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Sounds Books question

 
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jennie



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:19 am    Post subject: Sounds Books question Reply with quote

Teachers,

What is your favorite way to create the Sounds Books? (Whether for keeping the cost down, or for ease of compilation, or for attractiveness, etc....)

Do you use grapheme tiles and have the students glue them into a little book?

Do you print out the flash cards in booklet size?

Print out the code friezes?

Other?

Thanks!

Jennie
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jennie,

Prompted by your question, I've asked Mr H to provide us with a 'work examples' page on the Phonics International website so that we can begin to share the variety of what we do with the PI resources and to see the work of real learners.

At the moment he is busy scanning the Sounds Book of a Reception pupil in England (= 4 to 5 year olds). The Reception teacher is using the PI resources increasingly as she asssimilates what is available and how best she can use them. When she starts the academic year next time, she plans to use more of the resources (from both the Early Years Starter Package and the full PI programme) and will continue to experiment with their usefulness over time.

This particular teacher has used both types of Alphabetic Code Frieze Posters - those from the full PI programme and those from the Early Years Starter Package. She has chosen to use the EYSP Frieze Posters as her 'Flash Cards' when she provides lesson introductions 'on the carpet'.

The teacher is building up her PI resources in a cabinet with different coloured trays - each one labelled as 'units' (unit 1, unit 2a, unit 2b, unit 3, unit 4, unit 5). She keeps some of the resources which will be paper-based for the children in folders so that she can readily photocopy them when needed.

As unit 2 includes a large number of new letter/s-sound correspondences, she has divided the resources up into two halves in two separate trays labelled 'unit 2a' and 'unit 2b'.

On each tray label, she also lists the graphemes taught in that unit for quick reference. This is helpful for any adults who may help out in the classroom.

This particular teacher made a decision to teach the letter/s-sound correspondences from PI units 1 to 5 at the pace of three per week, and then she revisited the letter/s-sound correspondences from the digraphs in unit 2 - expanding on previous work with sentence-level work for reading and writing - and text level reading as appropriate. She has just completed a grapheme assessment (see the graphemes, say the sound) using the 'Say the Sounds Poster no. 13 from unit 5 of the full PI programme, and the average number of correspondences known by the children was 45! She tells me that they had not even completed unit 5 at the time of the assessment but they still knew securely a huge number of correspondences for four to five year olds. Some of the children arrived in the Reception class knowing around 20 single letters and their sounds, but others knew none at all or only 2 or 3 - so there has been a significant amount of learning in the class - and all the children can blend simple words.

The teacher has introduced the notion of 'split digraphs' through the children's wider experiences (that is, a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e) whilst deciding that there is more than ample planned work to learn in units 1 to 5 for her four to five year olds. As you know, split digraphs are formally introduced in unit 6.

This teacher provides a little exercise book for each child for the 'Sounds Book'. This is sent home and comes back to school every day in a 'book bag'. In this you will see that the children stick in their own paper Grapheme Tile, draw an example picture, write the grapheme and sometimes write an example word as well. The teacher glues activity suggestions for parents and a mini-alphabetic code chart in the front or back of the Sounds Book to inform parents.

You will notice that the children also glue in their own paper Word Lists for blending and they are allowed to tick the words as they blend them. In addition to the child blending the words independently, an adult always hears each child blend the words as well and sometimes the adult also ticks the words.

These Word Lists are used in a 'layered' way. The teacher does not start giving the word lists to the children until they understand how to blend and they are beginning to be able to blend. Note that the word lists include graphemes which have been taught earlier and they do not generally include the latest graphemes taught. This means that the graphemes in the word lists are usually 'very secure' by this stage enabling the children to 'say the sounds' very confidently which increases their ability to 'hear' the target word.

Of course some children are able to 'blend' very easily right from the start of being taught this skill, but others take much longer to be able to blend independently. The latter group of children may be able to 'hear' target words when an adult says the sounds all-through-the-word - and/or when the target word is common in their oral vocabularies.

When children are not familiar with the words they have blended, the adults should routinely describe what those words mean and say them in simple sentences to model the speaking process as well as the meaning.

Please note that this particular teacher does not include a spelling routine in the Sounds Books, but the children have another exercise book which they use for doing some simple work 'from sound to print' (sub-skills of spelling and spelling through dictations).

