All other materials on site will remain free to download.
There is a lot to look at and a lot to read. We hope you take the time to check out each menu. Take a look inside the book there are sample pages. The course Guide is long but informative. If you are serious about reading spelling and writing we recommend reading the whole site before downloading anything. Being informed is always an advantage. If you do download our materials and use them please consider writing a review, a form is in the menu above and to the side of this and most pages. Cheers Robert.
Welcome to the Phonics Fast site. Phonics Fast is an English Phonics curriculum. There is a lot of information, activities, resources and downloads hosted on the site including free to use, free to share worksheets & readers. Click on the menus above and the tabs located around site to read important information for parents in need of a comprehensive but easy to teach reading program.
There is a lot of text on this site. We hope you take the time to read through the information presented to know exactly why you should choose a phonics based program for your beginner. The following excerpts are from studies and respected sites telling us just exactly why phonics is the best approach to learning how to read, especially for preschool and grade 1 students. Click on the links to read entire articles.
Authors - Ehri, L.C., Nunes, S.R., Stahl, S.A., & Willows, D.M.
Source - Review of Educational Research, 71(3), 393–447. Year Published | 2001
A quantitative meta-analysis evaluating the effects of systematic phonics instruction compared to unsystematic or no-phonics instruction on learning to read was conducted using 66 treatment-control comparisons derived from 38 experiments. The overall effect of phonics instruction on reading was moderate, d = 0.41. Effects persisted after instruction ended. Effects were larger when phonics instruction began early (d = 0.55) than after first grade (d = 0.27). Phonics benefited decoding, word reading, text comprehension, and spelling in many readers. Phonics helped low and middle SES readers, younger students at risk for reading disability (RD), and older students with RD, but it did not help low achieving readers that included students with cognitive limitations. Synthetic phonics and larger-unit systematic phonics programs produced a similar advantage in reading. Delivering instruction to small groups and classes was not less effective than tutoring. Systematic phonics instruction helped children learn to read better than all forms of control group instruction, including whole language. In sum, systematic phonics instruction proved effective and should be implemented as part of literacy programs to teach beginning reading as well as to prevent and remediate reading difficulties.
Key findings from the scientific research on phonics instruction include the following conclusions of particular interest and value to classroom teachers:
Systematic and explicit phonics instruction is more effective than non-systematic or no phonics instruction.
Systematic and explicit phonics instruction makes a bigger contribution to children's growth in reading than instruction that provides non-systematic or no phonics instruction.
How do systematic programs of phonics instruction differ from non-systematic programs? The hallmark of programs of systematic phonics instruction is the direct teaching of a set of letter-sound relationships in a clearly defined sequence. The set includes the major sound/spelling relationships of both consonants and vowels.
The programs also provide materials that give children substantial practice in applying know-ledge of these relationships as they read and write. These materials include books or stories that contain a large number of words that children can decode by using the letter-sound relationships they have learned and are learning. The programs also might provide children with opportunities to spell words and to write their own stories with the letter-sound relationships they are learning.
The goals of phonics and word study instruction are to teach children that there are systematic relationships between letters and sounds, that written words are composed of letter patterns representing the sounds of spoken words, that recognizing words quickly and accurately is a way of obtaining meaning from them, and that they can blend sounds to read words and segment words into sounds to spell (Adams, 1990; Chard & Osborn, 1999; NRP, 2000). Gough and Tumner (1986) identify two basic processes necessary for learning to read: learning to convert letters into recognizable words, and comprehending the meaning of print. The first process can be taught through phonics and can lead to students comprehending the meaning of text.
The combination of deficient decoding skills and difficult material results in unrewarding early reading experiences that lead to less involvement with reading activities (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998). On the other hand, systematic and explicit phonics instruction improves children's word recognition, spelling, and reading comprehension, and is most effective when it begins in kindergarten or 1st grade (CIERA, 2001; NRP, 2000)
We do not necessarily agree with ALL paragraphs in this chapter but the chapter makes the case for phoneme awareness.
Dr. Reid Lyon, head of the NICHD branch that directs reading research, says the findings present "overwhelming evidence" that the key to overcoming most reading (and thus learning) obstacles in all children is an early exposure to teaching methods that stress the relationships between the sounds of letters, letter combinations and words. If the term "phonics" springs to mind, bingo.
