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an International Online Synthetic Phonics Programme
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Thinking about storage!

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Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2469
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:56 am    Post subject: Thinking about storage! Reply with quote

Thinking about storage!

First of all - I need to say the obvious...

Your Phonics International programme is 'stored' online for you.

From time to time there will be additions and improvements to the resources and I will notify everyone via this message board when this happens.

[Further spelling resources are already in the pipeline for unit 7 and very shortly there will be some additional Sounds Book activity sheets for unit 6.]

These kinds of additions and improvements will be for no extra charge - it is simply a matter of me continuously striving to improve the programme which, as you know, is very new!

Many people using the programme, especially parents I imagine, would have no real need to make additional hard copies other than printing off the resources needed for the actual teaching and learning at any one time. Some resources can be used directly online if the learner is comfortable to use the 'screen' instead of paper sometimes. It is better for the Sounds Book activity sheets to be used in hard copy if possible.

Some strands of work such as the I can read texts are ideal made up as booklets of all the sheets in any particular unit. This is what I do in my teaching situation. I find the break-up of the Alphabetic Code teaching into units with different colours to distinguish them very helpful indeed in organisational terms and for motivation. Both the 'teachers' and the 'learners' get a sense of progression and can readily refer to the same colour-coded graphemes on the colour versions of The Alphabetic Code charts.

If you are a parent or tutor using this programme, I really would like to encourage you to consider your computer as the 'store' and simply become familiar with all the resources of each unit so that you are confident to print off material only 'as needed'. That is the beauty of having an online programme.


Using the programme in schools may be a different matter. I, myself, find it very useful to have the programme filed in 12 coloured files (luckily I have found clip files which actually match the colours of the units even though these are from different manufacturers!).

In a school scenario, the programme filed in 'hard copy' allows all staff a ready-reference point to see what is available and how all the various strands of work fit together.

My 12 files have dividers. Everyone who decides to set up hard copies for ready-reference needs to make his or her own decision regarding how to file the example copies and this is a matter of preference.

Some people may wish to have 'loose copies' in some form of 'pocket-files'.

Many infant teachers have cabinets with plastic tubs of step-by-step phonics materials. These could be used as unit-by-unit storage tubs.

People might wish to store the complete strands of work together. Thus, all the Sounds Book activity sheets might be in one file. All the Word Lists might be in one file. All the Alphabetic Code charts might be in a file - and so on.

My 'unit' files are divided into the order in which I tend to use the materials:

1) The Picture Cards are used for phoneme awareness work (oral segmenting) and can be used to make up spelling games with other resources of the programme. I'll provide more specific examples of this later and, in any event, I do intend to put together more 'games' in the near future. These are in units 1 - 6.

2) The A5 Picture Sounds Book sheets are suitable for the early introduction of new letter/s-sound correspondences. These are great stuck into an exercise or scrap book to build up the code and to keep revisiting each sheet. These are in units 1 - 6.

3) The Picture Posters - ideal for supporting the teaching of early letter/s-sound correspondences. These are in units 1 - 6.

4) The Sounds Book activity sheets. These make up the core strand of the whole programme and they are essential to use. They are in units 1 - 12.

These sheets are so important that when they have been completed, we stick them in exercise books (or you could punch holes in for learners' files), and these go from school to home back to school so that a genuine partnership can be facilitated. This is core learning and it very important for the best possible progress to inform, or to share, with home.

5) The Mini Posters with cumulative words support the teacher when introducing the Sounds Book activity sheets and they are ideal visual aids. They are in units 1 - 12.

6) Proforma for Word List spellings and Word Lists. These are in units 1 - 6.

7) Blend Word Cards can be used for straightforward blending practice or for 'word sorting' or to make reading and spelling games with the Picture Cards. These are in units 1 - 6.

Cool I can read, write and draw sheets with cumulative words. These are in units 1 - 6.

9) Read the words, make up a story - enrichment vocabulary and creative ideas sheets in units 1 - 6.

10) I can read text level sheets ideal to make up into unit booklets. They are in units 1 - 12.

In addition, there are different resources in various units such as the handwriting resources, the origami books, the verb endings cards and the alphabet sorting cards. These can be filed in the appropriate unit-file.

Please note that there are fewer strands in units 7 to 12 as by this stage, learners can now read and the programme then focuses on spelling whilst the learners should be reading all sorts of books in the 'wider curriculum'.

