Here is your FREE Pre-Phonics program for students who need a gentle introduction.
Five phases that you complete at the pace of your student’s success
Teaches 28 powerful letter-sounds, a small set in each phase; and the workings of -s, -ing and -ed
A clear play-rehearsal strategy of small steps to help your student succeed
Before you begin to build these Phonics WALLS:
Make sure your student has the needed early Phonemic Awareness skills. Remember to build the FLOOR of the Reading Treehouse! You may want to review these pages:
- It All Begins With Sound
- What Is Phonemic Awareness
- Power and Fluency Through Phonemic Awareness
- Phonemic Awareness Games to Play
How it works, three steps for each phase:
- Introduce the letter-sounds
- Drill-games with the letter sounds
- Play with sounds in words
- Learn the endings (Phase 5 only)
How to Use Ease Into Phonics
Index: Ease Into Phonics to download (PDF)
- Keep it happy
- Trust in easy, accurate rehearsal
- Stay at the level of success
How It Works:
1. Introduce the letter-sounds: Help your student associate a word or two that they hear and use, with
each letter-sound they will be learning.
Materials for this step are the Letter-Sound Pages and some more example words that
you and your student pick out together--one or two words for each page. You write the extra words on the page, and pronounce
all the words for your student to hear. (Your student may want to draw a picture, too.)
TIP: Names of family, friends, or pets--if they fit the sound pattern of the page--make wonderful example words.
As you collect them in each Phase, your student’s Letter-Sound Pages will grow into an alphabet book--with some important differences:
- The words use only the most basic sound for each letter.
- P is for ‘Pony’ but not ‘Phone.’
- C is for ‘Cake’ but not ‘City.’
- A is for ‘Apple’ but not ‘Aardvark.’
- ‘Sh,’ ‘Ch’ and ‘Th’ are included.
- You won’t find ‘Q.’ It can wait.
Just follow the instructions in the program. Once you’ve introduced two or three letter-sounds from your student’s current Phase, you can begin using them in . . .
2. Drill games with the letter-sounds:
Materials for this step are the Letter-Sound Flashcards. You can print them on card stock and cut them out; or print them on paper and glue to index cards cut in half.
Starting at a point of success, you’ll lead your student in small steps from easy games, all the way up to naming the new letter-sounds without help.
As you your student learns the letter-sounds in each Phase, his or her deck of flashcards will grow. You’ll practice with them each day, and little by little your student will learn to name them rapidly.
And because everything works better when we learn it ‘backward and forward,’ the next step is . . .
3. Play with sounds in words:
Materials for this step are blank paper and a pencil.
After some easy sound blending, your student will hear words, a sound at a time, point to--and eventually copy--the sound you are saying. This early version of spelling completes the ‘loop’ that began with changing written letters into sound, Naming. This time, your student is changing the sound back into writing, Spelling.
4. Finally, Phase 5 helps your student to learn the endings -s, -ed, and -ing through their familiar meanings rather than just their sound.
(NOTE: This is important because both -s and -ed have more than one sound, depending upon the word they are attached to. The child focused upon familiar pronunciations, rather than sound rules, will pronounce them naturally.)
Extra materials for Phase 5 are the Phase 5 Flip-Cards. You can print them on card stock and cut them out; or print on paper and glue to index cards.
How to Use Ease Into Phonics:
Keep it happy! Children who feel criticized, nervous or fearful cannot learn well.
Trust in easy, accurate rehearsal--not struggle--to build skill.
Start at the level of success, and try to move ahead in such a way that your student stays about 85% successful in rehearsal. In other words, you are aiming for better than eight out of 10 correct responses if at all possible.
If your student is struggling, you can
- move back to an easier game
- pull out any troublesome sounds for extra play
- practice with fewer letter-sounds at a time
- always do an easier warm-up before playing with the current challenge
- move ahead more gradually--allowing your student plenty of time for ‘over-learning’ of a challenge he or she has mastered, before taking the next small step ahead
Make sure that the flashcards in your student’s ‘big deck’
-- the ones used in Rapid-Accurate Naming drills --
are those your student knows with confidence.
Here is Ease Into Phonics to download (PDF):
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