Stage A
Don't Forget the Phonics!

There is a common misconception that phonics (and all the prerequisite sound/grapheme skills involved in it) is something that is taught exclusively in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade.  The truth is that even proficient readers continue to build their word attack skills through eighth grade and beyond.   

This, of course, holds even more true for the struggling readers served by READ 180.  With precious few exceptions, all of our students have gaps in their decoding skills, and even those who don't benefit from reviewing learned strategies and being exposed to the more advanced ones they'll encounter in future grades.

The goods news is that pulling some extra phonics into READ 180 is a very natural and organic process.  It doesn't require us to reinvent our practice.  It's simply a matter of adding a little more "word-skill" emphasis into the things we're already doing.

Here are some examples of where you can easily make the shift...

During Whole Group Instruction:

  • While you are going through your vocabulary routine, take a moment on each word and point out at least one letter pattern, prefix/suffix, or Greek root-word.  
  • As you read each workshop article, pause at words with noteworthy phonics rules and give quick explanations and examples of other words that follow that rule. 

During the Small Group Rotation:

  • While you are rereading the passages with the students, take a moment to give a deeper explanation of the words you covered during the whole group or pick another word to dissect.    

During the Instructional Software Rotation:

  • Much of the phonics study is built into the instructional software.  Students are exposed to many word attack/spelling rules through the word windows in the Reading Zone and the initial instruction of each study word in the Spelling and Word Zones.  However, observation of students' mistakes while they are working, careful analysis of their Success Recordings, and examination of the various diagnostic and grouping reports can reveal specific gaps in their skills... skills that can be attacked during specific differentiation lessons or in the flow of everyday work.      

During the Reading Group:

  • There is certainly no shortage of teachable phonics moments as students work through the Independent Reading Group.  Each time a student walks up to us and asks us what a word is or what a word means is a chance to reinforce phonics.  Sure, it takes more time and there are instances when it may be impractical, but providing students with deeper explanations can have a significant positive impact on their word-skill toolkits over time.   
Stage A READ 180 Educator