English is Weird

This is one section of a Phonics Kit that you can create. Many of the resources are provided by the websites below for personal or classroom use. See the full Phonics Kit post for more resources! Learn more about the Phonics Toolkit available at Teachers Pay Teachers and get your copy today!

English is weird, oh yes, it is! There are vowels that can be spelled in lots of different ways, consonants that can have different sounds, and lots of exceptions. The rules are more like guidelines that give us a clue.

Slideshare Credits

Charts from Boostforreaders.com
Short/Long Chart: First Grade Wow
Bossy R: carlscorner.us.com
Defender D & FLOSS Rule: maketaketeach.com (exceptions to FLOSS rule: gas, bus, yes)
Schwa: http://www.logicofenglish.com
Synonym/Antonyms: vocabularypage.com
Homograph/Homophones: heerenshappenings2.blogspot.com

Strategies for Reading


Be Aware of Schwa

Schwa is a light “uh” sound that can be made by any vowel. It is the most common sound in the English language.

WATCH Schwa (2:12)

Sheriff Schwa Worksheet from teachchildrenesl.com and Schwa maze at English-Zone.com. Pizza! Pizza! printable schwa game from the literacy nest.


Schwa Word Sort at Teachers Pay Teachers

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Puffin browser.

PLAY Online Quiz: purposegames

Note: read about short U & the schwa sound at the ChallengeoflearningUSEnglish

Sight Words

Phonics guidelines can often be helpful, but there are some words that are not easily decodable.

Sight words are frequently found in written text, and many are not decodable with phonics guidelines. When these words are learned, a large percentage of written text can be read. E.W. Dolch identified 220 words and 95 nouns. In 1996, Dr. Fry expanded on the Dolch list and published “Fry 1000 Instant Words.” In his research, Dr. Fry found that:
• 25 words make up approximately 1/3 of all published text
• 100 words make up approximately ½
• 300 words are 65%
• The full list of 1000 words makes up 90% of all published text

WATCH 100 Sight Words (12:09) Kids vs Phonics Sight Words (4:45)

PRACTICE Fry Sight Words (with audio) at Quizlet.com.





READ Phrases with Fry Instant Words from http://www.uen.orgFry Fluency Sentences from Curriculum Corner. Dolch Sight Word Sentences (pdf) from Listen Write & Read & 220 Dolch sight words in a story from Mrs. Perkins.

PLAY Printables:


Roll a (sometimes silly) Sight Word Sentence free at Teachers Pay Teachers from the dailyplanit. To make this into a sentence shake cut the columns of words apart and put them in bottles.


More: Sight Word Last Card from sightwords.com, Battling for Sight Word Treasures from Liz’s Early Learning Spot, Gone Fishing editable Sight Words from thisreadingmama, Sight Word Scrabble from craftnectar. (The last two may not fit easily in the portable Phonics Kit, but look fun!)


The Roll a Color Sight Word Game at the Super Tutor Tools Teachers Pay Teachers page uses the first 100 Fry words, or use any sight word flashcards and mark them with the colors. Find more fun games at the ABCs of Games for Reading.

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Puffin browser.

PLAY Online Practice with audio: Sight Words Audible and Word Birds & Wordquake at mrnussbaum. Sight Word Smash at roomrecess.com. Dolch Sight Word Bingo at abcya.com (free on pc only), Online Games at Education.com (with sign-up) and dolchword.net. Spelling City has online games for both Dolch & Fry sight words.

Teach reading skills using hands-on, fun activities: memorable introductions to patterns with fun rhymes, 16 games,  24 worksheets, 11 word sorts and more. Learn more about the Phonics Toolkit and get your copy today!

For even more resources, check out my reading board at Pinterest.



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