All About Phonics

By: C.Q. Wilder, M. Ed

June 9, 2014

Noted in Herrera et al., (2010), in the word recognition view of reading, Freeman and Freeman (2004) claim that phonics instruction fits into the following sequence of skills that have to be learned and mastered:

  1. Words are made up of individual sounds which is defined by the term phonological awareness
  2. Names of letters of the alphabet
  3. The sounds or phonemes of each of these letters
  4. Understanding the relationship between sounds and letters which is the definition of phonics.

The best way for students and children to learn these skills is by learning, practicing, and showing mastery level understanding of the rule(s).

For practice with phonics, one can teach multiple ideas within a lesson. First,  teach your child or student

    • The letters of the alphabet and then the sounds
      • I recommend no more than 3 letters at a time.
      • practice writing that letter
      • practice the sound
      • practice each letter until the child knows it by being able to:
        • identify the letter, then the sound, and be able to do this in any random order
    • If your child is struggling with learning 3 letters at one time, begin with one.
    • If your child has mastered phonics, then:
      • extension – either provide or ask the child if they know any words that begin with that letter or can point to a word or visual that begins with that letter.
      • upper extension – either provide or ask the child if they know any words that end with that letter or sound or can point to a word or visual that ends with that letter.

Make sure to always model first!

  • example – The letter /t/ makes the /t/ sound…Here is a tree. Tree begins with the /t/ sound.
  • example – The letter /t/ makes the /t/ sound….Here is a cart. Cart ends with the /t/ sound.

Resource

Herrera, S.G., Perez, D.R., & Escamilla, K. (2010). Teaching reading to English language learners: Differentiated literacies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.