The Phonics Dance Philosophy
-By Author/Creator Virginia Dowd
The Phonics Dance was inspired by my inability to read first graders' stories.
Decoding their words was almost impossible for me. So I came up with an approach that would give these six, seven and eight year olds a strategy to sound out words. As first and second graders dance their way through chants and rhymes they start a journey through sound, continually looking for “hunks” and “chunks” that are part of our language. The decoding process is made easy because of the rhyme and movement in the learning. Children of all developmental ages benefit from daily reinforcement. The Phonics Dance is a spiral approach to language arts. Initially you will see huge progress in each child’s writing. As the students in your room learn how to “hunk” and “chunk” the carry over into Reading will be an easy one. The Phonics Dance gives young children one more strategy to use in their journey towards literacy. Dancing all the way of course.
Why do we need the Phonics Dance?
Reading is a difficult process. Here’s why.....
84% of the words in the English language are phonetically correct.
The 16% that are not phonetically correct appear in all types of literature 80% of the time.
I have found a few basic Reading Intervention explanation blogs, videos, and websites that can be resourceful to answer some FAQ's. When your student is struggling it's a frustrating time, why add to the frustration of understanding lingo and the process of improvement.
My second grader is having a hard time focusing on one word at a time when reading. What can I do to help her?Question: My second grader is having a hard time focusing on one word at a time when reading. What can I do to help her?Answer: Beginning readers need lots of practice reading – it takes time, practice, time, and more practice! Work with your daughter's teacher to learn exactly at what level she is reading. Then, go to the library and load up on books written at that level AND below. Provide her with time each day to read, reread, and reread again those below reading level books. You'll want to build up her confidence and fluency with those books. Then, support her reading by reading WITH her the books at her instructional level. Prompt her to sound out words that can be sounded out (and just tell her the ones that can't or are too tricky). Praise her efforts and reread each book multiple times over the course of a week or two. Finally, get some terrific children's literature written ABOVE her reading level. Read those books to her to remind her WHY reading is so great. Model lots of good expression and let her hear what good, fluent reading sounds like.
Do everything you can to provide a fun climate for reading. If a book is too hard, put it away. Reinforce her efforts and continue to work closely with your school and teachers. If she continues to struggle, talk with them about additional testing and some one-on-one supervised tutoring.