I find that sometimes I print off the resources to be used by pupils, and at other times it seems more suitable to photocopy a 'master hard copy'. This is the kind of decision that is about preference and personal circumstances.

There are some resources which are needed so often in a school that laminating them or printing them on card makes sense.

On the other hand, I don't want people avoiding 'writing' on the resources as they are intended to be 'working documents'.

The advantage of having readily printable posters is enormous. When paper copies of The Alphabetic Code charts become tatty, or the teacher has written on additional information or words and it is time to 'refresh' the display, it is so easy simply to print off another copy as needed.

Of course, my vision for the programme is the 'sharing' of it between schools and homes. There are many resources which would be ideal for supporting a little bit of extra revision at home. Schools could even make up games to 'lend' to parents or simply send paper versions of the materials home as appropriate.

Some resources like the Say the Sounds Posters in units 1 - 5 make ideal assessment material. The teacher simply ticks of correct responses and notes down incorrect ones and 'dates' the paper sheet per pupil, and then files these for future comparison.

There are many resources within the Phonics International programme that schools can use for both teaching and learning purposes and which can then 'double up' as assessment resources of Alphabetic Code knowledge and the skills of blending and segmenting.

Whatever you can use for 'reading', you can usually also use for 'spelling'!

For example, you can ask pupils to 'read' the Word List cards - but then an adult can read aloud the same words for pupils to hear and segment the spoken words into sounds for spelling purposes.

The I can read texts can be used for reading, for discussion, for 'grapheme' or 'word' sorting and for dictation purposes. Sometimes they might also be used as the stimulus for further creative writing or for translating into joined handwriting for a handwriting exercise.

The idea is that once teachers know their programme, the only limit to it is the teachers' own resourcefulness!

This may never happen - but I do hope, over time, that people will share their ideas of how they have used the programme and found it the most helpful. Laughing
Debbie Hepplewhite
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Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a hard copy of the whole programme with each separate resource stored in plastic pockets and filed as units into 2 separate accordion files- one for units 1-6 and one for units 7-12.

Recently, as I prepare for the fortnight ahead, I have begun to make a mastercopy file for each new GPC I plan to introduce - paperclipping together the resources I currently find most useful which include the picture posters, the mini posters, the sounds book activity sheet/s, the wordlists and the decodable text sheets relevant to that GPC- and simply storing them in a cardboard A4 size folder for the appropriate unit.

Not only will this save me time when my next group of children come to this GPC, but it will be useful to have this set easily to hand when required to help an older learner fill in some gaps in code knowledge.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have also made 2 hard copies of all the resources. (One for myself and one for the central area for others to use). All the resources fit comfortably into 4 large lever arch files, three units per folder.

We have decided to make storage 'resource' boxes for each sound. Small transparent boxes containing objects that have that particular phoneme somewhere in the word (not just initial sound). We will also add laminated cards, photos and other resources into these boxes over time. We thought that it might be an idea to put a copy of all related 'phonics international' materials relating to that sound into a small display folder within the box.

I think that having a hard copy saves time when you want to prepare lessons and just want to grab copies. However, my favourite aspect of the programme is the fact that it is all online and is continually updated. Even though hard copies have been made, changes are easily made if the programme is added to or updated.
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I recommend that schools identify one or even two members of staff to print off and organise a central bank of Phonics International resources!

It may well be that, later, individual teachers wish to 'double up' on these resources to have their 'own' in their classroom - but, at first, it is a good idea to focus on creating a central store of resources for teachers to become familiar with and to decide on their needs.

In the first year of adopting Phonics International as a whole school programme, the whole school, in effect, is at the level of 'intervention'. It is a 'whole school intervention'.

This will mean that teachers have to make choices about where and how to access the programme for their older pupils. So, for example, Year Six children in a primary school may only have a short time to set up maximum effect. It is not appropriate, then, to start the PI programme at 'unit 1' in order to 'work through the units'. It may well be better to target a 'sound' at a time and work across the 'rows' looking at which units the focus spelling alternatives are located.

Over time, the children who have had PI from the beginning of their schooling will move up the school and be much easier to teach. Eventually, the school will be very familiar with the PI programme's resources and have established rigorous routines.

I do hope, as well, that schools will measure the effectiveness of their teaching with the advice and support of the programme's resources.
Debbie Hepplewhite
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