Touchphonics Program

Phonics for the kinesthetic. This program was originally developed by a special education teacher to help struggling readers better grasp phonics through tactile manipulation. She found that, rather than dealing with symbols of sounds on a board, children who could physically move letters were better able to assimilate the sound-symbol association. Children could "build" their own words, then self-check by touching and sounding letters and clusters, easily rearranging them as needed to correct. Since then, the program has been tested and proven successful with both learning disabled and non-disabled students. Particularly beneficial for children who learn best by doing, the system incorporates visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile elements.

The general principles imparted to students of this program are: words are made of separate parts; each part has its own sound; these sounds are blended together to form words; parts of the words can be substituted to make new sounds. This is accomplished by reinforcing the solid phonics instruction with an emphasis on word structure. Word patterns are conveyed both explicitly through instruction and intuitively through the color-coding of the touch units. As students gain familiarity with these common structural patterns and become proficient at letter-by-letter decoding throughout the program, they are able to transfer this knowledge to new words, increasing their ability to both read and construct them at a faster pace.

Instruction scope and sequence is: short vowels, consonant digraphs, initial consonant blends, final consonant blends, silent letters, long vowels, vowels + ck and ke, open syllable with silent e, vowel + ce and ge, r controlled vowels, vowel combinations, compound words, contractions, open and closed syllables, syllables with le, suffixes, inflections and comparison suffixes, prefixes with meanings, borrowed sounds. You may have noticed the omission of single consonant sounds. These are covered in a warm-up section preceding the first lesson. It provides sketchy instruction for teaching individual letter sounds. This is fine if you have done some early instruction with your child. If not, an appendix e


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