Guess what?! We’ve reached the inevitable phonics chapter in Classrooms That Work! We all knew it had to come; the chapter all about what the book itself has had enough of. Of course, the book has not been telling us phonics is useless in itself; it’s been telling us that the way in which so many teachers have been teaching it is flawed. Here, we’re given different (fun!) ways in which to teach kids letter and letter-group sounds.
One of the big things this chapter discusses is word walls. As you may have read in my past word wall post (link to that post here), you know I’m a fan of word walls. A fan of word walls that are built with students. I already feel as though my wall is quite strong, but Classrooms That Work has given me even more helpful ideas that will (hopefully) make it even better.
It discusses things such as colour coding and throws in a lot of fun and helpful word wall games and activities to do with the children in order to make it an active tool in the classroom.
Another fun activity written about is a bit young for my kids to incorporate entirely but seems fun: having a student of the day at the beginning of the year to get to know all of the kids. It might not be great for phonics in grade four but it would be a fun intro activity for the first couple of weeks of school.
Some activités are discussed which can be done during class reading or during Science, Social Studies, or other non-Language Arts courses. There are also some great activities for counting syllables and decoding words of various syllables.
I continue to not only enjoy this book but actively sing its praises to coworkers and teacher friends. I can’t wait for chapter six! If you’re interested in the book, here’s the link to it on Amazon.