This year, all second grade teachers will be embarking on a new phonics program called Fundations. Students that attended BEW in first grade likely had exposure to Fundations, but this year they will dig deeper with level two.
Since Fundations is a phonics program and not a spelling program, there will not be traditional spelling tests like we had when we were kids. In other words, do not expect to see a list of words sent home each week for students to study and then be tested on each Friday. Instead, students will spend an average of 10 days on each phonics unit, and have a unit test at the end of each one. Unit tests involve not only spelling words correctly, but marking words as well as we look and listen for word structures like vowels, consonants, blends, digraphs, syllable types, affixes, and so, so much more. Unit tests will also involve "trick words" and sentence dictation.
For some students, Fundations will push them to think carefully about how to spell words using common patterns and structure rules. For others, words from each unit may seem "too easy" on the surface. For those students that already have a pretty good grasp of spelling in general, Fundations forces them to dig deeper and think critically about phonics. The best analogy I've heard is that, "You might know how to drive, but do you know how the car actually works?" That is what Fundations will do for us. It will teach us why we use certain letters here, but not there. It will help us remember to apply learned rules of spelling to longer, more challenging, unknown words. It will help us become better readers. It will force us to think about how and why we spell words the way we do, and to apply that knowledge to new words.
We will devote a portion of each language arts block to phonics every day. As with anything else in school, those that pay attention, participate, and give a solid effort during phonics time will have a much better chance to perform well than those that do not.
I am very excited to dive into this new curriculum, and I can't wait to see how much growth we are able to make this year with our knowledge of phonics and reading!
Current Phonics Unit
Unit 3 // October 7, 2019
- Closed syllable exceptions
- More glued sounds
- Vowel teams
Test on October 18, 2019