5 Tips To Teach Phonics Even If Your Young Learners Are Not Paying Attention

[Guest Post] Ziza-Sensei from MY NEW LEARNING will share with us some of the tips and tricks she uses in class with her learners to teach them phonics.

Are you on your first year of teaching? Do you struggle a bit to teach phonics? Use these tips to improve your classes, while engaging the class with fun activities!

Get all the materials, songs and realia you need to keep the rhythm of your lesson plan. It is said that children have an attention span of 5-7 min, therefore the activities cannot be way too long, otherwise the quality of learning will be lost there.

It’s your stage!

Do not forget that the classroom is your stage and the students are your audience. Moreover, you are leading it, so you’re the star of all of this, so, it is showtime! Choose a nice warm up song to start off and get the students’ attention. Use gestures to go along with the song.

Be selective!

Select a set of words you want to work out with. One of the best choices is CVC words or a bit of sight words (you can mix a bit both). Go letter by letter with the word and make the students clap each time then say the sound/phoneme of a letter. Start slower, then go faster. Play with the rhythms of clapping and phonics. Then, finish it off with hands up to cheer it.

By having the hands busy, the learners will not get so distracted, being that little students have to concentrate to clap and work their motor skills and timing. Thus, not bothering their neighbor, nor messing with things surrounding them.

Use gestures!

If your class can go further, start to make simple and short sentences. Use some gestures, like tapping on the chest for “I”, show your hand closed as a front fist for “a”, tilt or twist it for “an”, and so on. You can create your own set of gestures. This help student to associate all the information and work the recognition with all senses.

Reward the students!

If you are an apologist of rewarding the students, do it on your way. If you’re not, compliment them. They need to know they are good while learning.

Reward yourself!

Once in a while, give yourself the gift of a piece of chocolate! You also did great on your lessons, you deserve it, too!

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