Guidelines for Meaningful Phonics Instruction Priscilla L. Griffith University of Oklahoma firstname.lastname@example.org
Myths and Truths about Phonics Instruction • Phonics is a solution for all reading problems. MYTH • Phonics ignores meaning. MYTH • Phonics is synonymous with beginning reading instruction. MYTH
Phonics is an approach to word study that focuses on the relationship between spelling patterns and sound patterns. TRUTH
Goal of Phonics Instruction • Get to the meaning • Determine a likely pronunciation • Make the leap to a known word that contributes to the meaning of the passage being read
Examples • The case of “what.” • The case of “compass.”
Achieving the Goal: When? • By the end of Grade 2 most children will have sufficient knowledge of letter-sound relationships. • Beyond Grade 2 instruction focuses more on how the spelling of a word reveals its meaning.
“Stretching phonics instruction out too long, or spending time on teaching the arcane aspects of phonics – the schwa, the silent K, assigning accent to polysyllabic words – is at best a waste of time.” (Stahl, 1992)
-ed: /t/, /d/, /id/ I like to play Chutes and Ladders. Yesterday I played Chutes and Ladders with my friend. play played
Achieving the Goal: How Much? • According to Stahl (1992), phonics instruction should take up no more than 25% (and possibly less) of the total reading instruction time in the classroom. • The majority of classroom reading instruction should focus on reading connected text.
Achieving the Goal: What? • Developing the alphabetic principle – understanding the relationship between spoken and written language (The case of “ox.”) • Letters • Sounds • Intent • Data
Expanding meaning vocabulary • Understanding the goal of reading • Focusing on patterns • Common spelling patterns (e.g., CVC, CVCe) • Common spellings across words (e.g., 500 words can be generated from 37 rimes) • Writing
Phases of Word Learning • Ehri, 1994; Ehri & McCormick, 2004 Pre-alphabetic Partial-alphabetic Full-alphabetic Orthographic Automatic
Meaningful Phonics Instruction Pre-Alphabetic • Beginning readers select non-phonemic visual characteristics to remember words. • Writing includes mock letters and random letters with no relation to sound structure of the word.
Teacher read-alouds from texts that play with language through rhyme, alliteration, or assonance. • Discuss word meanings. • Alphabet books • Language experience • Shared reading with enlarged text to model print concepts.
Shared writing in which teacher models the alphabetic principle • Opportunities to incorporate writing while visiting centers • Writing using invented spelling
Meaningful Phonics Instruction Partial-Alphabetic • Beginning readers use some letters and context to guess the identity of unfamiliar words. • Vowel sounds are rarely represented in invented spellings.
Continue pre-alphabetic practices. • Shared reading from patterned texts. • Print studies of patterned texts. • Begin explicit instruction in letter-sound correspondences. • Use Elkonin boxes to examine spellings of known words.
Rubberband words. • Manipulate the onset of common rimes (e.g., bat/hat/cat/fat/rat). • Teach mnemonics to help with reversals of visually similar letters. • Introduce interactive writing during which the teacher and student share the pen. • Sort pictures by initial or final sounds.
Meaningful Phonics Instruction Full-alphabetic • The beginning reader has a working knowledge of letter-sound correspondences that enables him/her to decode many unfamiliar words. • Vowel sounds are represented in invented spellings.
Continue teacher read-alouds; shared and interactive writing; explicit instruction in letter-sound correspondences; and discussions of word meanings. • Provide instruction in orthographic patterns, e.g., CVC, CVCe • Sort words by focusing on common spellings across words.
Sort word families by sound: bat/bet • Manipulate letters and read newly formed words: bat/bet/bit or bat/bad/back • Making words activities. • Introduce common inflectional endings: -s, -ed, -ing • Much practice reading connected text at independent and instructional levels.
Meaningful Phonics Instruction Orthographic • The reader uses multi-level units to read words.
Continue word sorts. • Study affixes and common roots. • Continue reading connected text at independent and instructional levels.
Phonics interacts with knowledge of word meanings and context to help readers get to meaning.