Discover Intensive Phonics Leaves No Child Behind
Components of Effective Reading Instruction
Congress gave the National Reading Panel a special commission: determine the best approach to teach children to read. Their research was based on over 100,000 reading research studies published since 1966. The panel concluded several things including the fact that overwhelming evidence strongly supports the concept that explicitly and systematically teaching phonics in the classroom significantly improves students reading and spelling skills. If teachers learn about and emphasize methods that provide phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text development, the incidence of reading success should increase dramatically.
Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself teaches a foundation for good reading, spelling and vocabulary development through a systematic, intensive phonics approach in which students are taught the 42 sounds of the alphabet, 5 phonetic skills and a 2-step skill for decoding multi-syllable words. Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself accomplishes the primary goal of phonics instruction: learning to recognize words rapidly and automatically, but Discover Intensive Phonics goes beyond phonics! It is much more than just letter sound relations – rather, through direct, multi-sensory instruction students complete word structure. Discover Intensive Phonics is a scientifically based program incorporating phonemic awareness, decoding and encoding (spelling) skills, blending and fluency, vocabulary development and language arts. Through the use of a unique marking system, the program provides a working knowledge of likely and unlikely sequences of letters and the ability to easily break words into syllables.
1) Phonemic Awareness – the ability to hear, identify and work with individual sounds or phonemes in spoken words, and the knowledge that the sounds of spoken language work together to make the words.
Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself teaches students to recognize the name, sound, and formation (both upper and lowercase) of each letter. Through daily practice, drill, and review, the method can be mastered in a very short time. The alphabet is presented in sets of four consonants and one vowel. In the first set, for example, students learn the name, sound and formation of the consonants B, F, D and G. Then the first vowel, A, is presented and students learn to join or "slide" from the consonant to the vowel, blending the sounds together. The next four consonants are then taught and incorporated in the dictation process until the student is reading and spelling with eight consonants, while still focusing on the vowel A. Then the vowel E is introduced, and the student is taught to "slide" from those eight consonants to the vowel E. They can now spell and read with 8 consonants and two vowels. This process continues through the entire alphabet. Reverse Listening Cards provided in the teacher’s kit reverse the listening process, used during dictation, to a reading process. The cards provide students with additional practice and ensure independent growth. Games and activities are used to reinforce concepts in phoneme isolation, identification, categorization, blending, and segmenting as well phoneme addition, subtraction, and substitution.
Phonics – the understanding that there is a relationship between graphemes (the letters) or written language and phonemes (individual sounds) of spoken language. Readers use these relationships to recognize familiar words and to decode unfamiliar words.
Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself employs a unique marking system that allows a student to visualize the relationship between the sounds they hear, and the letters they see. Following the introduction of the alphabet and blends, the student is introduced to five phonetic skills. They are based on the predictable pattern structure of the English language and are used later in the course to determine syllables, thus empowering students with the ability to decode words of any length. By actively marking words in every lesson, students learn to recognize likely and unlikely sequencing, and they can read, spell and pronounce unfamiliar words with a high degree of confidence and accuracy.
Fluency – the capacity to read text accurately and quickly, either silently or orally.
Fluency is a natural outcome of the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself course. Care is taken early in the course to eliminate breaking words into individual sounds when pronounced. This is accomplished through the blending and sliding process. Students are taught to pronounce words smoothly, left to right. Studies have shown that the ability to read long words skillfully depends on a student’s ability to break words into syllables (segmenting). The unique marking system employed in this approach easily accomplishes this goal. Since focus is not limited to single words however, practice is given in sentences of connected text as well. Every lesson also includes suggested reading lists for additional practice in oral and silent reading skills.
Comprehension – the ability to understand, remember, and communicate meaning from what has been read.
Because phonemic awareness instruction improves children’s ability to read words, it also improves their reading comprehension. For children to understand what they read, they must be able to read words rapidly and accurately, allowing them to focus their attention on content and meaning. A large part of a student’s desire to read is based upon their ability to read. Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself empowers students with that ability. Students who were taught Discover Intensive Phonics in kindergarten and first grade have achieved consistently higher reading scores than other students.
Vocabulary Development – the words we must know to communicate effectively.
As soon as the word “bag” is taught in Section One of the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself course, students learn that ”bag” can have several meanings. It can also be used as a noun or verb. Almost every word that is dictated in the course is used in a context sentence by either the teacher or a student. Students work actively with words both in and out of context. They are given repeated exposure to new words and then are encouraged to use those words as they engage in daily writing exercises. Additionally, they learn sentence structure, interrogative and declarative sentences, prefixes and suffixes, contractions, homonyms, synonyms, antonyms and attention is given to word origin.
Accountability for Results for Every Child
The No Child Left Behind Act focuses on accountability. Each state has strong standards for what every child in grades 3-8 should know, especially in reading and math. Every student’s progress and achievement is measured on a yearly basis. Results from testing will be available to the public. Schools will be held accountable for performance standards.
Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself empowers teachers with the tools they need to teach reading. Teachers can attend a one-day, hands-on Discover Intensive Phonics training session, implement the program into their classroom reading curriculum, and in a short amount of time see the reading skills of ALL students significantly increase. The impact is felt in all subject areas. This explicit, systematic phonics instruction will also enhance students’ listening and communicating skills, boosting confidence and self-esteem. As the author, Charlotte Lockhart, stated: “You are developing security, confidence, independence, and comprehension. You are encouraging cooperation, courtesy, and respect for others. You are lifting the self-image and giving your student a feeling of security.” With the implementation of the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself foundation for reading, teachers will be equipped to help every child meet performance standards set by their states.
Closing the Achievement Gap
The No Child Left Behind Act puts money in the hands of America’s disadvantaged students with a goal of closing the achievement gap between rich and poor, minority, learning disabled, and ESL students.
Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself is a program that helps every child, but is especially helpful to students who struggle – the learning disabled, the dyslexic, the low-level reader, and the student learning English as a second language. Because it is taught through direct, multi-sensory instruction, every learning modality is employed. Students are approached through their learning style whether it is audio, visual, tactile or kinesthetic. The method can be instructed to large groups, small groups, or one-on-one.
Many community programs involve the parents or older siblings in learning to read as well. Discover Intensive Phonics is a program used for teaching English and reading to youth and adults in community colleges, correction settings and in the work place. There is a great advantage in teaching both the parent and the child. Here’s the big bonus! Adults and students middle school through high school can usually complete the course within three to five months with an average reading gain of three years.
Because Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself also has a computer component, parents (and older siblings) can work independently, learning the skills their children will be learning. Strengthening families will strengthen our communities and our nation.
Easy to Teach – Easy to Learn
Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourselfcan be easily taught to administrators, teachers, tutors, literacy volunteers and parents in a six- to seven-hour (one-day) workshop. The training takes an individual, step-by-step, through the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself approach. The process shows them how to sequentially guide students through the 42 sounds of the alphabet, 5 phonetic skills, and 2 decoding skills. Participants are also trained in an active, direct teaching approach.
Classes can be taught with or without the reinforcement of the computer courseware. In elementary settings it is strongly advised that the students be taught through direct, multi-sensory instruction, using computer courseware only to reinforce concepts and give additional practice for the internalization of skills.