Resources for Phonics Flashcards
In the great debate of phonics or whole language, I typically cast my vote for team phonics. We will get into the pros and cons of either side of that heady debate at another time. For today’s post we will explore some fantastic resources for teaching the relationships between sounds (phonemes) and print (graphemes) in the English language. These cards and resources will help do just the trick and are not just for beginning readers anymore!
Johnny Can Spell
A longtime favorite of many of my colleagues, this set of 70 phonogram cards by Alice Nine are complete with governing rules and guide words on the back. A laminated set for $35 is not bad, and I know teachers who own several sets so they can use them in small and whole group lessons without splitting up their deck. I have the accompanying CD’s and incorporate them into handwriting instruction for my first graders, too. The FREE online phonogram page makes this an awesome resource for parents who want to try out the cards for extra practice with their students at home, but are weary of pronouncing the sounds incorrectly.
Often regarded as the crème de la crème of multisensory instruction, Orton-Gillingham offers a phoneme grapheme large card pack for $31.95 or a small sized deck for $19.95. These packs include blends which are very handy in emergent literacy or intervention instruction. The back of the cards list examples for each sound. The large cards serve as great visuals for later spelling instruction on a blending board and have room for added pictures. Don’t forget about the OG card deck app that you can download for further practice with letter names, sounds, keywords, and videos. It’s FREE!
At $50 per set, the Tools4Reading sound/spelling cards by Dr. Mary Dahlgren are pricey, but worth the investment. I LOVE the pictures that give a great key word for properly executing each sound. Very detailed rules and example words are listed on the back of the teacher’s instructional set. These cards are color coded for consonants and vowels, etc. I use this set with the students in small groups, especially when introducing a new sound. Students are mesmerized by the fact that slightly smaller cards match the larger cards I have on display above my alphabet letters over my whiteboard. They enjoy matching the cards at the table to the ones on the wall. Just know that the large classroom wall set does NOT list the extras on the back. I had to order 2 sets of these cards because my first set “disappeared” once delivered to my school. I still to this day think another teacher got them by accident but never returned them to their proper owner because the cards are just that GOOD!
Logic of English
The Logic of English company’s phonogram cards are newer contenders in the world of phonics, but I like their style! These 74 basic phonogram flashcards also have spelling rules and keywords listed on the back. They run $18 and are available in several formats, including a hard copy on coated cardstock or PDF versions for printing or tablet use as well. Additionally, this company offers a unique advanced set of phonogram flashcards for $10. (see example photo below). The Logic of English company has their own phonogram app for just $2.99 where students can see, hear, and touch the matching cards. Even if you don’t purchase any cards or app, you simply can’t miss the FREE phonograms list which gives you an interactive view using all the sounds and rules with pronunciation videos included!
In doing my research for this post, I found a few new card decks that I would like to have to myself! The world of phonics research is continually coming out with new resources for educators to use and these are just a few of my favs. Feel free to use the phonogram cards that come with your reading series or ones that your whole school adopts as to not confuse your students with different cards that essentially teach the same concept. I MUST include this disclaimer: teaching phonics in isolation is not the key to proper reading instruction (another topic for another day). However, hopefully you have gained some ideas and tools for presenting and reviewing English sounds and their corresponding spellings with your students in primary grades and beyond.