Who Will Win, Turtle or Rabbit?
Full Alphabetic Course
When students enter the full alphabetic stage of reading development, it is because they are capable of sounding out words that match their level of phonics knowledge, and they are recognizing words that they have read before automatically. In the full alphabetic phase, the student begins to accumulate sight words (words that the student recognizes automatically, without sounding them out) and orthographic (phonic) knowledge that they can apply to new words. The more practice they have sounding out new words that have the phonics patterns they have been taught, the more information they will accumulate to use in reading unfamiliar words. They should be skilled at reading closed syllables (VC,CVC) with short vowel pronunciations, because they have phonemic awareness at the three-sound level. As students gain competence and fluency with controlled text they can think more about what they are reading and integrate the text and the pictures. However, successfully transitioning from this stage requires the decoding of more complex closed syllables with digraphs (e.g., ship, thick) and blends (e.g. slip, fast, blast) and applying their strategies for decoding one-syllable words to two-syllable words with a closed-syllable pattern (e.g., rabbit, basket).