Writing to Improve Phonics Skills

I went to an amazing professional development this summer on incorporating phonics into guided reading, and I've been practicing what I learned with my son.  I will say that the presenter discussed having a Reading Recovery background.  I'm not trained in Reading Recovery, so I don't know if this is something that is typically done during a Reading Recovery lesson. 

*Disclaimer...when you do this, you want the students to apply what they've been learning in the classroom and give them an opportunity to talk about the strategies they are using while writing.  The goal is to help students connect the phonics skills they are applying in reading with their writing. You don't want to tell them to "see if you can find that word on the word wall"  or "let's look back in the book."  There is nothing wrong with that...in fact that's what I encourage students to do during workstations and writing time.  The goal of this is for them to process what they are learning and then apply it through writing.

This is definitely teacher guided.  There is lots of scaffolding that occurs so students can think about what they have learned and how to apply it in their writing.  If students haven't been taught the skills, then they can't be expected to apply them...so this really only works with words that they should know. 

Background...my son's reading ability is FAR beyond his writing ability. 

1.  Students always have a page to write on (right side) and a page to practice (left side). 

2.  Students write a sentence or two about what they just read.  When they get to a word that is "tricky" they can either try and write it or practice it first (on their practice page).  My son is now doing that on his own without even being prompted!

3. This is what a conversation looks like.  You'll guide them when they get to "tricky" words.  My son spelled 'party' as 'parde.' 
Me:  Does that look right?
Son:  No...I'm going to try the practice page.
Son:  I know it is PAR. 
Me:  Listen to me say it...PAR TEEE
Son: Oh, T!!!! PARTE.
Me: Does that look right?
Son:  No...the E isn't right.
Me:  Remember, words that usually end in 'e' are silent.  What are other ways that words end that sound like 'e'.
Son:  Y
Me: Let's try that.
Son: PARTY.  That looks right!

This is an incredible piece of data to have to show student's growth.   I love the fact that students have a place to practice and process their thinking.  Now, my son automatically goes to the practice page and thinks about how words are spelled.  Before he would write anything down!!!


  1. What an awesome way to have him (students) problem solve --does it look right! awesome!

  2. I am also RR trained,The program does a great job of using writing to support phonics and reading skills

    1. I loved how we learned to use writing! It was one of those professional developments where I couldn't wait to start implementing ideas :)

  3. Great way to connect phonics, writing and reading skills together!
    Conversations in Literacy

  4. I am loving this! I'm not RR trained either, but I'm hooked on just how you use your journal pages...it makes so much sense! Love that data too! :)
    A Pirates Life for Us


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