Effective First Instruction in Phonics (Based on SOR): Developing Sound-Symbol Correspondence

Focus Area: Student-Centered Literacy

Instructional Coaches, Teachers

Phase: Targeted Support

Available Now


Learning to read and spell an alphabetic system like English is a complex task for beginning readers and writers. An essential part of the learning process for beginners includes understanding the alphabetic principle – linking printed letters to their corresponding speech sounds. In order to develop a solid understanding of the alphabetic principle, students in kindergarten and first grade need to be engaged in daily, systematic phonics instruction that uses research-based practices and routines to explicitly teach the sound-symbol relationships in English.

In this 2-hour virtual workshop, participants will review the scientific evidence of how one learns to read an alphabetic system in order to examine the evidence-based instructional routines that support beginning readers with developing the phoneme-grapheme associations (sound-symbol correspondences) necessary for proficient reading and spelling.


This workshop is designed for teachers and instructional staff who provide instruction or support to students in grades K-1 with foundational reading and writing skills, and/or intervention support in reading and writing development for students in grades 2-8.


  • 2 hours
  • Participants will need a computer with access to Zoom, a camera, a microphone, and stable Internet connectivity


I plan high-quality lessons for all research-based components of foundational literacy instruction (PA, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension) that maintain high expectations for student performance.

Learning Experience

Define “the alphabetic principle”, “phonics”, “explicit”, and “systematic” by reviewing:

  • The core models for the Science of Reading.
  • The critical role that phonemic awareness and letter recognition play in reading and writing development
  • What research says about effective instruction for developing reading and writing proficiencies in a alphabetic system

Explore the research-based instructional routines that support the development of letter recognition and phoneme-grapheme associations for early readers and spellers.

Reflect upon the common pitfalls of phonics instruction, the considerations for bidialectal, bilingual, and multilingual students, and their current practices in order to identify a next step in the refinement of their instructional practices for sound-symbol correspondences