Thursday, August 4, 2011

More Info on the Phonics Dance

I am so glad to hear that several of you are either already doing the Phonics Dance or are wanting to do it this coming year! I wanted to share a little more about the program.

First of all, Ginny Dowd is the author of this program. I was lucky enough to go to a small workshop she held in the Dallas area last week. She has so much energy and is a really upbeat person. We had a lot of fun as she taught us all about the Phonics Dance approach. We received her newest book and cd with all the chants.

You can go to her website and order her books and cds. She has a lot of resources there.

The Phonics Dance

Philosophy (The Phonics Dance pg. 4)
"Phonics Dancing is a spiral approach to language arts. Initially you will see huge gains in each child's writing. As the students in your classroom learn how to "hunk" and "chunk" the carry over into reading will be an easy one. As children become expert decoders their fluency rates increase and as their fluency rates increase so does the ability to comprehend. The Phonics Dance gives young children six more strategies to use in their journey towards literacy. Dancing all the way of course!"

Six Steps to Literacy (The Phonics Dance pg. 6)
"1. Sound Attack - Daily review and introduction of consonants, short and long vowels, digraphs and variant vowel sounds.
2. Word Wall - Daily review and introduction of high frequency words in association with Language Arts concepts.
3. Creative Writing - Student writing (both fiction and non-fiction) composed on a daily basis in correlation with weekly themes.
4. Student/Teacher Conferencing - Revising and editing; immediate feedback on student writing with emphasis on structure, spelling, and punctuation.
5. Treacherous (unreliable) Word Training - Teaching the eye to look for big "hunks" and "chunks" and parts of words in the decoding process.
6. Reading - Daily practice; guided , independent, choral, or partner reading in correlation with literature that is teacher chosen and/or student selected coinciding with comprehension lessons."

I really love her program because you can do it with any basal or reading program you already have at your school. She says that how to use the Phonics Dance just depends on your class. There is no "correct" order to introduce the "hunks" and "chunks". Isn't that amazing?! Most of the time when we go to workshops they want you to do it completely their way and the whole time we are all thinking, "Okay, right. I am going to have to tweak this in some way to make it work for me." It was so refreshing to get materials that are so versatile.

She is still teaching in the classroom and she kept it very real. This is what she does in her classroom right now. She sees the same results every year. She has given us a great resource with freedom to manipulate it to fit your individual class needs. I love that!

How will I implement the Phonics Dance in my classroom?

I am going to do the alphabet review daily. That is when we go through each letter in the alphabet and do the chant. This is mostly just a quick review and it helps the developing readers solidify the 2 sounds for the vowels. We will do the "What's My Ending Rime?" sheets to help the kids listen to all the sounds in the words and focus on the ending rimes.

I think the best part of her "worksheets" are that they are interactive. They are not made for the kids to just sit and do it in silence. They are structured around the teacher guiding the students through it step by step. For example:

The first thing students do when you hand out the worksheets are "hunk and chunk all the hunk and chunks." That means they are to circle all the hunks and chunks on the page as fast as they can. It starts out as a game! Then the teacher will call out words (4 for 2nd grade) that follow the patterns. You want to make sure the words don't have combinations you have not taught. You want all the kids to be successful with this. Then there is a section to read the words with the letter combination you are working on. Each "hunk and chunk" has 3 pages for practice. I think I will have us circle the hunks and chunks randomly on other pages we do throughout the day.

These are pages 164-262. Then there are extension lessons pages 268-336.

Here is a video that shows the kids going through the hunks and chunks.  =)

"Hunks" and "chunks" are a key component of this program. I will be introducing 2 a week for the most part. It will be following our spelling patterns. I made my own cards that I will share with you, but you will need to buy the book I mentioned above to learn the words and movements that go with each!

Sound Cards Phonics Dance

I am very excited about her word wall games. They are completely integrated with every activity. I have really struggled in the past with my word wall, but I am confident this year will be different. A GREAT component she includes in this book are word wall chants, not just for the words themselves, but for language arts concepts like nouns, adjectives, pronouns, and homonyms. The chants will really help with these difficult concepts! Here is an example:

Verb - A verb. A verb. You do it! Do it! Do it! (The Phonics Dance pg. 135)

So cute and fun!

