Phonics Difficulties

1 January 2017

This report will cover new diagnosing and assessing procedures are being used for phonics difficulties. The studies of recent diagnostic procedures for phonics difficulties are important to me, as a teacher because I can learn new ways of diagnosing my students with difficulties they may have in phonics as soon as those difficulties show themselves. Diagnostic testing for phonics is used to identify skill deficits and that need a plan of assistance. As a teacher, I can the most recent combination of formal and informal assessments, as well as observation, to get performance information that focuses instruction.

It is from that point of assessment and observation I can create a plan for my students to succeed. Diagnostic procedures are used to evaluate the students phonemic awareness, which is the students understanding of sounds, phonics skills, sound-symbol correspondence, as well as syllabication and awareness of morphemes also, the brake of larger words into smaller parts. The information discovered by the diagnostic assessment and observation will help the student improve decoding skills needed at their grade level.

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The teacher must make time for testing periodically to determine each student’s progress and if changes need to be made to the outline plan. The lack of phonics can affect other areas of reading, such as sight words, word recognition, comprehension, oral reading, vocabulary, and the students over all reading rate. Phonics also plays a major role in spelling. The teacher should keep record of the student’s original phonics scores so that as the school year goes bye and periodical testing takes place the teacher, student and parents can see the students improved or lack thereof.

A diagnostic interview is another new and upcoming method, which is a mean of getting information about an individual student’s knowledge and mental strategies about the concept under investigation. Students are asked to verbalize what they are thinking about when cards or objects or words are placed in front of them. Phonics is a method of teaching reading in which people learn to associate letters with the speech sounds they represent, rather than learning to recognize the whole word as a unit.

If phonemic awareness is strong the students will gain the ability to rhyme, list words that begin and end with the same sound, break words into individual phonemes, and blend phonemes together to make a familiar word. Phonemic awareness is essential to help students learn how to read, and if these skills are not learned and mastered, then intervention is required to help students gain the needed phonics skills. Phonics is an approach to reading involving letter-sound relationships and letter recognition.

Readers who have difficulties reading can improve reading skills by having an intervention plan mostly based on phonics. DIBELS here in Alabama is an assessment used to diagnosing phonics difficulties as well as a number of other things. DIBELS stands for The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills it is a set of procedures and measures for assessing the achievement of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. DIBELS is a short fluency measured used to commonly watch the progress of early literacy and early reading skills in students.

DIBELS tested are made of seven measures that are indicators of phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, accuracy and fluency with connected text, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. DIBELS was made for teachers to identifying students experience difficulty in basic early literacy skills in order to provide early intervention and prevent the amount of later reading problems down the line. A reading deficiency can be for a number of different causes from deficient environment, to mental retardation, dyslexia, a learning disability, and a host of others reasons.

Students who score in the 20th percentile or lower are identified as poor readers. At the 20% level should be receiving some form of reading program or plan and maybe be given an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) that will pin point the services that will be given to help the student improve his or her reading skills. As a teacher you can see why I would like to know the most recent diagnostic procedures, so that what each student needs I can give early diagnostic and early intervention. TOWRE (Test of Word Reading Efficiency) is a nationally normed measure of word reading accuracy and fluency test.

That can be administered quickly, it provides an well-organized means of monitoring the growth of two kinds of word reading skills that are critical in the development of overall reading ability: the ability to precisely recognize familiar words as whole units or “sight words” and the ability to “sound out” words quickly. According to the Assessment for Effective Intervention in a article in 2006 it had this to say about both the DIBELS & TOWRE program: “The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a series of fluency-based measures designed to assess early literacy skills.

These fluency-based measures function as predictors of future reading performance and target critical component skills required to learn to read. This study was conducted to establish the convergent validity of DIBELS with a standardized measure of phonological decoding ability and sight word reading fluency, the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE) (Torgesen, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1997). The TOWRE has been shown to have sufficient reliability and validity as a measure of word reading ability (Torgesen et al. 1997). DIBELS and TOWRE subtests were administered to 202 first-grade students. Correlations were examined between scores on the DIBELS subtests of Letter Naming Fluency, Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, Nonsense Word Fluency, and Word Use Fluency with the TOWRE subtests of Phonetic Decoding Efficacy and Sight Words. The DIBELS Nonsense Word Fluency measure was found to have the strongest association with both the TOWRE Phonetic Decoding Efficacy and Sight Word subtests. To assess the student’s knowledge of vowels, use a Phonics Assessment. Have the reader read an unfamiliar word that contains that vowel if the reader correctly pronounces the word, you can assume the reader knows the vowel within the word. In the English language recognizing vowels to decode one-syllable words are giving to understand the correct sounds of the vowels and vowel rules it is important to recognize if students can decode vowels due to the uses of vowels in the English language and rules of the English language. In the past, students who were learning phonics were often taught a great many rules that would supposedly help them to decode. Some programs taught students well over 100 different symbol-sound correspondences. However, research studies over many years have shown that some of the rules formerly taught had little utility. Most of the unreliable rules related to the teaching of vowel sounds. For students who have difficulty learning the symbol-sound association for vowels, the phonogram approach is often more effective.

