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    whole language and phonics
    By Susan

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    I am a first grade teacher in Virginia and I firmly believe that you need to teach using whole language and phonics rather than one or the other. Children have different learning styles and benefit from both. I use Open Court Phonics and have seen vast improvements in the way the children learn phonics and decoding skills, as well as handwriting skills. I use whole language in the form of songs, poems, and simple stories. I feel that if they can memorize some things, it helps with concept of print, noticing new words, and good reading strategies. I also model reading and writing before my children take on a new language activity. Therefore, if I were you, I would not limit my teachings to only whole language or only phonics. The first graders need both!

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