Top Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Phonics Program
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Phonics is a time-tested method of teaching the English language and laying the groundwork for reading and writing. The basic premise of phonics is that every word is made up of a combination of sounds. By exploring and studying the various sound patterns used in words, teachers can help young students learn the language and take the first steps to becoming a successful reader.
As a teacher, it is imperative that you choose research based phonics programs that have been created by educators and are backed by proven and measurable results. Take the time to research and compare the pros and cons of each program.
Elements of an Excellent Phonics Program
A program of systematic phonics instruction clearly identifies a carefully selected and useful set of letter-sound relationships and then presents them in a logical instructional sequence. For example, a child will learn the ‘short a’ sound (can, hat, cat), and then move on to ‘short e’ (bed, men, pet), and then ‘short I’ and so on. The systematic program teaches students how to relate letters and sounds, break words into sounds, blend sounds to form words and then apply this knowledge to become a reader.
Professionally developed phonics reading programs will feature incremental learning. As previously noted, with systematic instruction one lesson is mastered before moving on to the next. On a greater scale, it is important that the phonics program itself will give students the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice. Some programs focus solely on teaching children how to recognize the sounds and sound combinations that make up words, without giving students the opportunity to actually read. Look for reading software that contains a wide variety of activities that can help students develop as readers through the use of phonics reading lessons, skills and practice exercises. The program should take students beyond the basics of phonics and guide them as they progress to reading complete sentences.
The most comprehensive and widely used online reading instruction plans include research based phonics programs that have been developed by teachers and reading specialists. These trusted professionals lend their skills and insight to creating effective lesson plans, and guide developers in producing programs that are user friendly to students and teachers. Programs such as Super Phonics are created with teachers in mind and incorporate time-saving features like the Teacher Dashboard that tracks student progress throughout each program and allows teachers to assign pretests to individual instruction for students.
Learn more about industry-leading phonics reading programs like Super Phonics, a complete interactive reading skills program that provides systematic instruction using more than 400 different activities to reinforce learning.
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