I've always incorporated Phonics into my literacy programme, but as I am constantly reflecting on my teaching and how it can be improved, I jumped when the opportunity to attend the 'Yolanda Soryl workshop' arose.
Yolanda confirmed the view I have that students need a range of basic phonics strategies so they can easily work out new words in reading and spelling.
Teaching tips and pointers:
- Allow only lower case letters to be written in phonics
- Only have a reason for a capital letter like writing your name. When they write a capital letter in writing ask what the reason was for writing letter in capital - if no reason, rub out.
- Only teach capital after lower case is secure
- Blending important for reading: d, d-o, d-o-g = dog
- Break up word to write- segmentation
- Some students know their sound, but don’t know how to break it up
- Teach kids how to hear
- The aim is to look at work and recognize it instantly
- Read name before school - this is recognition of graphic knowledge
- Teach high frequency words fast
- Phonics is for low reading learners
- Grammar - does it sound right. Get them to read their sentences back
- Ingrain a sense of a sentence - repetitive reading
- Teach students to re-read their writing, to check if it sounds right.
- 3 levels that students use to connect (sounds, words, sentences). Students that struggle don’t connect these three
- Important to decode to enable them to comprehend
- Book introduction important - look and introduce unfamiliar words
- Teach fluency at word level - then you have chance to read page
- Dyslexic kids tend to use both sides of the brain
- Hear low level reader read out loud every day to improve reading outcome
- Phonics is about using sounds, not only knowing sounds
I am also looking forward to the release of the Phonics App which can be used to learn/revise the alphabet sounds. It also follows a Phonics 'Hear, Read, Write' lesson plan and can stand alone or be used to revise a lesson. The App features a New Zealand accent which is so important for helping students learn the short vowel sounds.
~ "It shouldn't matter how slowly a child learns, as long as we are encouraging them not to stop" - Robert John Meehan ~