Phonics instruction is a method of teaching students how to connect the graphemes (letters) with phonemes (sounds) and how to use this letter/sound relationship to read and spell words.
Systematic instruction is a method of teaching students all of the major letters and sounds by using a logical scope and sequence. This includes short and long vowels, blends, and consonant digraphs (oi, ea, sh, th, etc.) This plan is carefully thought out, strategic, and designed before activities and lessons are developed.
Systematic phonics instruction is a method of teaching students how to connect the graphemes (letters) with phonemes (sounds) using a clear and well-thought-out scope and sequence to teach kids how to read and spell.
Lessons are built on previously taught information, from simple to complex, with clear, concise student objectives that are driven by ongoing assessment:
- Consonant and short vowel sounds
- Digraphs and blends
- Long vowels and other vowel patterns
- Syllable patterns
Most teachers are acquainted with several approaches to phonics instruction, including those listed below. The distinctions between approaches are not absolute, and some programs of instruction combine approaches.
Synthetic phonics: Children learn how to convert letters or letter combinations into sounds, and then how to blend the sounds together to form recognizable words.
Analytic phonics: Children learn to analyze letter-sound relationships in previously learned words. They do not pronounce sounds in isolation.
Analogy-based phonics: Children learn to use parts of word families they know to identify words they don’t know that have similar parts.
Phonics through spelling: Children learn to segment words into phonemes and to make words by writing letters for phonemes.
Embedded phonics: Children are taught letter-sound relationships during the reading of a connected text. (Since children encounter different letter-sound relationships as they read, this approach is not systematic or explicit.)
Onset-rime phonics instruction: Children learn to identify the sound of the letter or letters before the first vowel (the onset) in a one-syllable word and the sound of the remaining part of the word (the rime).