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Guidelines for Meaningful Phonics Instruction

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Guidelines for Meaningful Phonics Instruction. Priscilla L. Griffith University of Oklahoma [email protected] Myths and Truths about Phonics Instruction. Phonics is a solution for all reading problems. MYTH Phonics ignores meaning. MYTH - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Guidelines for Meaningful Phonics Instruction

  • Guidelines for Meaningful Phonics InstructionPriscilla L. GriffithUniversity of [email protected]

  • Myths and Truths about Phonics InstructionPhonics is a solution for all reading problems. MYTHPhonics ignores meaning. MYTHPhonics 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 InstructionGet to the meaningDetermine a likely pronunciationMake the leap to a known word that contributes to the meaning of the passage being read

  • ExamplesThe 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.


  • 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 SoundsIntentData

  • Expanding meaning vocabularyUnderstanding the goal of readingFocusing on patternsCommon spelling patterns (e.g., CVC, CVCe)Common spellings across words (e.g., 500 words can be generated from 37 rimes)Writing

  • Phases of Word LearningEhri, 1994; Ehri & McCormick, 2004Pre-alphabeticPartial-alphabeticFull-alphabeticOrthographicAutomatic

  • Meaningful Phonics Instruction





  • Meaningful Phonics Instruction Pre-AlphabeticBeginning 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 booksLanguage experienceShared reading with enlarged text to model print concepts.

  • Shared writing in which teacher models the alphabetic principleOpportunities to incorporate writing while visiting centersWriting using invented spelling

  • Meaningful Phonics Instruction Partial-AlphabeticBeginning 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-alphabeticThe 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, CVCeSort words by focusing on common spellings across words.

  • Sort word families by sound: bat/betManipulate letters and read newly formed words: bat/bet/bit or bat/bad/backMaking words activities.Introduce common inflectional endings: -s, -ed, -ingMuch practice reading connected text at independent and instructional levels.

  • Meaningful Phonics Instruction OrthographicThe 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.