Letter-sounds & phonics refer to the relationship between the letters of the alphabet and the different sounds that those letters make both on their own and in combination with other letters (PRF) (BLD). Learning the sounds that letters and letter combinations make allows readers to decode words that they have never seen before in print (BLD) (CTW). An understanding of letter-sounds & phonics also enables individuals to spell words which they are unfamiliar with (BLD).
Understanding Phonemic Awareness & Phonics // Chapter Phonemic Awareness Instruction & Chapter Phonics Instruction // Put Reading First - Kindergarten Through Grade 3 - The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read
UNDERSTANDING Chapter 9 provides an excellent description of the importance of teaching students the writing processes and strategies to implement them. It specifically discusses "Writer's Workshop" and how to implement it into the classroom.
INSTRUCTION - Blending letter sounds together is most likely to produce the greatest benefits in students' reading abilities (PRF p. 7) and this activity encourages students to practice decoding words by rapidly blending phonemes. This activity is also effective because it is very engaging for students as they get to play with toy cars and have fun while working on their decoding skills.
ASSESSMENT - The Scholastic Red CORE Phonics Survey is an individual assessment which takes 10-15 minutes to administer and assesses students on phonics related skills that are commonly applied during beginning reading. This assessment can be administered every six weeks and will give teachers data about their students' reading and spelling progress. It is important to continuously monitor student learning to ensure that the instructional strategies you are employing are effective (CTW p…
INSTRUCTION - Alphabet Soup gives students an opportunity to make a variety of words using the word families they have been learning in class. Good readers know that sounds are determined by letter patterns not individual letters (CTW p. 60), and this activity enables students to gain confidence constructing words using various letter patterns.
ASSESSMENT - This activity involves small groups of students rolling a cube with various letters on it and then having to say a word that begins with the letter sound they rolled. This is a useful activity for phonics assessment as it allows teachers to walk around and the room using a checklist or taking anecdotal notes to monitor students' abilities to identify words that begin with the appropriate letter sounds.
INSTRUCTION - It is very important to give vowels special attention during phonics instruction as they have short sounds and long sounds and knowing them well is a critical part of learning the alphabetic system (PRF p. 14). This activity gives the students opportunities to come up with their own words that have long and short vowel sounds and is very useful in consolidating their previous knowledge.
INSTRUCTION - The website Starfall is a great resource for phonics instruction as it allows students to practice reading the specific letter-sound relationships they are working on. An effective phonics program must not only teach the letter sound but give students time to put their knowledge to use (PRF p. 15). This website is also very engaging for children and contains interactive activities that correct mistakes that students are making as they are playing various phonics related games.