It has been said that the potential for learning takes place when three conditions exist: things are noticed; specific attention is given; and sustained focus/attention occurs. (Source unknown) Visual Phonics hand shape cues and/or written symbols can be used to make individual letters and “chunks” stand out so that they are more noticeable. Once the letters or chunks of print are more noticeable, specific attention can be given to the letter-sound connections in order to reduce or eliminate confusion about the sound(s) the letters represent. The visual-kinesthetic features of the Visual Phonics hand shape cues provide strong learning channel inputs that help to “map” sound to print and facilitate focus & attention on specific letters or chunks. With sustained focus on & attention to the correct sounds that the letter(s) represent, the potential for learning and retention of that learning is enhanced. A higher frequency of “correct trial learning” also leads to more stable skill retention and retrieval.
Some thoughts on routines: Daily routine of review – tailored to what needs to be learned or reviewed . . . involves teacher & student use of hand shapes along with visual display of written symbols associated with print Onset-rime pattern routine – Gentry’s “hand spelling” Coding routines – “tricky parts” – teacher or student-led Differentiating – “This is how it sounds . . This is how it looks.” Syllable type recognition – melding sound to letter patterns