Phonics is a necessary component that is taught when students are learning how to read. We often think of this being taught mainly in grades K-2. Does phonics need to be taught in upper elementary? Absolutely, and it's more important now than it ever has been. Many of these students were taught phonics during the pandemic. They may have not had enough practice with these phonics skills, particularly in passages. Students are reading and their comprehension skills are missing because they are still trying to decode words. When the focus is on decoding, comprehension is lacking. They are missing phonics skills and we need to continue to teach and reinforce these skills with our older students too.
How to Incorporate Phonics with our Older Students
Phonics is an integral part of the Science of Reading. This blog post will focus on several products from Out of This World Literacy that help teach phonics. You can use these products immediately and get the results that you are looking for. These products are for grades 2 all the way through middle school and sometimes even up to high school. Let's take a look at each of these products to see which one is best for you.
First, review and reinforce phonemic awareness skills. Even though upper elementary students have likely already learned phonemic awareness skills. It's still important to review and reinforce these skills regularly. You can do this through activities such as rhyming, blending sounds, and segmenting words into phonemes. These flashcards are perfect for older kids who need extra help with phonics practice and need age-appropriate support that doesn't leave them feeling like they are working with babyish material.
Sometimes, students are lacking in a particular phonics skill. This often shows up in their writing or during a spelling test. Phonics Lessons That Work is intended to teach not only the phonetic sounds students need in order to read and comprehend, but it's also written in a way that teaches students to look for letter patterns in words as they read. By spending extra time with that phonics skill, students can apply them to their reading and writing. These lessons can be purchased individually as you need them or in a bundle for even bigger savings.
Are you unsure what phonics skills your students are lacking? Why not try the Phonics Assessment? You can quickly give this assessment whole class or individually. These assessments provide you with so much data. Tracking sheets are included too. You will know how to move forward with your students and which phonics skills they need help with. It makes pulling small groups easy for you.
If you've been looking for a way for your students can practice phonics skills while reading independently, these passages are for you! These phonics passages help students practice their phonics skills while also practicing reading fluency and comprehension. The stories are high-interest stories that will engage your older students. Teachers can easily take a grade on reading comprehension using these passages.
Finally, our most comprehensive phonics product is Balanced Readers. Balanced Readers are short stories focused on specific phonics or spelling patterns. They are a combination of decodable and predictable readers that help bring a balanced approach to reading. These passages are for students in need of direct phonics instruction with vocabulary and comprehension included. Once again, these passages are age-appropriate and not babyish. Students practice phonics skills using a four-day plan.
Four-Day Quick Plan for Balanced Readers
- Phonics and Vocabulary – Day 1
- Comprehension – Day 2
- Word Comprehension – Day 3
- Suffixes and Tenses – Day 4
For other blog posts about phonics, check out Phonics Passages with Comprehension for Older Students