Chapter 6: Phonics Teaching Reading Sourcebook 2nd Edition
Effective Phonics Instruction • Develops an understanding of the Alphabetic Principle; • Incorporates phonemic awareness; • Provides sufficient practice in reading words; • Leads to automatic word recognition; • Is only one part of a comprehensive reading program.
Systematic and Explicit Phonics Instruction • Systematic phonics: teaching sound/spelling relationships in logical instructional sequence • newly introduced skills built on existing skills • tasks arranged from simplest to most complex • Explicit phonics: concepts are clearly explained and skills are directly modeled • requires overt explanation of tasks to students • requires less inference/discovery by students See example of Explicit Phonics Sequence chart on page 175.
Approaches to Phonics Instruction • Synthetic-explicit • blending individual sounds into words • Analogy instruction • using phonograms (rime) to identify words • Analytic • identifying word patterns without blending individual sounds • Embedded • implicit instruction in context of authentic reading and writing experiences
Effective Instructional Techniques for Explicit Phonics • Model “I do it” • explicit clear example • Lead “We do it” • monitoring student response • corrective feedback immediately: stop and model correct response for whole group • pacing to keep students actively engaged • signaling when students are to respond in unison • Check “You do it”
Phonics Scope and Sequence for Reading Programs • Begin with the most common sound/spellings. • High-utility sound/spellings should be introduced early. • Sequence moves from simple to complex. • Letter/sounds introduction enables words to be formed and read as soon as possible. • Sounds of letters that are easy to pronounce and blend should be introduced first. • Instruction of letters having similar sounds and shapes should be separated. • See Scope and Sequence of Phonic Instruction on page 178.
Decoding Regular Words • Regular words are words in which each letter represents its most common sound. • Approximately 50% of English words are completely regular. • Struggling readers need explicit instruction in sounding out words orally and gradually moving to automatic recognition. • Blending routines include: sound-by-sound, continuous, whole word, and spelling focused. See the Blending Routines chart on pages 181-182.
Decodable Texts • Decodable text provides opportunities for beginning readers to • build confidence in reading; • apply what they learn in phonics instruction; • build automaticity and fluency. • Decodable text is controlled text that provides • reading practice with phonic elements that have been previously taught; • high frequency words and irregular words; • story words that may not be phonetically connected.
Phonogram Instruction • Phonogram or analogy phonics instruction builds on knowledge from systematic, explicit instruction in sound/spelling correspondences. • Although never the sole focus of early reading instruction, phonograms (word families) should be part of phonics instruction. • Knowing phonograms helps students move from blending individual phonemes to more advanced decoding of chunks of words.
Word Work • Word work helps make the abstract concepts of decoding and encoding more concrete. • Word sorting: Students categorize words/pictures according to their phonetic characteristics. • Elkonin boxes with letters: Students match letters to sounds in letter boxes to make words. • Word building: Words are changed by substituting, inserting, or deleting letters. • Dictation: Provides practice writing words that contain patterns taught in phonics lessons with sound-by-sound or whole word methods.
Phonics Research • Systematic phonics instruction is more effective in teaching children to read than non-systematic phonics or no phonics instruction. • Phonics instruction exerts its greatest impact on Kindergarten and first grade. • Phonics instruction increases the ability to comprehend text for younger readers and older readers with disabilities. • Systematic phonics instruction is effective in preventing reading problems in at-risk students, and it is effective in helping students overcome reading difficulties.
When to Assess and Intervene • Phonics assessment for beginning readers focuses on the Alphabetic Principle; decoding automaticity is measured in a context-free assessment of rate of single word reading. • Beginning readers, non-readers, or very weak readers need intervention in basic phonics and phonemic awareness. • Older struggling readers need instruction assessment in word attack skills; assessment data is crucial to identify their skill gaps. • Assessment and intervention for older readers should go beyond simple phonics. • Phonics assessment includes screening, progress monitoring and diagnostics.