8 Creative Ways To Teach Phonics Online


One of the most important language competencies is related to phonics. Just like most subjects phonics can be successfully taught online. This article will reveal the best 8 creative ways to teach phonics online. 

The best creative ways to teach phonics online are:

  • Phonics Stories
  • Explanatory Videos
  • Audio Content
  • Quizzes
  • Live Meetings
  • Real World Inspiration
  • Online Resources
  • Mobile Apps

Now you know what the best methods to teach phonics online are. Let’s find out which one is the best for your students.

Phonics Stories

Students learn phonics gradually without mixing sounds together. Phonics stories are a great way to do that. Using this method they will be able to differentiate sounds and understand why groups of letters are pronounced differently compared to the standalone letters.

Stories should be integrated into your phonics course because they make the learning process easier for the students. In the phonics stories, letters have individualized personalities and childish behavior. This way, the sound that a certain group of letters makes will become more predictable and easier to remember for younger students.

There are heaps of websites that offer a wide variety of phonics stories. You can successfully integrate these stories into your training. Your students will benefit a lot from them. 

The most popular phonics stories websites are:

Explanatory Videos

Video content is one of the most engaging formats that can be used in online courses. Not only does the student learn from reading how to pronounce something but they also get to see how to pronounce the sound on a person’s face and where their tongue is.

You can create amazing video files to explain the basic concepts of phonics. To produce high-quality video content you need the following:

  • Equipment
    • Webcam
    • Microphone
  • Software
    • Recording
    • Editing

If you are using a laptop it probably has an integrated webcam and microphone. However, due to the poor quality of these two built-in components, I strongly advise against using them for any activity related to your online course. 

Spend some extra money to ensure your students benefit from high-quality training materials.   If you record using your phone or inbuilt microphone and compare that sound quality to a noise cancelling, directional microphone.  You will see a huge difference in quality.  You will find the webcam I use in my Recommended Tools page.

When it comes to software you can use to create video content there are heaps of options. For the recording part, you can take advantage of the pre-installed software that comes along with your webcam. 

The last step of creating a high-quality video for your online phonics course is to edit the raw footage. This can be done using basically any video editing software. 

However, there are some key features that you might need during the video manipulation process. From picture-in-picture mode to creating well-timed subtitles, these features will allow you to explain the topic better and easier. 

The most popular video editing tools are:

To learn more about how the different types of training content that can be successfully used in online courses, I recommend reading the following article:

ARTICLE: The Ultimate Guide to eLearning Content Types

Audio Content

Another great option when it comes to teaching phonics online is using audio content. You can create audio files that emphasize different pronunciation of phonics groups. 

You can even create the audio files yourself. To ensure high-quality recording there are some key aspects you should take into consideration, such as:

  • Microphone quality
  • Background noise
  • Special effects
  • Sound Proofing

When you have recorded your audio you can then do some finishing touches in Audio editing software to make it sound more professional.. The most popular audio editing software you can use for free is Audacity. It provides heaps of functions that improve your overall sound quality.

If you want to learn more about how to get better audio recording quality I recommend reading the following article. Whether you record your audio on its own or as part of a screen cast the article below will give you tips on making it sound more professional.

ARTICLE: Editing Audio: Sound Like A Pro In A Screencast

Quizzes

Assessment is very important during online courses. The only way you can understand if your teaching style works for students is by testing out their knowledge. 

There are heaps of methods you can use to test online students. When you are teaching phonics online you might want to ask your students to record themselves during quizzes.  Then you can grade it and discuss with them their results.

Alternatively, you can do one on one or group quizzes on live audio or video conferences.  You can do this with web conferencing software like Zoom or Webex.  Alternatively there are group voice chat software packages like Teamspeak and Discord as well as the group chat apps like Messenger and Whatsapp.  We will discuss more about live meetings below.

To learn more about different methods of assessing your students’ during online courses, I recommend reading the following article:

ARTICLE: 13 Ways To Assess Online Students

Live Meetings

It is easier to teach phonics when you can see and hear your students. That’s why it is a great idea to include live meetings in your online course. This can help your students to acknowledge the information faster and avoid misunderstandings.

Another great reason why you should include live meetings in teaching online is to reduce the isolation and lack of support that may occur.  Isolation is one of the most common reasons why students drop out of online courses. 

If you are worried about your students dropping out of your online class I recommend reading the following article to get a better understanding of their reasons:

ARTICLE: 11 Reasons Why Students Drop Out Of Online Courses

There are heaps of tools you can use to conduct live meetings that connect you and your students. The most popular applications that provide audio-video capabilities are:

If you are not sure whether live teaching fits into your class take a look at the following article:

ARTICLE: Teaching Live Online: The Pros and Cons

Real World Inspiration

The more the students connect with with what they are learning the more they will learn and engage.  If you get them to include their hobbies or interests in their class work they will be much more successful.

If they are into cooking get them to read a recipe.  If they are into a sport get them to explain the sport to you or the class.  You get the idea and how it can be an effective learning aid.

Some great ideas that you can make use of as a teacher can be found in the following article:

ARTICLE: Teachers’ tips for phonics

Online Resources

On the internet you can find a lot of resources that can be successfully implemented in your phonics course. Plenty of websites offer worksheets, training content files, and assignment ideas for teachers all around the world. 

The most popular websites that contain phonics-related online resources are:

Kiz Phonics

https://www.kizphonics.com/

KizPhonics offers a wide variety of resources that are designed for teaching kids to read using a systematic phonics approach. The website divides the resources into student ages and their knowledge level. 

You can find a lot of different resource types such as:

  • Worksheets
  • Phonics Stories
  • Lesson Plans
  • Powerpoint Lessons
  • And more.

Phonics Play

https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/

This platform provides free resources that are intended to help students to get a better understanding of phonics. To use the available resources you have to create a teacher/parent account first.

Among the most popular resources this website offers, the most noteworthy are:

  • Flashcards
  • Worksheets
  • Educational Games
  • Matching Cards
  • And more.

Letters and Sounds

http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/

This website offers free resources that are helpful to both parents and teachers. It divides the available material into different categories for students in Kindergarten to grade 7 (K-7). . 

It offers a wide variety of resources, such as:

  • Letters and Graphemes
  • Tricky Words Sentences
  • Words and Pictures Phonics
  • And more.

Mobile Apps

Mobile devices are very popular among children. Therefore, you can successfully integrate smartphones and tablets into your online phonics course. The most popular phonics apps for kids are:

Oz Phonics Bundle

This iOS bundle contains 5 standalone apps that include 67 step-by-step exercises to improve children’s phonics. The app also allows students to download and print worksheets. 

The standalone apps that are included in this bundle are:

Hooked on Phonics

This app provides a full phonics curriculum that is ready to be taught. It includes 12 different steps that ensure gradual learning of the most important phonics-related areas. 

The app hasa wide variety of activities such as:

  • Songs
  • Educational Games
  • eBooks
  • Worksheets
  • And more.

Read with Phonics

This multi-compatible app allows students to improve their knowledge about phonics and letters. It is available for free but there are some extra features that can be purchased after downloading the app. 

Its resources cover various topics, such as:

  • Segmenting
  • Blending
  • Grapheme Recognition
  • Pseudo Words
  • Word Comprehension
  • And more.

Glen Brown

I am a Technical Trainer and Manager with over 20 years experience in IT, Education and Business. I have multiple qualifications on each topic including post graduate qualifications. I have a passion for sharing knowledge and using technology to do this. If you would like to know more about me please see the about page of the website.

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