Taking the ‘f-word’ out of explicit phonics instruction

Curriculum and PedagogyEducational ResearchLanguage Arts and Literacy
1 Hour Session
12:30 PM, Friday 14 Feb 2020 (1 hour)
Hyatt - Imperial 1
Division 1 - Grades 1-3
Location : Hyatt - Imperial 1

There is robust consensus among literacy researchers that explicit instruction in phonics, that is, teaching the relationship between letters/patterns and letter sounds, is necessary for students to develop a strong foundation in literacy. Effective phonics instruction will help improve not only reading skills, but also spelling skills, as these develop concurrently: when reading abilities increase, so do spelling abilities. The goal of this session is to synthesize the current research on the importance of phonics instruction, break down phonics instruction into 3 parts, focusing on the 3 layers of orthography in the English language, and spend some time discussing best practices and some promising results after using Words Their Way, a systematic and explicit approach to a pattern seeking phonics program. Join us as we attempt to morph the negative associations that arise when the word ‘phonics’ is uttered, into a deep appreciation for one of the most important aspects of any literacy program.
University of Calgary
PhD Student
Foothills School Division
Director of Student Learning JrK-6