What do good phonics lessons look like?
A good phonics lesson begins with an explicit explanation of the sound-spelling being taught.
For example, when teaching the letter ‘s’ you would say:
The letter s stands for the /s/ sound as in sad.
Be sure to clearly pronounce the sound. Then write the spelling on the board. Have students chorally say the sound as you point to the spelling. This choral response is also a hallmark of a good phonics lesson.
We want all students active and engaged throughout the lesson. Other characteristics of good phonics lessons include guided opportunities for students to blend, or sound out, words using the new sound-spelling. Therefore, I advise writing a series of words containing the new sound-spelling on the board, then modelling how to blend the sounds together to read the words.
Follow this up with guided and independent reading practice in text that contains words with the new sound-spelling. This text should be at the students’ reading level.