Phonics Instruction Phase Three: More Phonics
In Phase Three (typically the end of Kindergarten/Reception), children learn the remaining 25 phonemes. These phonemes are more difficult and/or less frequently used. Some of these 25 phonemes correspond to digraphs, meaning they are represented by graphemes with two letters that make one sound (e.g. /sh/ and /ee/). Learning these patterns helps children read and spell more words.
During this phase, children master the association between more phonemes and new graphemes, which helps them sound out new words. Learning more sight words also improves reading, helping build fluency and comprehension.
It takes most children about three to six months to master the material in Phase Three. By the end of this phase, children know most of the 44 phonemes and the most common graphemes that correspond to them. They are also able to say the sounds of the graphemes in Phase Two and Three. They blend and read CVC words made from these graphemes and can comfortably read some sight words.
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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!