Angelica Lima, M.A.Ed.
Why I Created Viva Phonics:
Fusing education and technology for improved reading performance…
I created Viva Phonics to improve the ability of students to grasp the fundamentals of reading. Tools that keep them interested, focused and immersed in the process: planting the seeds for a lifelong love of reading and books.
Reading is the gateway to knowledge, creativity and effective communications. My goal, and my passion, is teaching my students how to read so they can excel in and out of school and be powerful learners, communicators and creators.
Viva Phonics helps students crack the reading code!
As a professional educator with over 10 years of experience in teaching Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language (ESL), I found that students from all backgrounds–with both English as a first and second language – had trouble learning how to read. Students were often guessing whole words and they had trouble with spelling. This observation sparked a quest to investigate why this happened and what I could do to help those students become successful readers.
I found that students were not provided enough practice in decoding. Students were often encouraged to guess by looking at pictures or saying a word that “made sense”.
The solution I follow is a simple step-by-step phonics program. A system that provides a comprehensive phonics review, teaching students how to break the reading code. Yes! I mean teach your child how to read again. Through my research and field-testing, I determined there are three major steps for a reading program to be effective: Sounds; Small Steps; Practice;
- Sounds: We have to explicitly teach the sounds that letters and patterns of letters represent.
- Small Steps: We must follow a student-friendly system that progresses in small steps – from simple to complex building blocks –and ensure that each step is mastered before moving on to the next.
- Practice: We must practice reading every day.
Loaded with this new knowledge I had to figure out the best method to deliver this system to my students.
Standard flashcards were my first choice. However, as the paper and stock can get easily worn down and damaged, I kept looking for an even better idea. That’s when I came up with the concept of video flashcards.
I also knew they needed extensive, daily practice such as drilling on the words in context so I created sentences and stories from the set of blends and words we practiced.
Presto! Like magic. Students were breaking the code! They were reading with ease! Frustration was replaced with success!
Now with Viva Phonics, it is easier for students everywhere to learn to read!