She provides chants for "Monster Words" or words that have a tricky spelling. Words like friend, said, and, etc. These are awesome! Plus at the end of the book she gives you word lists for each hunk and chunk or ending. Ginny Dowd has made is so easy to do this program. I LOVE it! She has plenty of resources for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Most of her second grade materials can be used in third grade as well.

So... I hope that was helpful and not just confusing! Please leave me a comment if you have any questions. Go get the book and try it out!


Laura624 said...

I recently went to a Phonics Dance workshop too and loved it! So eager to try out the ideas this year...I know my kids will love it! :)

abby said...

Very helpful! I read through the book yesterday and just love it! One of my burning questions is - are you going to use this as a replacement to "spelling?" I use the Fountas and Pinnell word study program, which includes students having spelling words and a test on Friday. Would the Phonics Dance replace this or be in addition to it? I am about to blog about it because I have some questions that I'd love advice on.

Holly said...

Thank you for this post and the cards! I am a K teacher looking into Phonics Dance for my students. However, I also have a second grade son who I think this will be very helpful to as well!
Thanks again!

Karen said...

Thank you for your post. I have never heard of Phonics Dance before and would really like to utilize it this year. I am a learning support teacher and co-teach in first and second grade with the "low" reading groups. This would definitely help them!

beagle2love said...

Our school district requires that all the programs we use for intervention are "research-based." Is the Phonics Dance program recognized as being researched-based? I would love to try this with my first graders!

Mrs. Morris said...

Ginny Dowd said they just finished a round of research. You can email her and get more information.

Heather at Teach It Today! said...

I have to learn more about this. Cool!

Heather at

Anonymous said...

Which resource would you recommend to buy of hers if I am going to be teaching 2nd grade?

Michel Jazz said...

Pull your own chart, you'll need an A1 sheet associated with white paper, a dark felt pen for the actual grid lines and the red one for the actual sounds. Here is my very own carefully worked out rudiment, the beauty of that is that once a kid has mastered all the actual sounds he will have the ability to read across every term. To teach your child daily visit the blog teach children to read. I hope you will find the best. Thank you for this nice article

Teach, Reflect, Create said...

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!


Teach Your Child to Read Today!

Reading is one of the most important skills one must master to succeed in life. It helps your child succeed in school, helps them build self-confidence, and helps to motivate your child. Being able to read will help your child learn more about the world, understand directions on signs and warnings on labels, allow them to discover reading as an entertainment, and help them gather information.

Learning to read is very different from learning to speak, and it does not happen all at once. There is a steady progression in the development of reading ability over time. The best time for children to start learning to read is at a young age - even before they enter pre-school. Once a child is able to speak, they can begin developing basic reading skills. Very young children have a natural curiosity to learn about everything. They are naturally intrigued by the printed texts they see, and are eager to learn about the sounds made by those letters. You will likely notice that your young child likes to look at books and thoroughly enjoys being read to. They will even pretend to behave like a reader by holding books and pretend to read them.

At what age can you start teaching a child to read? When they're babies? At 2 years old, 3, 4, or 5 years old, or wait until they're in school?

If you delay your child's reading skill development until he or she enters school, you are putting your child at risk...

Did you know that 67% of all Grade 4 students cannot read at a proficient level! According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, of those 67%, 33% read at just the BASIC level, and 34% CANNOT even achieve reading abilities of the lowest basic level!

There is a super simple and extremely effective system that will even teach 2 and 3 year old children to read.

This is a unique reading program developed by two amazing parents and reading teachers, Jim and Elena, who successfully taught their four children to read before turning 3 years old. The reading system they developed is so effective that by the time their daughter was just 4 years 2 months old, she was already reading at a grade 3 level. They have videos to prove it.

>> Click here to watch the videos and learn more.

Their reading system is called Children Learning Reading, and it is nothing like the infomercials you see on TV, showing babies appearing to read, but who have only learned to memorize a few word shapes. This is a program that will teach your child to effectively decode and read phonetically. It will give your child a big head start, and allow you to teach your child to read and help your child develop reading skills years ahead of similar aged children.

This is not a quick fix solution where you put your child in front of the TV or computer for hours and hope that your child learns to "read"... somehow...

This is a reading program that requires you, the parent, to be involved. But the results are absolutely amazing. Thousands of parents have used the Children Learning Reading program to successfully teach their children to read.

All it takes is 10 to 15 minutes a day.

>> Click here to get started right now. How to Teach a 2 or 3 Year Old to Read.

Post a Comment