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Our students are in a high-poverty, urban school right outside of Baltimore, and many enter school with limited readiness skills to learn to read. Students who don’t learn to read well by grade 3 are at a much higher risk of dropping out of school in high school and struggling throughout life. We know that to escape poverty, education is the way out. We seek to engage all of our 550 pre-K through grade 3 students in our school through a proven “Fun Phonics” approach that uses stories, food, motions, and props to help students remember the sounds in words and blend and decode words to become successful readers (adapted from multisensory approaches to phonics instruction researched by Orton and Gillingham with success for struggling readers and dyslexic students for over 75 years). We need to put together a “prop kit” for each teacher in the school so we can introduce and reinforce this schoolwide approach that students act out and remember to help them attack words. We don’t just tell them “a” is like apple—we give them an apple slice with a gummy worm in it to scream, ‘ahhhhhhhhh” and cup their hand like they’re holding an apple in it. With reinforcement of this hand motion and the actual props students can hold and touch, they can approach an “a” in the middle of a word and remember to say,”ahhhh” to understand how to break the reading code. There are stories, props, and motions for all of the important phonics skills we need to be successful in learning to read. Please help us buy the props we need to create our “Fun Phonics” kits for each classroom at Norwood Elementary!

About my class

Our students are in a high-poverty, urban school right outside of Baltimore, and many enter school with limited readiness skills to learn to read. Students who don’t learn to read well by grade 3 are at a much higher risk of dropping out of school in high school and struggling throughout life. We know that to escape poverty, education is the way out. We seek to engage all of our 550 pre-K through grade 3 students in our school through a proven “Fun Phonics” approach that uses stories, food, motions, and props to help students remember the sounds in words and blend and decode words to become successful readers (adapted from multisensory approaches to phonics instruction researched by Orton and Gillingham with success for struggling readers and dyslexic students for over 75 years). We need to put together a “prop kit” for each teacher in the school so we can introduce and reinforce this schoolwide approach that students act out and remember to help them attack words. We don’t just tell them “a” is like apple—we give them an apple slice with a gummy worm in it to scream, ‘ahhhhhhhhh” and cup their hand like they’re holding an apple in it. With reinforcement of this hand motion and the actual props students can hold and touch, they can approach an “a” in the middle of a word and remember to say,”ahhhh” to understand how to break the reading code. There are stories, props, and motions for all of the important phonics skills we need to be successful in learning to read. Please help us buy the props we need to create our “Fun Phonics” kits for each classroom at Norwood Elementary!

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