Phonics

Suzanne Watson, Reading Portfolio

Definition:

According to the tncurriculumcenter.org website, the definition for phonics for the kindergarten grade level are broken down into five separate standards:

  • CC RF.K.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • CC RF.K.3.a Demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant.
  • CC RF.K.3.b Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.
  • CC RF.K.3.c Read common high-frequency words by sight. (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).
  • CC RF.K.3.d Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.


For the first grade level, phonics are broken down into eight separate standards:

  • CC RF.1.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • CC RF.1.3.a Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs (two letters that represent one sound).
  • CC RF.1.3.b Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
  • CC RF.1.3.c Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
  • CC RF.1.3.d Use knowledge that every syllable must have a vowel sound to determine the number of syllables in a printed word.
  • CC RF.1.3.e Decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables.
  • CC RF.1.3.f Read words with inflectional endings.
  • CC RF.1.3.g Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.



http://www.tncurriculumcenter.org/index.php?option=com_curriculum&controller=map&task=strand&id=102&grade=0


http://www.tncurriculumcenter.org/index.php?option=com_curriculum&controller=map&task=strand&id=102&grade=1



Phonics refers to a way of teaching reading and spelling that stresses symbol(grapheme)-sound(phoneme) relationships.

Graphophonic system = the relationship between the letters and their sounds

- Phoneme = smallest unit of speech sound

- Grapheme = written representation of the phoneme

Rationale:

According to the readtennessee.org website, the rationale behind the Tennessee Common Core Standards for Phonics for the kindergarten grade level are as follows:

  • Students who have not mastered phonemic awareness will experience difficulty mapping sounds (phonemes) to letters (graphemes).
  • Fluent reading depends on the ability to decode and use other word analysis skills.

  • Comprehension depends on fluent reading.

  • Failure to acquire basic phonics and word analysis skills limits the opportunities for students to build vocabulary and develop concepts when reading both narrative and informational texts.
  • Basic word analysis undergirds advanced word study which is necessary for reading and understanding increasingly complex content area texts across grade levels.
  • Difficulties acquiring phonics and word analysis skills can often be remediated with appropriate, focused, and intensive early intervention instruction.
  • Kindergarten students are able to produce the primary or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant. For example, they know that “s” usually sounds like the first letter in “snake”, but can also sound like a /z/ in “does”.
  • Kindergarten students can produce both the short and long sound for the five vowels.
  • When kindergarten students see an unknown word such as “flap”, they use their knowledge of consonant and vowel sound to decode the word /f/ /l/ /a/ /p/ and try to figure out the meaning or, with prompting and support from the teacher, learn the meaning of this new word. In other words, kindergartners are beginning to decode and read many one syllable regular words. As they move through the year, many kindergarteners begin to correctly decode and read even longer regular words using the phonics and word analysis skills they have learned.
  • As kindergarten students read familiar words over and over again they are building a vocabulary of print words that they are able to recognize and read automatically.
  • During morning meeting or read-aloud time or when using decodable readers, kindergarten students recognize and can read high frequency words such as the, of, to, you, she, me, is, are, do, does.
  • Kindergarten students are beginning to realize that the sounds of two letter blends such as /fl/ and /st/ are spoken more closely than are the rest of the sounds in the word (i.e., the /f/ and /l/ sound in “flap” blends together – you can hear each sound, but not as distinctly as the other sounds in the word.
  • Kindergarten students are able to explain the difference between two or three words that are spelled similarly, but are not the same. For example, given the words “mop” “top” and “tap”, students can “sound out” the words and, then, tell the teacher or their partners why the words are not the same. (i.e., “mop” has the beginning sound of /m/, but the beginning sound in “top” is /t/ and “tap” has the /a/ vowel sound and not the /o/ vowel sound as in the other two words.
  • Kindergarten students who know and can apply grade level phonics and word attack skills in decoding words have learned the following academic vocabulary terms decoding, same, high-frequency, letter-sound connection (correspondence), spelling, and similar and have reviewed terms such consonant, vowel, letter and sound such as in beginning, middle, and end of a word.

http://www.readtennessee.org/teachers/common_core_standards/kindergarten/reading_foundational_skills/rfk3.aspx


For the first grade level, the rationale according to the readtennessee.org website for the Tennessee Common Core Standards for Phonics are as follows:

  • Students who have not mastered phonemic awareness will experience difficulty mapping sounds (phonemes) to letters (graphemes).
  • Fluent reading depends on the ability to decode and use other word analysis skills.
  • Comprehension depends on fluent reading.
  • Failure to acquire basic phonics and word analysis skills limits the opportunities for students to build vocabulary and develop concepts when reading both narrative and informational texts.
  • Basic word analysis undergirds advanced word study which is necessary for reading and understanding increasingly complex content area texts across grade levels.
  • Difficulties acquiring phonics and word analysis skills can often be remediated with appropriate, focused, and intensive early intervention instruction.
  • First grade students are able to determine the number of syllables in a word using their knowledge that every syllable must have a vowel. For example, students can clap the number of syllables in their own name and identify the vowels; students can circle the vowels in words provided and, from that, determine the number of syllables.
  • First grade students know three of six syllable types. They recognize that an open syllable ends in a vowel and the vowel is usually long (me, go) and that a closed syllable ends in a consonant and the vowel has a short sound (fan, hop). They understand that the final e in a VC-e syllable makes the vowel have a long sound (cake, hope).
  • First grade students use the strategy of breaking multi-syllable words into syllables in order to decode the word. They find the vowels and, then, circle the syllables in which the vowel appears. After decoding each syllable, they blend the syllables together to decode the entire word.
  • First grade students recognize common inflectional endings such as –ed, -s, -ing, -est, -er and can read words when these endings have been added (e.g., long, longest; boat, boats; jump, jumping; play, played)
  • When given cards with first grade appropriate irregular words (such as could, walk, once), first graders are able to read them.
  • First grade students who know and can apply grade level phonics and word attack skills in decoding words have learned the following academic vocabulary terms vowel pairs, VC-e or silent e, syllables, syllable types, open syllable, closed syllable, word (inflectional) endings, irregular, suffixes.
  • First grade students who know and can apply phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words