This ranges from them 'hearing the sound' which the adult provides and just writing a single letter ("Can you write the code for /b/, /t/, /m/?") - to digraphs ("Can you write the code for /sh/, /ch/, /ee/?") - to words ("Can you write 'cat', 'run', 'ship', 'coat'?") - to simple sentences ("Can you write 'The ant sips from the tap'?") as appropriate to the stage of learning and work previously well covered.

Jennie - I know that you know all these things, but I think it will be a very good addition to the website for everyone to share their practices and describe what works for them.

I forgot to say that as this Reception teacher goes on to revise the letter/s-sound correspondences for units 1 to 5, she is then going to start using the Sounds Book Activity Sheets from the full programme.

When I was Reception teaching, I used the Sounds Book Activity Sheets from the full programme from the outset, but I do think it is a good idea to start off with the Early Years Starter Package Sounds Book ideas and then revise with the full programme's Sounds Book Activity Sheets - which also guarantee regular spelling routines. By this stage, children will also be more comfortable and familiar with writing letter shapes and writing their spellings.

Please note (everyone) that the Sounds Book Activity Sheets are the core resource of the Phonics International programme and should definitely be used at some point for the best teaching and learning processes.

I have glued these Sounds Book Activity Sheets into scrap books for pupils - but with older pupils I punch holes in the TOP of the sheet and file them in clip files for each pupil. In effect, they are filed 'sideways' with the bottom of the paper folded-up as described on the sheets for the spelling.
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/Sounds-Book-aged-4.html

Here you are Jennie!

You can find the 'Work Samples' button down the left hand menu bar on the homepage.

I would welcome other people sending me scanned work for possible inclusion - but please add a few words of information to go along with any scans.

For example, I am sure there must be plenty of delightful pictures on Sounds Book Activity Sheets - and plenty of examples of spellings on the folded-up part of these sheets!

I'll also provide some more examples now that I know we have a 'Work Samples' page 'up and running' online.

Thank you Jennie, for being the catalyst for this! Wink Very Happy
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
She has just completed a grapheme assessment (see the graphemes, say the sound) using the 'Say the Sounds Poster no. 13 from unit 5 of the full PI programme, and the average number of correspondences known by the children was 45!


We now provide this assessment FREE on the PI homepage. Anyone can use this assessment to see how their results compare with this one Reception class.

Bearing in mind, of course, that these are English-speaking children!

Nevertheless, I do stress how helpful it is for people to start looking at the statistics of what they can achieve - not in the sense of pushing ever higher for results, but to ensure that it is not just a 'lottery' for children as to which schools they attend and which teachers they have.

Currently, even in the countries where national inquiries concluded that synthetic phonics teaching is the most effective (America, Australia and England), it is still not guaranteed that student-teachers are trained in the synthetic phonics teaching principles, nor teachers already in-service, nor do all schools have SP teaching as school policy.

We have a very, very long way to go before the 'lottery' element is taken out of the teaching scenario!

Meanwhile, we can all describe our practices and develop them - and share our results where possible in a collegial - not competitive - way! Wink
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/unit5_pdfs/Assesment_Say_The_Sounds_5_K.pdf

You can see my favourite assessment Poster here.

All the pages have the same letter/s-sound correspondences but the first poster (no. 13) includes the corrrespondences in the order that they are introduced in the PI programme.

The following posters are just 'jumbled up' to ensure that children aren't simply learning the 'sounds' off by heart - especially the ones at the beginning of the teaching.

If everyone used one of these posters, they would see the gaps in Alphabetic Code knowledge and get an idea of where learners may need to start - or revisit - the PI programme.

One word of caution, however:

Just because some learners cannot 'say the sounds' automatically from seeing these graphemes this doesn't mean that they cannot read words with these correspondences included!

Many school pupils have simply not been taught the Alphabetic Code as chunks of code. Instead, they may have been taught by a method which introduces whole words to be learnt one by one - or as they occur in reading book schemes.

Ultimately, however, many of these pupils will hit a ceiling whereby they do not recognise the breadth of new vocabulary in literature which becomes increasingly difficult over the years.

It is also more likely that pupils taught by whole word methods will not be as good at spelling as they could be. Some pupils with near 'photographic' memories are lucky enough to be naturally good spellers - and the rest are likely to be very weak.

Unfortunately, often teachers do not know how to address levels of weak spelling - and secondary school teachers are employed to teach their subject - not spelling per se.

However, it is perfectly possible for secondary school teachers to be trained in the synthetic phonics principles and to learn how to model the processes of segmenting for spelling and blending for reading even within their normal 'subject' lessons.

Ah - we yearn for an ideal education system for our children!!!!
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