- phonics–the relationship between letters and sounds
- schwa–a lightly pronounced “uh” vowel sound that can be represented by any vowel
- syllable–a unit of speech generally containing only one vowel sound
Too many people struggle with learning to read. Low literacy levels often mean limited options for employment, according to “A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st Century ” at the National Center for Education Statistics. Help to make a difference by sharing these resources with anyone who wants to learn how to read.
Which games do you like the best? I’d love to hear your vote for a favorite game, or if you know of some others that would be great to add. Also I appreciate knowing if any of the links change. Just leave a comment at the Daily PlanIt Facebook page.
Get the Free eBook “Learn How To Read With Fun Online Games” (pdf) with links to these free online games, plus even more games to practice more advanced skills for reading. Download it to your computer, smartphone, and/or tablet for easy access to the games wherever you are. The eBook includes a tip for a way to play Flash games on mobile devices.
Now at Amazon: Learn more with the eBook “Learn How to Read: Smart Skills You Need to Take You Far.” This book also includes explanations, charts with examples, and links to videos and other resources for learning the needed skills. Save tons of time with everything you need to learn how to read organized and easily accessible in one place.
Printable Games for sale at my Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.
- Final Consonant Blends-set of cards, each card has six words that end with a final consonant blend. Roll a die to build words and practice them.
- Roll a Silly Sight Word Sentence-is a fun, free way to practice sight words.
Find still more resources at my:
Pinterest Board on Reading
Youtube Playlist on Reading