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How to Make Free Phonics Worksheets Interactive

Richard Hale is a published author who enjoys writing on business, sports, culture, traveling, technology, and symbolism.

Phonics are the foundation on which reading skills are built. Students must know what the sounds of phonemes are to acquire vocabulary and become independent readers. Phonics has always been hard to teach on paper because students must first know the sounds before they can associate them with letters. Interactive worksheet makers and digital activities open up many doors for both teachers and students when learning phonics to bridge the gap made by paper-based phonics worksheets.

There are some incredible tools teachers can use to create phonics interactive worksheets. Using TeacherMade, for example, both teachers and students can record themselves speaking the phonemes and words. Phonics practice is transformed into a more productive activity for the student while teachers receive formative data in real time. Everybody wins with interactive worksheets.

Find Phonics Worksheets Online

Phonics worksheets aren’t difficult to find! Because of all the free downloadable worksheet sites on the internet, you can find plenty of PDFs to meet your needs

Here are a few teacher-tested places you can look:

  • K5 Learning
  • Teachers Pay Teachers
  • iSLCollective

Load Your Phonics Worksheet PDF Into TeacherMade

After you find a worksheet that covers the content you wish to teach, you can upload it into TeacherMade to bring it to life. A common phonics activity is matching pictures to sounds. In the app, you can place a recording of the sound so students can hear it and play it back at will. You can also speak the names of each object in the pictures. Instead of tasks matching pictures with sounds and never knowing if the student doesn’t know the sound or the names of the objects, now you’ll have a more focused activity that produces data to let you target the needs of individual students.

Here’s How To Make Your Phonics Worksheet Interactive

Teaching remotely can be difficult for lessons like phonics that require sounds from both the students and the teachers. In the classroom, it’s also difficult because phonics lessons often require whole group instruction.

Fortunately, there are programs like TeacherMade that bridge this gap and allow teachers and students to record audio and share the sounds in interactive worksheets.

After locating a suitable PDF, create an account in TeacherMade. Then you’re ready to create an interactive worksheet.

Start by choosing ‘Create Worksheets’ in the upper left corner. After entering a title and description for your assignment, you'll upload your Phonics worksheet and be placed in the Edit Worksheet screen.

Look for the microphone icon over on the right side of the toolbar. You may also choose Audio Recording on the Insert menu.

After clicking on the microphone icon, you’ll draw a box on the assignment where you would like a speaker icon to be placed. This is the icon your students will see on their assignment. You’ll be asked to record up to 5 minutes of audio or to upload a MP3/4 file from your computer (10 MB limit).

Once you save your worksheet and assign it to your students, they’ll be able to hear your voice right there on their screens. It’s both simple and powerful.

What Other Tools Can You Use To Make Your Phonics Interactive Worksheets Engaging?

Interactive worksheets offer students the chance to hear themselves saying sounds. They can record themselves saying consonant blends. This will help them recognize how particular clusters blend with other sounds to make words. But incredibly, that’s not all you can do with the TeacherMade interactive worksheet app!

Here are some other ways to use the app to help bring phonics to life.

Highlight directly on your phonics worksheets.

The option for learners to highlight or draw on their worksheets is a major perk! Although some may not see the value in this, students learn in different ways, and getting to draw the physical connections between sounds and the words they spell can be invaluable for certain students.

Offer immediate feedback on your interactive worksheets.

Teacher feedback on students’ answers is a fantastic feature in TeacherMade. Because it’s so quick and easy, you can give it to students as they’re working and make sure they get it right.

Add video and images to your digital worksheets.

Teachers can upload or link to videos of themselves speaking to clearly demonstrate how words are formed with the lips and tongue. They can also hyperlink to illustrations and animations.

These visual aids may help those students who have trouble with just the audio alone.

Make Read-Draw-Say worksheets.

In TeacherMade, you don’t have to load in a PDF. You can start with a blank screen. As your phonics learners/emergent readers advance, give them a TeacherMade interactivity with nothing but your focus words typed out. Quickly teach them to use the drawing, image, and audio tools. Then ask them to draw pictures of each word or find images on the internet and record themselves pronouncing the word. This is a little more advanced but it shows you the possibilities with interactive worksheets.

Key Takeaways

We know how important phonics instruction is for any reader. Children who don’t learn to read by the third grade are likely to be poor readers for life. They’re also set up to fall behind in other academic areas as they progress through school, creating a cycle of failure that’s hard to break.

Decades of scientific research has revealed that reading doesn’t come naturally to the human brain. To be strong readers, kids must be explicitly taught how sounds correspond with letters-- phonics.

Since phonics instruction is so important, elevate your activities with interactive worksheets. Sites like TeacherMade give teachers the tools they need to create worksheets with audio and allow students to interact by drawing, writing, or talking. No matter their age or stage, interactive worksheets give them the best chance of truly learning phonics and becoming stronger readers.

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