A phonogram, as defined here, is a common word family beginning with a vowel or vowel pair followed by a consonant or consonants, and sometimes ending in e. Examples of phonograms are: ake, at, ed, ime, old, and up. These word endings, and many others, almost always are pronounced the same way in the many different words in which they appear. Because of this consistency in pronunciation, students often find it much easier to learn to decode when they are taught using phonograms. ” According to the American Education Research Journal; two studies were done on a Grade 1 eading interventions for ELL (English Language Learners) students with reading problems and this was their findings of those studies: “Two samples of EL students were randomly assigned to a treatment or untreated comparison group on the basis of their language of instruction for core reading (i. e. , Spanish or English). In all, 91 students completed the English study (43 treatment and 48 comparison), and 80 students completed the Spanish study (35 treatment and 45 comparison). Treatment students received approximately 115 sessions of supplemental reading daily for 50 minutes in groups of 3 to 5.

Findings from the English study revealed statistically significant differences in favor of treatment students on English measures of phonological awareness, word attack, word reading, and spelling (effect sizes of 0. 35–0. 42). Findings from the Spanish study revealed significant differences in favor of treatment students on Spanish measures of phonological awareness, letter-sound and letter-word identification, verbal analogies, word reading fluency, and spelling (effect sizes of 0. 33–0. 81). ” So as teachers how do we help our ELL students understand and master the English language and rules of the English language?

New Recommendations in Phonics A new recommendation is phonics assessment is Systematic Phonics which allows teachers to have a more hands-on, minds-on approach to phonics. In Systematic Phonics activities help students discover how words work, while still meeting the requirements phonics instruction at their grade level. An article by the Review of Educational Research has this to say about systematic phonics: “Synthetic phonics and larger-unit systematic phonics programs produced a similar advantage in reading.

Delivering instruction to small groups and classes was not less effective than tutoring. Systematic phonics instruction helped children learn to read better than all forms of control group instruction, including whole language. In sum, systematic phonics instruction proved effective and should be implemented as part of literacy programs to teach beginning reading as well as to prevent and remediate reading difficulties. ” Here are some helpful systematic phonics which activities that can be done with students. “It is helpful to teach the most ommon vowel sounds (long and short) using the following types of phonograms: words that end with the vowel-consonant-e configuration (as in cake) for long vowel sounds and words that have the CVC (consonant vowel consonant) configuration (as in hit) or the CVCC (consonant vowel consonant consonant) configuration for the short vowel sounds. A brief review of the phonogram approach method is presented here. If you wish to teach the long and short vowel sounds for a, choose the following words:  mat, hat, rat, fat. Discuss the sound represented by short a.

Then present the previously listed words. If the student cannot pronounce them, help her to do so. Then present the following words:  mate, hate, rate, fate. Discuss the fact that when the e is added, the first vowel takes on its long sound; when the e is removed, the vowel takes on its short sound. Review the long vowel sound as you did the short vowel sound. Then present other words, such as those that follow. Cover up the final e in each word and ask the student to pronounce the word. Then expose the final e and ask her to say the word with the long sound. pale, gale B.

Construct flash cards in which the vowel is shown along with both the word and a picture illustrating a word that uses that vowel, for example, short a in hat or long a in rake. On the opposite side, print only the vowel letter, marked long or short, to be used as the student progresses in ability. When using this method with a large group, you can use transparencies on an overhead projector instead of flash cards. C. Have students circle or underline the words that have vowels with the same sound as the first word in the line. See the following examples: lot    lone, dog, of, to at    car, bear, sad, same line  with, win, bike, is D. Record the vowel letters with their sounds and variant sounds and play them to students as many times as necessary to learn them. They should, however, have a chart they can follow to see the letter as they hear the sound. Many commercial programs exist to achieve this objective in fun or clever ways. E. Put the vowel letters on cards (3′ x 3″). Use the breve (? ) and the macron (–) to indicate the short and long sounds. Divide these cards into groups of 10 each. Lay out separate groups of letters so the student can see 10 at once.

