2004 Conference Proceedings

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Brenda Bender
Don Johnston Incorporated
26799 W Commerce Drive
Volo, IL 60073
Phone: 847-740-0749, ext 555
Fax: 847-740-7326
Email: bbender@donjohnston.com

Participants will:

National Reading Panel 2000
"Findings provided solid support for the conclusion that systematic phonics instruction makes a more significant contribution to childrenšs growth in reading than do alternative programs providing unsystematic or no phonics instruction."

Finding alternative ways to teach children to read for whom learning to read is a struggle has been the lifelong passion of Patricia Cunningham, internationally recognized for her Four Blocks Literacy Model. For over a decade now, classroom teachers have been using Dr. Cunningham's books Making Words, Making More Words, Making Big Words, Phonics They Use and Systematic Sequential Phonics to teach phonemic, phonics and spelling skills.

Dr. Cunningham's unique approach to teaching systematic phonics is based on years of research and classroom experience. WordMaker combines the two activities she has found to be most successful in teaching struggling readers to decode and spell. First, students manipulate letters to make words, discovering the patterns as they do this (guided discovery). They then sort the words into rhymes and use the rhymes to decode and spell new words (knowledge transfer). While this approach meets all of the criteria of traditional systematic phonics instruction, it also includes components like word walls, giving systematic phonics and spelling a fresh new spin.

WordMaker replicates the kinesthetic classroom model educators and students embrace, and because WordMaker is computer-based, it provides accessible lessons to students with physical disabilities. Students enjoy individualized lessons, move at their own pace and practice those essential decoding and spelling skills.

In this session you will learn how flexible integrating a systematic and sequential approach to phonics and spelling can be!

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