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    1. Phonics By: Alicia Brink Lesley Cheney Rachel Webber

    2. Phonics Phonics falls under the subject area of language arts specifically reading. It is typically used from pre-kindergarten through second grade.

    3. Phonics Defined It teaches the relationship between letters and sounds and how to use this to read and write words. It is a work attack skill. You sound out words. There are six different techniques: analogy based, analytic, embedded phonics through spelling, onset-rime instruction, and synthetic phonics.

    4. How does phonics work in a classroom? Instruction needs to be clear and direct. Students need opportunities to practice in order to understand letter sound relationships. Phonics instruction works better if the lesson is kept short and is simply not drill and practice. Integrate phonics throughout the curriculum and not just in reading.

    5. How to implement phonics strategies Mercer and Mercer (2005) suggest some general guidelines for teachers in order to effectively implement phonics. These guidelines include: using lowercase letters for beginning instruction introduce easy sounds and letters first introduce new letter-sound associations at a reasonable pace introduce vowels early but teach consonants first emphasize the common sounds of letters first teach sound blending early introduce regular words prior to irregular ones

    6. Implications Phonics versus whole language controversy Phonics is based on taking parts to whole and the whole language technique is holistic. The choice of which strategy to use is based on teacher opinion of what works and the school curriculum. Some critics also believe that there are too many irregular words in the English language for phonics to work. Others believe that phonics provide a strong background and key strategies to help students figure out irregular words.

    7. References Cunningham, P. (2005). Phonics they use: Words for reading and writing. Boston, MA: Pearson. Eldredge, J.L, & Baird, J.E. (1996). Phonemic awareness training works better than whole language instruction for teaching first graders how to write. Reading Research and Instruction, 35. Retrieved January 15, 2008, from WilsonSelectPlus database. Mercer, C. D., & Mercer, A. R. (2005). Teaching students with learning problems. Columbus, OH: Pearson. Pikulski, D. J. (n.d.). The role of phonics in the teaching of readng: A Houghton Mifflin position paper. Retrieved January 15, 2008, from Wagner, E. (n.d.). Word knowledge. Literacy at school and home. Retrieved January 15, 2008, from

    8. Additional Links Cliffords Sound Match: Great interactive game for young children Reading A to Z-Phonics Practice Quiz on Phonics