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Differential Instructions and Strategies for Teaching Phonics

Updated on August 7, 2013

Differentiated instruction helps children that may not grasp concepts taught in a traditional classroom curriculum. For the teacher this means recognizing the different levels of learning abilities and catering to each to teach the same material. Teaching phonics to all levels of learning abilities can be a challenge, but with some basic knowledge of each step in the ESP Phonics Plus program it will all fall into place for both the children and teacher alike.

Phonics Awareness

Children between the grades of Kindergarten to third grade should be taught phonics awareness. Phonics awareness involves learning and knowing the sounds of letters in different positions in words, learning rhymes, syllables, and general word recognition in order to learn how to read effectively. Children that are not taught phonics recognition at these key ages are more likely to have reading difficulties throughout their education. As a teacher you need to provide activities and learning techniques for all levels of learning in your classroom.


Phonics teaches how the word sounds but if the children don't know what the word means there will be no reading retention. Vocabulary is important so the children know what the words mean so they can retain the sentences and information they are reading about. As a teacher you will need to focus on prefixes, suffixes, contractions as well as other structural elements of words and their meanings. Use activities and lessons that teach these key elements to all learning levels in the classroom.


Comprehension is when something is read and understood. Comprehension involves understanding the structure of the sentence and how to read it aloud, retell and answer questions about what was just read. As a teacher you can help children comprehend what they are reading with different techniques and activities that involve reading sentences aloud, answering questions about the reading material and predicting what will happen based on the already read material. Keeping a variety of techniques will ensure that each learning level is being taught to.


Knowing how to write something on paper to explain it whether it is information or a story is key in the communication process of phonics learning. Teaching writing from Kindergarten on through the grade levels and involving activities and techniques that include the comprehension of all learning levels is key to teaching writing effectively.


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