Cheap n’ Easy Phonics Center – Onset and Rime Activity

August 9, 2014

This is a little glimpse into the past couple days:
Foam blocks: Dollar Spot @ Target
Primary colored buckets: Dollar Spot @ Target
Magnetic letters: Dollar Spot @ Target
Printing, laminating, cutting, buying, preparing, organizing. You know how it goes!


As I was shopping and preparing, I found those counting blocks which I knew could have many, many uses. I was thinking back to last year and what my students needed lots of extra help with. BLENDING!
Onsets + Rimes


It is a skill that takes my 1st graders a longgggg time to perfect, so I thought I would get a head start on the year and create this cheap and easy center!


All you need is two bags of these foam block sets from the Target Dollar Spot. There are 18 blocks and I used each side making 36 different onsets and 36 different rimes…. and all for $2!



I then created this simple recording page for students to record the real and nonsense words they make:


*I created these onsets/rimes with 1st graders in mind so I wrote lots of beginning blends, digraphs, ending blends, and long vowels. I was sure to add some simple CVC options as well. You could, of course, do all CVC options, all digraphs, or all blends if you want to use them in small groups.


The best part about these blocks is that they already come with storage:


I just slapped a few labels on the original bags they came in and re-zipped ’em!


Easy and cheap. My favorite!


I put all these printables together as a freebie for you in case you want to snag up these blocks yourself!


Just click below:


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  • Thanks so much for posting your idea for these blocks! I often buy the stuff I see at the dollar spots around town, but lack the creativity gene to make them into something useful for my firsties! 🙁 Now I have a fun, new word work center to put out. Keep 'em coming! Thanks again! Catherine from Vegas

  • May I post your idea on my school’s online learning activities? I would site your name or website, however you would prefer?