Toppel, K. (2012). Phonics instruction with a culturally responsive twist: three approaches to transforming curriculum. Multicultural Perspectives, 14(2), 99-102.
For many students, phonics instruction begins in Kindergarten. As a child’s cognitive skills enhance in Kindergarten, they begin to develop phonetic skills that they will use in order to begin to read and write. It is highly important that Kindergartners establish a proper foundation in phonics that will help them as their reading and writing skills continue to grow. In addition, as teachers, it is important that we utilize the best teaching strategies in order to help our students comprehend and properly use phonics as they read and write. In this article, the author Katie Toppel, shares three ways that teachers can personalize phonics instruction for Kindergartners in order to make it culturally responsive to connect to individual students. One approach she shares talks about students personalizing their alphabet. The personal alphabet included one word from each letter of the alphabet that was important to the child. This activity allowed students to increase their understanding of letter-sound relationships by connecting it to student’s lives. Next, the second approach was personalized art. In addition, to creating the alphabet book, students had to create pictures that correspond with the letter. This activity led her students to think phonics in a creative way and understand it at the same time. Lastly, the third approach was word association, which requires students to sound out words. Instead of just sounding out the words, students made connections from the real world to the word that is sounded out. Toppel stresses that this activity is exceptional when working with students who are learning English. The sole purpose of this article is to show the importance of making phonics instruction meaningful, especially at a young age. In the conclusion, Toppel (2012, 102)...
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