Phonics Centers for Kindergarten

Phonics Stations are perfect in the primary classroom.  It give kindergartners a chance to work on their decoding, rhyming, sound sorting and syllable counting skills independently or with partners.  What activities work best for this station? And how do they grow and change as our kinders develop?

Let’s chat phonics stations for kindergartners today…plus a FREEBIE!

Why A Phonics Station?

Thanks to the massive amount of research on the science of reading, we know that phonics and phonemic awareness are foundational skills that primary kids must have in order to become fluent readers. You can read more about the importance of decoding in this blog post I wrote earlier this year.

Whole group daily phonics instruction is a must have in the kindergarten classroom.  My routines last about 30 minutes in kinder and 20 minutes in first grade.  We use interactive digital slides that are engaging and fast paced!  It doesn’t have to last forever to be effective!

Small group and independent practice for phonics are also important!  Phonics stations are perfect for both of these!  These phonics activities can be used as intervention practice in small groups.  Or they can be set up as partner/independent work for literacy centers.

Here’s a look at the different kinds of activities for our phonics stations.

Decoding Station

This station starts out with upper and lowercase matching in August…

Then we move to listening for beginning sounds and matching them to their letters…

By November, we are ready for decoding practice.  Kinders are decoding CVC words and matching them to their picture.  This starts out with more support by using CVC words with only 2 different vowels.  This forces kids to focus more on the ending sounds.  By February, all vowels are used so the focus is more about reading all sounds in the words!  These puzzles increase in difficulty to include blends and CVCe words by May!

Syllable Station

In this phonemic awareness station, students are “reading” a picture and counting the syllables in the word.

Counting syllables starts in October.  In August and September, we are practicing letter discrimination and letters that look similar like b/d and n/h with sorting activities!

Letter & Sound Sorts

At the beginning of the year, it is important for kinders to differentiate between words and letters.  So we begin this station by working on sorting words by the number of letters they have.  If we haven’t started stations yet, I use these for extra whole group practice and modeling how to do a station!

By October, we are ready to sort pictures by their beginning sounds.  We move from beginning sound sorts, to ending sounds and middle sound sorts.

In March we begin sorting by blends and by the end of the year, we are sorting long vowel sounds!

Rhyming Practice

In this station, we begin by matching rhyming pictures.

During the second semester, we match decodable words to pictures, like hug-tug.

Want to try out this station for FREE?  Grab this rhyming activity here.  Or get the whole year of phonics stations HERE!


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