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4 Ways To Make Teaching Phonics Easier

Let’s Find The Best Ways To Teach Phonics

Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) and a symbol to represent them, which is a group of letters. 

In this blog, we are going to go through the 4 following techniques to help you teach phonics easily:

1. Using different voices

2. Using stories

3. Games

4. Planning your lessons in stages

Let’s take a look at how they have help your teaching.

Plan Your Phonics Lessons With The Following:

Start by engaging your pupils with pictures, stories or songs which you want to focus the lessons on. Use the table below to create flashcards as a fun activity for children, this will help with drilling the short-vowel sounds, begin adding several constant sounds each day until your students have mastered both Short-Vowel and Consonant. Make sure to not rush this step as each one needs to be firmly memorised. 

Short-Vowel Sounds 

short /ă/ in apple

short /ĕ/ in elephant

short /ĭ/ in igloo

short /ŏ/ in octopus

short /ŭ/ in umbrella

Consonant Sounds 

/b/ in bat

/k/ in kite

/s/ in sun

/k/ in cat

/l/ in lip

/t/ in top

/d/ in dog

/m/ in map

/v/ in van

/f/ in fan

/n/ in nest

/w/ in wig

/g/ in goat

/p/ in pig

/ks/ in fox

/h/ in hat

/kw/ in queen

/y/ in yell

/j/ in jam

/r/ in rat

/z/ in zip

1. Use Different Voices To Teach Phonics

Use ‘call-and-response’, a technique that is used to model sounds and your pupils to copy you. 

This is a fantastic way for your pupils to learn which graphemes (a letter or a number of letters that represent a sound) correspond to which sounds and to practice saying them. Furthermore, asking your pupils to use different voices can help this activity become something more enjoyable and fun.

For example, they could use a happy voice for positive words and a sad voice for negative words, so it helps them coordinate the words with the corresponding sounds to understand the correct tone.

2. Always Use Stories To Help Them Progress

Children will find it more engaging and meaningful if they learn sounds within the context of a story better than if you start a lesson by writing words or letters on the board.

Whilst you read the story out to your students you can ask them to perform actions and join in with parts of the dialogue. It is best to choose stories that tend to repeat the same few sounds, as it helps your pupils to recognise the rhythm and helps them to remember the repeating pattern. 

Be sure to find books that allow children to move from simple sound-letter stories to more complex reads as their confidence and English skills begin to grow. The Oxford Phonics Spelling Dictionary is a perfect resource for both yourself and your students. 

Take a look, here.

3. Phonics Games

Playing games and partaking in activities is also a fun way to help engage your pupils, here are a few educational games that can help them progress their learning.

Stand Up/Sit Down – Choose two sounds that can be confused, either because they sound similar (b and v) or because they can be spelt differently (king and castle.)

In this game, you say a word that begins with the designated sound and the pupils should either stand up, sit down or not move if they are already in the correct position.

What’s Missing – Show pupils a number of cards, showing either different words or graphemes. Present them, then cover the cards and take one away. Pupils have to then decide which one is missing.

If you are looking to incorporate fun activities into your classroom learning, then why not take a look at useful tutorials on YouTube? It is the perfect resource to find the inspiration you are looking for within your teaching.

4. Plan Your Phonics Lessons In Stages 

Begin the week by encouraging and engaging your pupils with a picture of a story/song that relates to the sounds you want them to focus on.

When they begin to understand further, teach the sounds and get pupils to repeat them, trace them and tell you words that contain them.

Practise this further by using engaging activities. I.e. Games and worksheets.

Finally, when you feel it is the right time, get your pupils to use the sounds by reading and writing them down into their own words.

Phonics is one of the best way to help teach young pupils their first steps within English language learning and reading. Whether that be through activities or through individual work, we know that you will provide the best teaching techniques for your pupils.

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