"There is no way to read if you are not very facile in the use of phonics," Reid is quoted as saying. Especially for increasing numbers of kids falling into the direst of reading straits, Lyon says "phonics is non-negotiable."
The panel found that the research conducted to date strongly supports the concept that explicitly and systematically teaching children to manipulate phonemes significantly improves children's reading and spelling abilities. The evidence for this is so clear cut that this method should be an important component of classroom reading instruction
If you've read why your child or students should be learning to read with a phonics program, and agree, the next step is finding the right one. We believe our program together with the resources and activities on this site fulfill the criteria anyone would look for in a phonics program.
The work text may be used with motivated children 4 years of age, that display an aptitude for sounding letters and writing letters and can sit down for 20min stretches and maintain a reasonable level of concentration. The course though is best suited to 5 ~ 7 year olds. The work text is particularly useful for parents that have left serious phonics work alone until their children are in the final year of preschool or in the first year of elementary school. The work text would also be useful for students that have not received systematic phonics training right up into 2nd or 3rd grade.
The first consideration then is...
What age should you begin teaching phonics?
To answer the question lets examine exactly what it is students should begin with and then progress to. There are three phases we believe are crucial to any program the calls itself a Phonics curriculum. Identifying these phases and understanding exactly what each entails will allow us to determine whether or not our children are ready, based off their current knowledge, concentration levels, the state of their fine motor skills and their level of motivation.
Effective programs promote phonemic awareness, systematic phonics instruction and the reading of text.
As simply as possible, for a beginner,
Phonemic awareness means students can identify the sounds of every letter, identify which letters would make up simple words like cat, identify which sound is missing from a spoken cvc word misspelled on a board (cvc= consonant vowel consonant), and be able to manipulate these sounds/letters to create and read new words. For example the student should be able to (after being explicitly asked) to rearrange "pot" to spell "top" or "ten" to spell "net".
Phonemic awareness practice can start as early as you would like. The earlier the better. This type of instruction really does not have to be structured by a program or work text. For very young children games, songs and simple worksheets should be ample practice. What we would like to emphasize is that learning the names of the letters does not create this awareness. This kind of practice has to be focused on the sounds letters make (two sounds at least per vowel), on writing those sounds and on very basic blending and spelling.
On this site on the activities page we have some games and activities that should help even the earliest learner.
- First we have linked to a great set of videos that teach the basic 26 phonemes (short vowels not long unfortunately)
- We have explained three effective and fun activities - The Label Game, Phonics Islands & Word Hop Scotch that make applying their knowledge enjoyable.
- The work text has flashcards for the purpose of instruction and activities
- The work text and the download page have writing practice worksheets
- We have linked to two great interactive websites ideal for self learning the basic alphabetic phonemes
Beyond that the Phonics Fast work text has exercises that continually reemphasize these basic sounds.
But when should we move onto the second phase?
When you feel that your child or student has mastered these basic sound recognition and manipulation skills, can be encouraged to maintain their concentration without stress becoming an issue, and can write letters with a reasonable level accuracy and neatness it might be time to move onto explicit phonics instruction.
Systematic Phonics Instruction
Systematic phonics instruction is a lot more involved than just basic phonemic awareness. The addition of consonant blends, phonemes with two or more letters, onsets, rimes and special rules for irregular spellings, then more advanced blending and reading require a lot more effort on the child's behalf. Quite literally classes of students using this book have been taught the alphabetic sounds in one lesson, it is the systematic phonics instruction that took the remaining 4 months ,together with the readings.
This is the real focus of this work text. Blending and reading. For an in depth look at how to teach the book you can read the Course Guide page on the site or download the Course Guide pdf from the Download page.
We have an activities page to help with this phase and will add more as we find it and will also answer any questions you have in the Support Forum.
Phase 3: Reading
The third phase of this program is of course the reading phase. The reading phase is embedded within the work text. Each phonics lesson ends with a reading exercise that not only enables students to apply their skills at decoding but quite often adds another layer of phonics instruction before that reading can take place. Many of the stories have to be written (the teachers calls out the necessary information) before they can be read. And once read they must be set as homework and reread in the next lesson. The stories are as complex as possible and grow in complexity as children learn more and more sounds.
We have also linked to and added very useful tie-in programs and interactive sites. You can read more about the tie-in programs on the Course Guide page and the sites on the Activities pages.
If you have any questions please contact myself personally through our facebook page or preferably our Support Forum.