Fishing With Phonics is Research Based…
Fishing With Phonics is Research Based…

Fishing With Phonics is attached to the anchor of fundamental lasting research in the field of reading education.  The Texas Education Agency published Beginning Reading Instruction – Components and Features of a Research-Based Reading Program as a part of the Texas Reading Initiative. It identifies twelve essential links of effective initial reading programs.  The links or components of this research anchor have been identified here, followed by bulleted items which describe their corresponding components in the Fishing With Phonics program.
1) Children have opportunities to expand their use and appreciation of oral language.
  • The teacher models the proper use of new vocabulary in teacher generated oral sentences as part of the lesson cycle.
  • When introducing new vocabulary, students are encouraged to use the new vocabulary in self-generated oral sentences so they integrate the words into their own language and thoughts.
  • The continual choral reading of words in the context of written sentences with expression helps expand the child’s use and appreciation of oral language.
  • The dramatization of words and sentences when chorally reading and while playing reading games found in the program increases children’s use and appreciation of oral language.
 2) Children have opportunities to expand their use and appreciation of printed language.
  • The use of self-generated picture dictionaries from teacher models in this program helps facilitate student comprehension and make the oral language to print connection.
  • The constant choral reading of words in isolation and in context while tracking with their fingers helps students be aware of and become fluent in directionality.
  • Teacher timed and student self-timed reading exercises help students appreciate their own mastery and need for fluency in the reading process.

3)  Children have opportunities to hear good stories and informational books read aloud daily.
     (Literature appreciation is not a component of the Fishing With Phonics program.)
4) and 5) Children have opportunities to understand and manipulate the building blocks of spoken and written language.
  • During the picture dictionary exercises of each lesson, children get to continually manipulate and develop phonemic awareness.  They understand through hearing, speaking, and seeing that individual phonemes are the building blocks of words.  The modeling of syllabication and coding reinforces this phonemic awareness of the parts of multi-syllable words
  • Games that go with this program such as Detective Clues and the Drama Game help students understand and manipulate oral language.
  • Cloze comprehension exercises with each lesson help the students manipulate written language.

6) Children have the opportunities to learn the relationship between the sounds of spoken language and the letters of written language.
  • A deck of phoneme cards and sight words are daily reviewed with the students who respond chorally in unison as they see, say, spell and hear the phonemes.
  • The picture dictionary exercises contained in each lesson help the students to see the direct correlation between the sounds of spoken language and written language.
  • Teaching the phonemes systematically and sequentially in families helps make this connection and continually links new learning to past learning which further strengthens the understanding of the sound-letter associations.
7) Children have the opportunities to learn decoding strategies.
  • This is the heart of this program.  Through teacher modeling and independent practice the students learn coding symbols, phonic strategies, and how to chunk or separate large words into syllables.
  •  In the Funny Fish section of each lesson students practice reading nonsense words which helps them learn word attack skills that are necessary in order to decode unfamiliar words in their independent reading. 
  • Through the use of kid friendly and fun coding strategies, students transfer the use of past phonemes learned to new word decoding.
  • Games such as Phonic Bingo help reinforce the phoneme sound/written language correlation.
8) Children have opportunities to write and relate their writing to spelling and reading.
  • This program does not have a spelling or writing component but many who use the program are using the new words presented in each lesson as spelling words for the week  or the week following the lesson as reinforcement. Students are encouraged to use the words in self-generated written sentences at either a reading or language rotation center.

9) Children have opportunities to practice accurate and fluent reading in decodable stories.

  • The continual whole group choral reading of words in isolation, word decks, and the words used in the context of sentences helps students to increase automaticity and the fluency necessary to become excellent readers.
  • The teacher-timed and student self-timed reading of the words in the context of sentences which is a part of each lesson helps increase fluency which transfers to reading decodable stories.
  • The Deep Sea Fishing Game described in this program challenges students and gives them confidence in decoding words above and beyond their grade level.
Fishing With Phonics is Research Based…
10) Children have the opportunity to develop new vocabulary through wide reading and direct vocabulary instruction.
  • A key component of this program is direct vocabulary instruction.  The use of the picture dictionaries and correlating new vocabulary to a common foreign language such as Spanish helps students input over 1,500 vocabulary words ranging in difficulty from cat to flamboyant and beyond.  This program is being used to help native Spanish speaking students learn to read and understand vocabulary in the English language.
  • Cloze vocabulary comprehension exercises are included with each lesson to ensure students are comprehending the new vocabulary.
  • Games such as the Drama Game, Detective Clues, and Deep Sea Fishing all exercise vocabulary comprehension in fun exciting ways.
11) Children have opportunities to read and comprehend a wide assortment of books and other texts.
This component is not a part of the Fishing With Phonics program. We do recommend that students be given time each day for self-selected reading and be encouraged to independently read using such programs as  Accelerated Reader. This component must be added.
12) Children have opportunities to learn and apply comprehension strategies as they reflect upon and think critically about what they read.
This program does not teach comprehension strategies such as main idea, summary, using context clues, etc.  It lays the foundation for these skills by ensuring students can first orally read and comprehend vocabulary and sentences.  A good comprehension component must be used in conjuction with this program.
Missing Link - a crucial link which I believe is missing from this research is
Children have opportunities to directly learn high frequency irregular (undecodable) sight words.
  • The direct teaching of irregular sight words is one of the four critical components of Fishing With Phonics. Irregular words, Slippery Fish, are reviewed daily with a flashcard deck.
  • Using a picture dictionary, irregular words are drawn, decoded, and then used in oral sentences with each lesson.
  • Cloze comprehension exercises are used with each lesson to assess and exercise student mastery of these irregular words.
Other research based concepts included in this program are…
1) New concepts are learned faster when they are linked or correlated to past or previous learning.
When phonemes are taught in family groups by similar characteristics, rather than randomly, learning is enhanced. Fishing With Phonics teaches phonemes in family groups by common characteristics which are given student friendly names such as Shark and Friends (sh, th, wh, ph, ng …), Eel and Friends (ee, ea, oa, ai, ay…), the Frog Brothers (er, ir, or, ur and ar) and more.
2) Spiraling, the intermittent re-teaching and/or review of previously learned material, helps create long term retention of information.
Most vocabulary words and irregular words introduced with each lesson are imbedded in a subsequent lesson in the program. All of the phonemes are continually spirally reviewed through the Funny Fish portion of each lesson. (Click here on SPIRALING for more information.)

Fishing With Phonics Is...
Fishing With Phonics Is...
  • Multi-Skill and Multi-Level
  • Multi-Sensory
  • Research Based
  • Great for Accelerating/Remediating Instruction
  • Great for ESL/ELL Students
  • Diagnostic and Prescriptive
  • Comprehensive, Systematic, and Spiraling
  • Teacher Friendly and Fun
  • Affordable
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