English is Weird

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.



Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers: Schwa Word Sort and free Schwa Word Treasure game.

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. 220 Dolch sight words in a story from Mrs. Perkins.

PLAY Printables:



Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers:

FREE! Roll a (sometimes silly) Sight Word Sentence – to make this into a sentence shake cut the columns of words apart and put them in bottles. Also the First 300 Fry Words Bookmarks.


The Roll a Color Sight Word Game pictured below uses the first 100 Fry words, or use any sight word flashcards and mark them with the colors.


PLAY more printable games: 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!) 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 may help to download Mozilla Firefox.

PLAY Online games: Sight Words Audible (practice with audio!) and Word Birds & Wordquake at mrnussbaum. Sight Word Smash at roomrecess.com. Popcorn words at fun4thbrain. Dolch Sight Word Bingo at abcya.com (free on pc only), Sight Words Pop at Education.com (more Online Games with sign-up) and dolchword.net. Spelling City has online games for both Dolch & Fry sight words.

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! 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.



I enjoy finding great information, combining it in new ways, and packaging it creatively. I'm highly interested in the areas of goal setting, time management, and skills to improve life.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in phonics

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Sign up for the free 10 week productivity Challenge
Flipboard Review
Blog Stats
  • 576,979 hits
%d bloggers like this: