Rachel Terlop

Teacher, District of Columbia Public Schools, and Adjunct Professor, Trinity Washington University

Gross Motor Movement and Phonics Instruction

Gross motor movement can positively impact student's ability to decode words - by pairing a letter with a keyword, picture, sound, and movement, students are more able to retain decoding information.

MEET Rachel Terlop

When teaching in an inner-city elementary school in Washington DC, the majority of my first grade class was reading below grade level. Our scripted phonics program was teaching students letters and sounds, but students were bored and disengaged. I put the alphabet up on the wall with the keyword and picture associated with each letter and taught students to punch and kick each letter as they sounded out the word. Decoding became an exciting intervention, and my target group of six students all made a year’s growth (as determined by DC public school standards) within a month of starting the intervention. I'm passionate about students learning, and I'm passionate about making every day in the classroom a WOW day. Adding gross motor movement to phonics is good for everyone. I’m a third-generation educator, sixth year teacher, and adjunct professor. Teaching has taken me to Green Bay, Nairobi, and Washington DC. I’ll be starting my PhD in fall 2019.