Phonics Instruction Phase Six:
Reading Fluency, Comprehension and Spelling
Phase Six (typically in Second Grade/Year 2) is the final phase of formal phonics instruction as children learn to read. At this point teachers and parents focus on supporting children as they use their phonics knowledge to become fluent readers and accurate spellers. This is the practice stage in which they apply their skills to new content.
In Phase Six, children can read hundreds of words using the strategies they have learned in the previous six phases:
- Reading with automaticity
- Decoding quickly and silently
- Decoding aloud (e.g. sounding words out)
Children can also spell or encode most of the words they have learned with speed and accuracy. Proficiency with encoding (writing) is slower than decoding (reading). But with repetition and instruction, and as their reading improves, children’s spelling should also improve.
In Phase Six children also learn about topics and resources more widely related to reading and spelling. They learn spelling rules and introductory grammar concepts like tenses and punctuation. They also learn how to work more independently, how to proofread their writing, and how to use resources like dictionaries.
From this point on, children will learn more sight words as well as reading and spelling more challenging words. They will also focus on building reading comprehension.
Phase Six takes place over the course of Second Grade/Year 2. While systematic synthetic phonics instruction is usually complete by the end of Second Grade/Year 2, children continue to use this knowledge in schooling.
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Phonics is the method that helps children build systematic connections between letters and sounds. Phonics has a better impact on children’s reading ability than any other type of reading program. It has also been shown to improve spelling, particularly among kindergarteners and first graders.
To find out more, read our Deep Dive into Phonics report. This report provides an easy-to-understand overview of phonics and phonemic awareness - why they are important and how they are taught in the classroom - and explains all the relevant terminology. It's perfect for sharing with colleagues, friends, and to Google Classroom!