Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Can You Dance?

Well I wouldn't be the first one out on the dance floor, but I can handle the Phonics Dance!  If you have never heard of the Phonics Dance, you should check it out.  Created by Ginny Dowd, the Phonics Dance is a developmentally appropriate method to teaching young children exactly how our crazy language works!  Taught as "Hunk and Chunks" in the Phonics Dance, these diagraphs, blends, dipthongs, and modified vowels are typically taught in early elementary curriculum, but are students really remembering them?
    The Phonics Dance is more of a chant than a real song or dance.  It has motions that correlate with a chant.  I teach it slightly differently than the original program, because I align it with our reading series and the way that the sounds are taught in Scott Foresman's Reading Street.  The students do the Phonics Dance each day at school and probably at home, in the car, and in their sleep.  We begin with the alphabet, while doing our Kindergarten review at the beginning of the year, and then move on to cover over 25 sounds by the end of the year!
   Practicing these daily allows the students to remember and apply the sounds in both reading and writing.  I first learned about the Phonics Dance while student teaching in Ohio and I have used it in my own classroom for 6 years.  I attribute a great deal of student success to the use of the Phonics Dance!
   When I first came to my school 4 years ago, I was one of two crazy teachers at my school using this to reinforce phonics. We both were huge advocates of this program.  Now it has spread like a wild fire!  If you go down the Kindergarten, First Grade hall or by some 2nd grade classrooms, you will hear the loud, energetic chants.  The kids love it!  What better way to teach phonics (and get the wiggles out) than through the Phonics Dance!  Take a look.  
The Phonics Dance

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