http://www.readtennessee.org/teachers/common_core_standards/1st_grade/reading_foundational_skills/rf13.aspx


Aside from the Tennessee Common Core Standards' rationale for phonics, other theories and research includes:

  • The major body of comparative research arguing for the teaching of phonics intensively and systematically was originally summarized by Jeanne Chall in 1967 and updated in 1983.
  • Chall’s research showed intensive phonics producing better reading and spelling achievement than traditional basal reading programs.
  • Marie Carbo (1988) re-examined the same data used by Chall.
  • Carbo concluded that in interpreting the available but often flawed data, Chall tended to skew the data as being more favorable to systematic phonics instruction.
  • Turner (1989) reexamined the research yet again to try to settle dispute between Chall’s findings and Carbo’s findings.
  • Turner concluded, “systematic phonics (part-to-whole) falls into that vast category of weak instructional treatments with which education is perennially plagued. Systematic phonics appears to have a slight and early advantage over a basal-reader/whole-word approach (whole-to-part) as a method of beginning reading instruction. . . . However, this difference does not last long and has no clear meaning for the acquisition of literacy."
  • “Because it should be taught, regardless of how, teachers need to learn as much about phonics as possible in order to meet the needs of young readers and in order to document student growth in this area of literacy." Devries, 2015

De Vries, Merlyn. (2003, January 1). Phonics Letter-Sound Relationships (PowerPoint).

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Word Dating Game!

When addressing the kindergarten standard for phonics:

CC RF.K.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.


Activity: Bring to the front of the class two students. Give them each a paper hat with a letter written on it such as 's' and 'd'. Each student sits at a desk at the front of the room. On the other side of a small divider, the teacher sits at another desk wearing a paper hat with a rime pair on it, such as 'at'. The teacher then begins the game by asking 'contestant one' if they could tell her a little about themselves by giving her a few words that begin with their letter. The student with 's' would say, "sun", "sound", and "skate". Then the teacher would ask the same of 'contestant two'. The student would say "deer", "dog" and "door". Then the teacher would ask the class to apply contestant one's letter to her rime pair, the word being 'sat'. Then the teacher asks the class to do the same thing with contestant number two. The word being 'dat'. Then the class would determine which contestant is the best 'match' for the teacher by forming a word.

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Zoo-phonics!

When addressing the kindergarten standard for phonics:

CC RF.K.3.a Demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant.


Activity: Zoo-phonics is an entire program which helps students to remember letter-sound correspondences through the use of sound, kinesthetic movement, and visual associations. There is a video which covers the whole alphabet where a teacher associates each letter with an animal for that letter sound and then accompanies the letter and animal and sound with a movement. "Sammy snake says, ssssss" and all of the students move their hands like a snake. There are written activities which can accompany the video as well. It's an excellent resource and students love it.



http://zoo-phonics.com/about-us/

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ABCya - Sight Word Bingo

When addressing the kindergarten standard for phonics:

CC RF.K.3.c Read common high-frequency words by sight. (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).


Activity: There is a website called ABCya where there are multiple activities for students to engage in. One that would best pertain to the standard listed above would be Sight Word Bingo. This is where a grid of four by four sight words appears on the screen and the game says a sight word and the student has to pick it out of the grid. Each correct answer leaves a creature in the spot. Once you get four in a row, you win. You are only allowed so many wrong answers before you have to start again. The game is designed to be very interactive with students and incorporates several fun visual elements to keep students engaged and having fun while learning. Each game on ABCya can be led by grade level.



http://www.abcya.com/

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Team Poetry!

When addressing the kindergarten standard for phonics:

CC RF.K.3.d Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.


Activity: Provide each student a card with a word on it. These words should have a matching partner with the same rime. For example, one student will be given a card with 'dog' on it and one with 'log' on it. One may have 'pig' and one may have 'big'. Once all students have a card, have them search their classmates to find their rhyming partner. So 'dog' would find 'log' and 'pig' would find 'big' and so on until every student in the room has a partner. If there are an odd number of students, one group can have three. Then have the paired students create a two sentence rhyming poem using their words. For example, 'pig' and 'big' may create, "I have a pet pig. He is really big." Or the 'dog' and 'log' pair might create "I found my dog, next to a log". This will help students identify matching rime pairs and also help them create rhyming poetry.

Other Sources:

DeVries, B. A. (2008). LIteracy Assessment and Intervention Fourth Edition. Scottsdale, Arizone: Holcomb Hathaway.

De Vries, Merlyn. (2003, January 1). Phonics Letter-Sound Relationships (PowerPoint).