As you call the sounds of the vowel letters, or as they are played from a tape recording, have the student pick up the correct card to match the sound of the letter. F. Use the same system as in item E. Instead of having the students match letters they hear, have them write the letter matching the letter sound (phoneme) they hear in words. G. Use commercial charts that are available for teaching vowels. Audiotapes to accompany the sounds are also available. H. Use commercially prepared games or computer software designed for teaching vowels and the application of vowel sounds in decoding. Websites for Children GameGoo: Learning That Sticks This site has a kid’s page with 15 colorful activity links divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Activity links use phonic elements, such as alphabetic order, letter recognition, letter-sound correspondence, and spelling. Children who have special needs this site also provides a voice-output for unknown words along with colorful illustrations. Between the Lions This is a colorful, interactive site with games to keep children interact with reading. Between the Lions is an outstanding source for teachers, parents, and students.

This website offers material goods of information about precise phonics skills also featuring many activities that enclose words and phonics. Each of the games has visual and auditory assistance for those students with cognitive and learning difficulties. Chateau Meddybemps: Fun with Letters On this site a number of stories and activities can be found that begin and reinforce letter recognition and arrangement. Also on the site is a writer’s workshop which is an area that provides pages for creating stories. Websites for Teachers Phonics Link

The site called In the Classroom it provides a numerous of links to phonics strategies that support literacy learning for students of the early elementary level. Each link contains a lesson plan, along with modifications and additional help for struggling students. The lessons plans follow the state of California Content Standards. Can Teach This site has elementary resources lesson plans, songs, and poems as well as various links arranged by subjects, topics, and themes. This site also has opportunities to discuss and submit ideas regarding the education of children.

There are a number of activities that teach phonics in the Beginning Reading and Writing section of the website. Teacher Interview Teacher: Mrs. Johnson Q: What type diagnosing and assessing procedures are being used for phonics difficulties? A: “I use the Dibbles testing for my student. Even though most of the time I do not like the dibbles method I must assess all student. ” Q: Why do you not like the Dibbles? A: “If I went off of just the Dibbles test some of my brightest students would be placed in the lowest reading group due to the score of Dibbles.

And sometimes when testing the students all the students in the class would get a word wrong and I would wonder how did all student get the word wrong when I go back over come to find out the students test book has a different word then the teachers test book so I would mark the word wrong when the students read it but it was the correct word listed in their book. So then I would have to go back over a re-test or recalculate all the students. ” Q: How much time does Dibbles take? A: “For every teacher it is different due to class size and disabilities of students in that class.

For my class it takes one-two days, roughly 2-5 min. for each student; Plus my regular lesson and centers. ” Q: Is centers an every day event in your class? A: “Centers are not an every day I just cannot find the time to fit them in every day but if it’s a good week we get to them maybe twice or three times a week. ” Q: How do you use your Centers to assessing phonics? A: “Well in the reading center students must find a classmate and read to them as the classmate keep tracks of how many word are pounced wrong. The reading center also has our class leap frog books and base for the books student are also allowed to use them.

Computers center has games and website for students to use for phonics most of my students use Star Fall, and Between the Lions from the PBS site. Writing Center allows students to write words found in and around our class room that week that has the vowels I chose at the beginning of the week or what we are working on. Example: Compounds Words: butterfly, bookcase, restroom, classroom, ect. That’s how centers work to help me assess the students if they can do the entire task then I can assume they understand and if not then it’s still great practice. Q: How does a student IEP help the next teacher the student has? A: “The IEP helps the next teacher see some of the students pass problems and where the student has started and end with the last teacher also help by letting the new teacher see what they may have to review to see if re-teaching needs to take place. The new teacher can also choose to add her or his own input to the IEP as well as add or change IEP plans for the student. ” As a teacher using the most recent diagnostic procedures, can give my students early diagnostic and early intervention.

By suing diagnostic procedures to evaluate my students’ phonemic awareness and periodically testing to determine if changes need to be made to the outline plan I can help my students’ gain unlearned skills in phonics. Diagnostic interview gives me the teacher a firsthand view of what the student is thinking about when unfamiliar phonics cards or objects or words are placed in front of them. With the websites I can use in my computer centers to reinforce phonemic awareness in my class without taking away fun from the learning processes.

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