Do you teach phonics?

Phonics Should Be a Part of K-2 ELA

There's nothing wrong with teaching phonics, but, and I mean BUT, it's all in how you teach it. Even the gurus in the publishing world put out some pretty confusing messages. Consider Fountas and Pinnell for instance. There's no denying that much of what they produce is quite good. However, be smart and use your flexible common sense when using their resources. Don't assume they know it all, in fact, you've probably worked with students more often and longer than they have so again, I remind you to use your common sense.

I was scanning one of their phonics resources and under long vowels - specifically U they list the following words as having the long u sound: use, cube, huge, tube, clue, glue. I ask you, does u REALLY say its name in tube, clue and glue? Not at all! Sounds more like an 'ew' sound!

No wonder kids get confused with phonics! All vowels CANNOT be classified under long an short. Let's just look at a for a minute: bad (short a), lake (long a) call (?) car (?) ball (?)

Let's get our students to notice the different sounds the vowels make and learn the patterns and the anomalies. Remember - teaching isn't a science or there would be one best way to do everything. Teaching, is an art and requires your common sense and creativity.

So what do we do? What great teachers have always done! Teach the sounds that vowels make, then teach the sounds that vowel combinations make. Don't get locked into the long and short of it. Do what's best for young learners, which means, don't confuse them.

Here are the free worksheets that address the sounds that vowels make. And well I'm on the topic, I might add that many vowel and vowel combinations sound the same. There's NOTHING wrong when it comes to classifying vowel sounds by the sounds they make and not by the letters, it actually supports better learning. For instance a learner could classify the following words in the same category: blue, flew, too, shoe, do, you.

Have a thought or two? I'd love to hear from you.


ASHISH said...


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