Come Alive Phonics author, Tim Harding, explains why a multisensory approach is essential for successful phonics teaching.
Teaching phonics to young children involves a number of challenges for both teacher and pupil. Teachers have to communicate a large amount of information in a short period of time. Pupils are expected to quickly assimilate and retain this knowledge. By combining music, movement, pictures and words you can create activities that are highly effective, easy to remember and great fun.
Regular practice and repetition are vital if children are to retain and consolidate phonic knowledge. Music and song are a naturally enjoyable means of repeating sounds and words without boredom. Children will happily sing lyrics again and again, without realising they are practising sounds, and commit them to memory.
Incorporating movement is another effective tool as experiences that actively involve children are usually the most memorable. Children will love to bounce around the room saying ‘b,b,b’ for example, or draw letter shapes in the air. These playful activities also offer the opportunity to take the learning outside.
Taking a multisensory approach means there is something for every child whatever their interests or learning style. Whilst there is obvious appeal for young children, song and activities can be easily adapted to suit older children with special needs.
Singing and playing together also creates a strong group dynamic where everyone has something to contribute and achieve.
Drawing on years of experience as a teacher, headteacher and trainer, Tim has created Come Alive Phonics to teach letter sound and letter formation. These multisensory resources harness the power of music and movement to actively engage children and support memory.