A Stepping Stone to Literacy Proficiency


Literacy proficiency forms the foundation for all future educational endeavors. As indicated by assessment results over the past several years, most students are persistently reading below grade level, making it harder for educators to keep all students on pace. Research shows that there are strategies educators can implement to build the critical  foundational skills necessary to read with accuracy and automaticity.

What is Phonics?

One such critical foundational component is phonics, which involves connecting letters to their individual sounds and understanding the interactions between letters or groups of letters to form the correct pronunciation. Once the alphabetic principle is understood, students apply their knowledge to decode words in print, including single-syllable and multisyllabic words.

Engage Students With Fun Phonics Activities

When working to build phonics skills in your classroom, it’s important to incorporate multimodal and engaging activities that make learning fun! Here are just a few ideas for activities you can implement in your classroom to strengthen phonics skills.

  • Newspaper Word Search: Provide each student a newspaper or magazine article and tell them to cut out all of the words they can read. Once they have all been cut out, ask them to glue them on a piece of paper and practice reading them aloud together.
  • Milk Carton Read Aloud: Remember the fun art and activities on a milk carton? Share in that nostalgia by encouraging your students to pick out a few words on the milk carton to see if they can sound out each letter and point to each as they do so. This could be done with any kind of print such as menus, magazines, and brochures.
  • Spelling With Speed: For a few minutes each day, give your students a two to three-letter word to sound out and spell. Once students master single-syllable words, move to multi-syllable.

How to Build Solid Phonics Instruction in Your Classroom

Based on research, the most effective phonics instruction utilizes systematic, explicit, cumulative instruction. To do so, and close the reading gap, it is important to utilize a research-based scope and sequence, explicit teacher talk, and systematic lessons following a gradual release model. In addition, it’s important to reinforce what students have with a variety of multimodal practice opportunities that are accessible both in the classroom and in the home to encourage individual practice.

How Learning A-Z Can Help

Learning A-Z offers literacy solutions to aid in phonics instruction and the development of proficient readers. Our new, comprehensive foundational skills solution Foundations A-Z, built on the Science of Reading, reinforces foundational skills, such as phonics, starting with lesson planning and instruction to application and practice. Offering clearly modeled lesson plans, activities, and assessments, this solution is one of many that can help you ensure your students master the skills associated with phonics and are well on their way to becoming proficient readers.

Master the Art of Phonics With Learning A-Z

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