As a new school year begins, we have some new students who are
all mostly eager to learn to read. My son is at this point right now. He's got the foundational skills and he's ready to take off. They have a solid phonics foundation and are quickly learning new sight words and other decoding strategies. Parents and teachers are also excited to get to that point where the reading finally clicks. But let's be honest. It's not that quick and simple. It takes time and it takes practice. I think the hardest thing for me when I first started teaching was finding resources for my beginning readers. They weren't ready for the I Can Read books in the local books stores because they didn't know enough sight words and they still needed more practice with sounding out smaller words. They had gone through the Bob books, so now what. It was like this huge gap that I struggled to fill for my students and families who were eager to help. I love the leveled guided reading books, but I also didn't feel like they benefited my beginning readers who truly needed to practice sounding out words. The more I learn about dyslexia, the more I feel strongly about a solid phonics foundation for ALL kids. In class I would do a combination of phonetic books and guided reading leveled books (which focused much more on developing other reading strategies.) I saw (and still see) both as important tools for our beginning readers. The phonetic books gave my kids a little confidence boost because they could successfully read them. The guided reading books are amazing to use instructionally but I found my students struggled to read them independently (unless it was a reread, which is also great to do.) I always found that once my students could read at level F, the doors just flew open. They had the strategies and enough sight word knowledge to pick up some of those beginner books at the book store and really read them. Before that stage, they really still needed a lot of guidance. The phonics readers were what they could tackle on their own, but they still needed time and practice to gain fluency with those. Again though, there was the problem of not having enough.
So flash forward a few years and I'm writing my own phonics stories for the kids to get extra practice. They aren't the cutest but they get the job done. Now I've finally taken the time to put it all together into a complete set. Over the past couple years I have fallen in love with using story cards. I've blogged about my seasonal guided reading story cards in the past a lot. My students LOVE them. Since they are laminated, they can write or highlight on them with dry erase marker. They are short and simple to allow for several opportunities to reread so they can improve their fluency. They are not overwhelming for our beginning or struggling readers so they can feel success while working on decoding strategies, fluency, and comprehension. Now I've finished a set of phonics based story cards. These are my first set of story cards that are totally phonetic:
These story cards can be used as a warm up during guided reading groups or they can be used for partner reading. They can be put out during Daily 5 and used as a Read to Self option.
I know a lot of you like the printable option too. Times get busy, our color printers get tired, and we are sick of laminating. I get it. For this reason, I created a printable version of all the same stories. Some are slightly tweaked so I could develop better comprehension questions.
Printables are also great because you can send them home!
If you are interested in this set of SHORT vowel stories, you can get them at my store:
I now also have a LONG vowel edition!