Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Phonics Dance

A few years ago, my fabulous friend and colleague, Madalyn Lanni Ketron, introduced me to the Phonics Dance. She learned about it during her student teaching in Ohio. After her first performance, I was hooked! For years, I've been searching for a way for students to remember phonics patterns.

The Phonics Dance is a quick and easy way for teachers to teach phonics using rhyme, movement, and chants. The Phonics Dance helps develop decoding strategies and build stronger writers. This use of "junking and chunking" word patterns helps students become more fluent readers

My students LOVE doing the Phonics Dance! We do it about four times a week at the beginning of reading. I introduce two chants per week. I call on a different student every day to be our "pointer" during the dance and point to the cards. Even my quietest students get involved. Boy or girl, they ALL enjoy the movement and are highly engaged. When the chart is almost full of cards, I let the pointer choose two or three rows for the class to do.

Some example chants:
s-h, s-h, sh sh sh (point to lips)
a-r, ar ar ar, a-r, ar ar ar, Stick your arm in a jar of stars (make a hook with fingers like a pirate)

During small group reading, I use the chants to help students decode words during guided reading. It works! Students are also able to apply the hunks and chunks patterns to spelling unknown words. The Phonics Dance is great for struggling readers. The movement engages them, and the repetition helps students retain phonics skills.  I also notice growth in student writing and spelling.  THE PHONICS DANCE HAS CHANGED MY READING INSTRUCTION AND STUDENT LEARNING! Check out the photos, links, and video below. I added a link to the official Phonics Dance video. It shows students doing the chants.

I asked our school Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) to purchase the manual and cards. The manual is $45 and the cards are $15 per set. 

 You Tube Video

Sometimes we come across a certain sound or phonics chunk that is not included in the official Phonics Dance. So I create my own cards to meet our needs. See the two pictures below. I made these.
When you see the letter y, there are three sounds you can try: y-y-y, i-i-i, e-e-e

a-n-k, a-n-k, Thaaaaank You!
a-n-k, a-n-k, Thaaaaank You!

1 comment:

  1. I have 2 questions:
    - Does Phonics Dance include spelling words?
    - Is Phonics Dance meant to be a comprehensive phonics program or is it meant to supplement another phonics program?
    Thanks so much!