Friday, August 5, 2011

Phonics Dance!!!!!

I just received my Phonics Dance manual, CD, and Hunk and Chunk cards in the mail. I read through the manual and I was loving every minute of it! If you have not heard of the program by Ginny Dowd, Becca at Simply 2nd Resources gives a great description! The bottom line for me is it puts chants and movements with each Hunk and Chunk (phonograms...ou, ai, ed, igh...). I can only imagine how much the movements, chants, and repetition are going to impact my students' spelling and decoding abilities. I love how it will only take about 15 minutes each day, but how what students learn during the Phonics Dance instruction will be naturally carried over to reading and writer's workshop. Ginny Dowd gives so many great resources in the manual - monster word cards and chants for tricky words, seasonal creative writing ideas, reading response prompts, word wall games, and so much more. I definitely suggest going to to learn more and/or order materials. Here are some examples of the Hunk and Chunk cards:

Now, even though I said I love the program, which I do, I still have a lot of questions about how it will look in my classroom. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your help!

Currently, I follow Fountas and Pinnell's word study program. Monday I introduce the spelling pattern(s) for the week, we brainstorm words, and then my students choose 10 of those words they want to learn. Tuesday they do "Look, say, cover, write, check" with their own spelling words. Wednesday they do a buddy check (they have spelling buddies). Thursday we do a "making connections" activity - making words, word sorts, rhyming words...and Friday spelling buddies give each other their spelling test. My question is: would I still do this with the Phonics Dance? The program has you introduce a new hunk and chunk on Mondays and Wednesdays. I couldn't introduce a hunk and chunk on Wednesday and then test my students on Friday...sooo I am wondering if anyone does spelling tests/lists and phonics dance or is it one or the other?

My next question is about the word wall. I love putting "exemplar" words for each hunk and chunk on the word wall...but then that's only two words per week. What other words do you all include on your wall? In the past I have put up the high frequency words from our basal series (Harcourt Storytown). I don't love this because I don't feel that my students really learn the words - so I am sort of leaning toward using the 2nd grade Dolch words? What do you all think? I'd really love to hear how you use word walls and introduce new words.

The final question I'll ask you all is: when do you do the Phonics Dance? First thing in the morning? During Daily 5 mini-lessons? (Those were my two thoughts.) I teach in Chicago Public Schools, which from what I have heard has the shortest school day in the country. I need tips about how to fit this in! :)


Valerie said...

I'm planning on implementing the phonics dance and D5 both this year so I have many of the same questions you do. What I'm planning on doing is possibly introducing our word study phoneme on Monday, and doing a separate phonics card on Wednesday (something the children are fairly familiar with- ed, ch, wh, ph, etc). I am thinking of doing this during a mini-lesson each day and not part of word study, although we will certainly revisit it during word study!

I'm looking forward to seeing others' answers!

abby said...

Thanks for commenting, Valerie! I was sort of thinking the same thing. In the past I have done three mini-lessons with the Daily 5: 1. Comprehension 2. Accuracy (decoding strategies) or fluency 3. vocabulary/ HFW. I am thinking I can make Phonics Dance a mini-lesson instead of Accuracy/Fluency? and then maybe squeeze decoding strategies and fluency in with vocabulary and high frequency words? Will your word study follow the same hunks and chunks that you introduce each week? haha I have so many questions!

Unknown said...

Love your post bc I am wanting to learn more about the Phonics Dance, too! New follower!
First Grade Blue SKies

Paul Cianfaglione said...

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It is the combination of synthetic phonics and phonemic awareness. Most have probably heard of phonics, but phonemic awareness is a concept less well known and ?it's not something you hear about often. Certainly, phonics is absolutely necessary to develop fluent reading skills; however, there are different types of phonics including embedded, analogy, analytical, and synthetic phonics. While using some type of phonics is better than not including any phonics instructions at all, you will achieve FAR BETTER results by employing synthetic phonics, which is by far the most easy and effective method for teaching reading. Multiple studies support this.

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