Want to add FUN to your Math block?

Small Group Phonics Activity & Instruction in the Primary Classroom

When I began teaching {many moons ago!} I was clueless when it came to teaching reading and phonics in my small groups!

I knew it was important to teach kids to read using phonics, but at that time, I had no idea how! My school did not provide a curriculum and my teammates weren’t much more experienced than I.

But over the years, I’ve taught hundreds of students how to read, and more importantly, to fall in love with reading – all through phonics! I’ve tweaked and perfected the perfect small group phonics lesson for our young learners!

I’m a fan of Structured Literacy in the classroom. In my experience, if kids are given lots of time to practice and exposure, they will have a greater chance of success.

Decodables in a Dash

I put all of my knowledge of the last twenty years into a resource that will absolutely make your small groups a breeze. Decodables in a Dash is a print-and-go solution.

Here’s what’s included:

  • Detailed Set-Up Directions
  • 85 One-Page Decodable Readers with Original Artwork
  • 85 Making Words Lessons
  • 85 Book Blurbs {to focus your students’ reading}
  • 85 Dicated Sentences
  • Turn & Talk Prompts for Comprehension
  • Dicated Sentence Writing Journal
  • 4 Letter Tile Options

This 280+ page resource walks you through how to set it all up {spoiler – it’s not much set up!} and how to easily implement it into your daily small reading groups {spoiler – it’s easy!}

Read on to learn all about this ready-to-go small group phonics solution!

This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item on Amazon using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase. For more information about my Disclosure Policy, please visit this link.

Setting it all Up


I suggest purchasing plastic crates and hanging file folders. There are 85 lessons but you’ll want a few extra folders for the original books, your comprehension questions, and Making Words materials.

I created labels for each book title that can simply be printed and cut to fit the plastic tabs of the file folders.

You can squeeze all of the books into one bucket but I would suggest two if you have the space.

Print out the Lessons + Books

Print out the lesson plan for each book and the decodable books double-sided. Make as many copies of the books as you need for your small groups and slip them into the corresponding folder. 

For durability, I slipped my lesson plan into a plastic sheet protector. You’ll refer to this lesson plan throughout the lesson so you’ll want to keep it protected.

Get Your Making Words Tiles Ready

Each lesson kicks off with a scripted Making Words lesson. Each student will need a series of letters each day to create the words. I’ve included four different versions you can print. These pages will need to be printed back-to-back because some lessons will use capital letters. I suggest printing onto cardstock and laminating for durability.

To keep your letters organized, it’s a good idea to purchase a letter tackle box. This makes grabbing the lessons super fast and keeps things organized!

Alternatively, you can purchase a set of durable plastic letters from Primary Concepts. I have had this set of letters for 20 years and they have held up! This is probably one of the best purchases I’ve made as a teacher! You only need 6 sets of letters {since you will likely never have more than that many students in a small group}

Dictated Sentence Journal

The final piece you’ll want to prep is the My Writing Journal for each student.

I suggest printing the cover onto a bright piece of paper {so it’s easy to find in reading bags!} and about 20 double-sided sheets for inside the journal. Simply fold in half, staple, and you’re ready to go!

Now you are all set for getting ready to read!

Want to see if these Decodables in a Dash will work for your classroom? Sign up below to receive four free books and lessons!

Want to see a lesson in action? Check out this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Sign up to get ideas sent right to your inbox!

Lucky List

Sign up to get ideas sent right to your inbox!