More Fabulous Phonics

You want to always teach phonics in context with reading. Don't focus so hard on teaching one phonetic skill in isolation without putting it in the context of reading. 1st - Teach the sound - "The letters 's' and 'h' change make only one sound when placed together. Together, they say /sh/."
2nd - Give examples - "What are some words that we hear that sound it?" ship, shoe, shark, shack, shed, wish, fish
3rd - Using manipulatives, such as magnetic letters, sound out words with the sound - shed, ship, shack, wish, fish
4th - Read a sentence with a few words that contain the skill - "The fish was in the ship."
5th - Read an entire short passage, focusing only on words that the student already knows and the skill you are currently working on.

Note: You want to give students lots of practice with a new skill before introducing the next skill. This is especially true with students who may be struggling.

Consonant Digraphs

After teaching students to read CVC words and words with consonant blends, the next phonics skill to introduce is consonant digraphs. Consonant digraphs are 2 or 3 consonants that together, make one sound.
These are:
sh, th, ch, tch, wh, ph, gh

Teach only one at a time. Have students practice reading as many of these words as possible.

Long vowels

Consonant-Vowel-Consonant-e (CVCe words)

Focus on only one vowel at a time. Start with long a words, such as 'wake', 'take', or 'fade'. Teach it by saying something the students will remember, such as... "This is the sneaky e rule. The e sneaks up on the a and changes its sound."

Only after the student is reading long a words with fluency, should you introduce the other long vowel sounds, one-by-one.

Vowel Teams

Next, you will want to introduce vowel teams. I like to start with vowel teams that are predictable, or always the same. These are:

Predictable Vowel Teams:

Long a sound - ay, ai, eigh
Long e sound - ey, ie
Long i sound - igh
Long o sound - oa
Long u sound - ue, ew

Unpredictable Vowel Teams:

ow, oo, ea

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