Literacy PK-3

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Literacy PK-3 > Strategies > Direct Instruction: Phonics

Direct Instruction: Phonics


As students are learning to read, they benefit from explicit, systematic phonics instruction. Teaching letter-sound relationships in a research-based scope and sequence should be coupled with providing ample opportunities for students to practice these skills. Research shows that systematic and explicit phonics instruction has a greater impact on reading and spelling when it occurs early in kindergarten and first grade. For students to become good readers, phonics instruction must be in combination with meaning-focused activities, like reading rich texts and vocabulary activities.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how a teacher uses the Orton-Gillingham approach, which is highly multisensory, with her whole class. The program uses both hearing and touch to explore letters and their sounds.

  • Using a systematic phonics instructional program regularly promotes skill development in Morphological Awareness, Phonological Awareness, Alphabet Knowledge, Decoding, and Sight Recognition. Phonics can be taught during whole class lessons or in small groups to focus on students' individual needs.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how the Simplex Spelling Phonics 2 app uses reverse phonics with a focus on syllables to foster Phonological Awareness through spelling. Providing a hint button that displays all of the possible letter combinations that make a sound supports a deeper understanding of Phonological Awareness and more complex spelling patterns.

  • Products can directly teach phonics to develop Alphabet Knowledge and Phonological Awareness and also allow students to practice recognizing, saying, writing, and blending letter sounds. Products can also blend phonics and meaning-focused activities to differentiate for each student.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy