Phonics Dance

Rachel Hanson
Alphabet Sounds Dance

The Phonics Dance is a special program designed to help primary school students develop their reading and writing skills through understanding the sounds of the English language. The program is geared towards first, second, and third grade students, and features rhyming, chanting, and a whole lot of dancing in order to clarify phonics for young children.

Designing the Phonics Dance Program

The program was developed by an elementary school teacher because of frustration in trying to read students' written work. Children have great stories to tell, but in order to read them, the students' writing skills should enable adults to successfully decode the written stories. The Phonics Dance breaks down the sounds of English so that children can sound out words, and make accurate guesses as to how those words will be spelled.

Reading Benefit, Writing Benefit

The Phonics Dance is designed to enhance students' skills in both reading and writing. A solid foundation in the sounds of English is a great stepping stone to developing reading skills. As children pick up books for the first times themselves, the knowledge of phonics that they have acquired through the Phonics Dance program allows them to decode the words that they see written on the page. Decoding means sounding out; for example seeing the word 'frog' would entail decoding the 'f' and 'r' sounds (or the 'fr' chunk: frah), plus the 'o' and 'g' sounds in order to put together 'frog', and then recognize that the separate sounds make up the word/concept of a hopping green creature with four spindly legs. This is how learning to read works, and the Phonics Dance enables every step along the way. Of course, some children learn sight words as the first step to reading, but phonics and decoding allow students to reach fluency in reading much more quickly and independently than memorizing sight words.

In terms of helping students develop writing skills, the decoding skills work similarly for writing as they do for reading. A child who is trying to write words down will learn to analyze the sounds of the word that they want to write, such as 'frog'. First, they recognize the sounds in the spoken word, and then tie those sounds to the letters that they have learned correspond to those sounds. Essentially it is the reverse process of reading.

Dancing Phonics

The Phonics Dance is designed to help students learn in a fun and easy environment. Students dance to the sounds, rhythms, and chunks of sounds that make up the words of the English Language. Because this type of learning is active and fun, students learn quickly and do not get bored with the classroom activities. If you learned phonics sitting quietly in your chair as a child, you'll be jealous of your child's jumping, clapping, rhyming, and chanting, and learning valuable phonics skills the whole time.

For Teachers and Schools

Phonics Dance products can be purchased through the website order forms. Although the program was designed for teachers to use in their classrooms, parents can also order the program to use it with their kids at home. With prices ranging from $15 to $60, the products are certainly not placed outside the means of individual families, whether homeschooling or simply supplementing the learning program of a child's school. Phonics Dance programs come in many different forms, starting with flashcards, and complete instruction manuals with matching audio programs. The basic program has been so successful that an advanced program has been added, as well as several programs to help students with math skills. All in all, the programs provide solid educational resources that present information in a fun manner, which is exactly the kind of program that reaches great levels of success with today's children.

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Phonics Dance