Get Contagious!!

Nov 13th, 2010 | By | Category: Visual Phonics

One of the joys I experience in teaching children and their teachers about Visual Phonics is to witness the “ahas” – those light bulb moments where you can almost hear the “click” of a connection being made. It is heartwarming to witness the excitement of a child when the connection between letters and individual sounds or chunks of sounds finally arrives after being elusive or confusing in the past. It is just as gratifying to see or hear teachers (no matter whether new to the teaching profession or experienced veterans) learn new ideas and strategies that change their teaching and how they look at literacy development.

As a part of Visual Phonics courses I teach through Professional Development, teachers are required to write a paper and reflect on the questions with which they are provided. One of the questions deals with what teachers have noticed about the impact of Visual Phonics on their students – frequently, there are comments about students being excited, more involved in their learning, and showing more confidence. Since we’ve all heard “nothing motivates more than success”, I decided to share examples of comments I get to read on a frequent basis.

One teacher shared what she noticed about two 5th grade struggling readers: “the students are excited to “play” with words . . .  they feel good about themselves when reading at their independent level . . . I have stopped taking CVC words apart (into 3 sounds) and use onset-rime patterns (2 parts) – I see a positive impact already . . . it is so much fun to learn together”. Another commented: “Visual Phonics gave me a tool that is changing student attitudes . . . they are excited to learn and review sounds – this is very exciting for my 4th grade special education students . . . student attitudes have improved . . .  spelling test scores have improved each week and I’m seeing students actively engaged when connecting sounds and letters . . . students demonstrate much more confidence and the frustration level is remarkably low during weekly spelling tests”.

A preschool teacher shared: “When explaining to parents about Visual Phonics at Parent-Teacher Conference time, I had one mother comment, “That’s why she does a snake sound/movement on s words!”  The mother of Azriella told me that all weekend her daughter had told anyone who would listen that her name began with the /a/ (short a) sound!  Obviously, the children are excited about learning the sounds and are sharing their newfound knowledge with others”. Most recently, a Head Start teacher wrote: “I saw first hand how Visual Phonics aided learning. I was working with one student (who also receives speech therapy) on the /s/ and /f/ sounds, using the hand shapes for each sound. When the other children in the room saw what she and I were doing they became curious and began doing it (hand shapes) too. Some of them made comments and asked questions, but mostly they just naturally started using the hand shapes with her, almost as if automatic . . . I came to the conclusion that Visual Phonics is “contagious”.

Consider this – when learning is “fun” and students experience success, excitement shows up, interest grows, attitude improves, confidence surges and motivation increases. I wonder what would happen if more of our students could experience “success” as a result of a brain-compatible, multisensory like Visual Phonics. Learning might be more “contagious”!!!

For more information on See The Sound/Visual Phonics, click on the Visual Phonics tab in the menu bar on the Home page of this site, or just click on Visual Phonics in the Popular Tags on the bottom right of the Home Page.

© 2010  Dave Krupke  All Rights Reserved

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