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What did I do before phonics international?!

 
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Kat



Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:45 pm    Post subject: What did I do before phonics international?! Reply with quote

As the thread title suggests, I find myself continually wondering how I managed without the resources provided by the phonics international programme.

Having such a comprehensive bank of resources available at the click of a mouse is just wonderful.

I continue to introduce the sounds at a rate of two a week as I have a mixed class and no teaching assisstant and cannot manage to teach a new sound to each class each day.
To be honest however, even if I had a single class I think that,to get the value out of all the available resources, I would still teach at the same rate.

On day one I use the picture posters to introduce the sounds.


I use the cumulative wordlists when training the children to sound out and blend to read, and also to segment, counting the sounds, drawing the dashes and writing the graphemes in order all through the word.
No more time wasted compiling lists of decodable words- its all done for you.
The wordlists provide opportunities to develop vocabulary and grammar as they contain some unfamiliar words, homophones and plurals.

I model the correct letter formation and the children skywrite and practise letter formation on the whiteboard.
The appropriate colour the sounds sheet and one or two wordlists are stuck into the childrens sound books for homework.

The older children are currently using a booklet made of the 'I can read' sheets from unit 2 as their reading material.
As they are very familiar with all the GPCs, they are working on developing fluency.
They also draw little pictures to illustrate the text.
This shows they comprehend the material, gives the children a sense of pride and makes the decodable text more attractive and personal.
The younger children (YR) will begin doing similar work on the unit one decodable text shortly.

The YR are currently using the unit 1 'I can read, write and draw' pages (again stapled into a book) to do similar work but at at word level.
The Y1 children are using the 'I can read, write and draw' sheets as an activity while I work with the YR children.

On day two we use the appropriate sound book activity sheets, sounding out and blending words to read and also segmenting to spell.
The children are encouraged to take turns using each word in sentence.
We discuss what pictures the children might draw - focusing on a max of 3.
The children trace and write the target grapheme and the sheet is then stuck into the sound books to take home. Often they will have to complete the tracing/writing at home.
I find the guidance written on the sheet helps to ensure commonality of approach between school and home.

I try to get time to do a 'Read the words make up a story sheet' each week,as I feel it is a great way to develop speaking and listening skills and to develop vocabulary all in a very integrated way, however this is not always possible.

Even if I don't get a chance to work formally on these sheets as often as I would like, I glance at the suggested vocabulary and try to find a way to use some of the unfamiliar words during the week to help develop their vocabulary.
I feel it is extremely important to consistently be aware of the importance of developing childrens language skills and expanding their vocabulary both formally and incidentally throughout the school day.

Reading exciting stories for the children can provide lots of opportunities for this type of work.
Occasionally as I read a story I'll come across a decodable but unfamiliar word. Rather then read it I'll write it up on the board, encouraging the children to sound out and blend to read it themselves. They take great pride in being able to read unfamiliar words and then learning what they mean and how and where to use them.

I have the alphabetic code overview chart on display and when the children encounter an as yet untaught GPC, I show them where it fits in the overview, tell them what it is and that they will learn it in time.
The overview chart alone is a super resource and provides a clearcut and systematic masterplan for teaching the alphabetic code from simple to complex.
It gives me great confidence to know exactly what the next step is and where each GPC fits into the plan.

There are still many of the resources which I have yet to make use of but I will in time. (Using the capital and lower case grapheme cards for paired matching games is next on my list).

The children are doing wonderfully well and there is a great feeling of confidence and self esteem in the classroom.

The learning support teacher is using the programme with various children up throughout the school and is as amazed, delighted and grateful at how much easier it has made his job to have all these resources at his fingertips.

I appreciate that using the programme doesn't preclude the use of many of my existing Jolly Phonic resources.

The programme has removed the hassle and the time consuming task of planning and piecing together the necessary resources and allowed me more time to focus on teaching.
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2448
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kat - I really enjoyed reading your posting. You can imagine that as a new author of these resources, it is very exciting to hear people describe how they are using them in their different settings.

I am using the programme across several age ranges in the primary school where I work part-time. Most of our reception pupils recognise most of the letter/s-sound correspondences to which they have been introduced and they can 'hear' the target words when sounded out and they can segment simple words to spell. I usually select some of the words off the latest Sounds Book activity sheet to rehearse some blending and segmenting on the whiteboard at first before giving the children their own sheet.

After this introduction, the children sit at tables to do their own sheets. Some children are at the level of learning the letter/s-sound correspondence and saying the sounds without yet being able to do their own blending and hearing the 'target word'. Some children are able to sound out and hear the target word of the longer words. The chidren then say what the words mean by giving a simple definition or saying them in a sentence. If they don't know the meaning of the blended word, the adult tells them the meaning - or gives them alternate meanings if the words are homophones.

Sharing the programme with teaching assistants working with some older pupils who need a boost in their phonic knowledge and skills is proving extremely successful. The continuity we are able to achieve by the existence of the systematic resources and their straightforward format is impressive if I say so myself. In some cases there are three different adults timetabled to provide systematic work often and regularly throughout the week for the same pupils. The change of staffing has not handicapped these pupils who are making great progress with the continuity of the resources.

One Year Two pupil, for example, who knew no digraphs and who could not blend for reading or segment for spelling at all at the beginning of this term is now able to read and spell some words which are four and five sounds long - including with digraphs. This pupil transferred from another school without the same phonic foundations as her current peers.

Like you Kat, I tend to staple up several of the sheets to make booklets from the 'I can read, write and draw' strand and from the 'I can read' strand.

We have a couple of reception children who are ahead of their peers in terms of the skills of blending and segmenting but we did not want to race ahead with more and more letter/s-sound correspondences. Instead, we provide material at word and text level to enable these children to rehearse their skills within the letter/s-sound correspondences introduced to date. This works very well and allows us great flexibility of differentiation and extension.

I do appreciate you continuing to describe how you are using the resources. I have promised further suggestions for users of the programme and have not yet fulfilled that promise as I have been so busy travelling around the country providing teacher-training.

My programme is proving to be extremely useful in providing the teacher-training. References to the need for Alphabetic Code charts are supported by the charts available for free in unit 1 in their various formats. These are being very well received. As you know, I am hoping to spread the idea world-wide that we all need to have a common visual perception of an Alphabetic Code chart and share this with parents, teachers and the pupils themselves. The various charts should make excellent working documents for training, teaching, learning and tracking.

I do hope that others will start to join us in sharing their experiences in using the programme in their different settings and circumstances.

Best wishes everyone. Laughing
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2448
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Progress with some Year Two pupils over the last term (September - December):

Two boys who were using some resources of the Phonics International programme (mainly the Sounds Book activity sheets and the I can read texts for reading and dictation) for three sessions a week (once with a teacher and once each with two teaching assistants) made so much progress that they did better on a 'saying the sounds' test than their peers in the Year Two cohort. The boys simply reflected what they had been taught during this period - and they were perfectly able to 'learn' what they had been introduced to and rehearsed.

The class teacher decided that they had made so much improvement that they could 'rejoin' the rest of the class.

What a great shame that the class teacher couldn't view the boys' progress 'the other way round' and consider, instead, the whole cohort joining into the Phonics International programme instead of taking the boys off the programme!

This is an anecdote which isn't complete - and we shall just have to see what happens next! Wink
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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