It was great to get this feedback via Twitter DM (Direct Message) - thank you!
Hi Debbie. I am new to EYFS (20 years in Juniors) but I wanted to do develop my phonics understanding so I completed your course. Thank you it has been amazing and the impact on the children has been amazing.
When I asked if I could copy and paste the feedback, I received this further comment:
Please do use my comments. I just wish they would implement more of your training in university! My son's in Y3 and I am using your scheme to try and help him with his spelling! Thank you again â�¤ï¸�
This is the conversation we shared about when to correct a spelling:
Question from this teacher:
When should you correct a childâ€™s spelling? One of my parents has contacted me and said they drew a picture and spelt the word 'plain' instead of 'plane' and she didnâ€™t know whether to correct or not. Would you wait until it is covered in your phonic units of work and then discuss? Thank you so much for any advice.
You ask a really good question. There are times when it is not appropriate to address a child's spelling. For a teacher, I usually give the example of when a child brings in some writing that they've voluntarily done at home which is often neither very neat nor well-spelt. This is not the time to start picking out individual wrong spellings.
But, ideally as a teacher, you make it the culture of the school that, together, you and the children are working on improving spellings and everyone accepts that the children 'need plenty of help with that'. So it's all about the teachers constantly 'helping' the children with spelling.
Any common words commonly spelt incorrectly, even if they're easy such as 'with' and 'went' which are often spelt 'whith' and 'whent' , need to end up as examples on the display board to remind the children - and for the teacher NOT to accept such mistakes.
With the situation of a child being at home, support the parents to know that the English alphabetic code is the most complex alphabetic code in the world. If you can, alert the parents to my https://alphabeticcodecharts.com
site so they can see versions of the charts and perhaps choose one of the 'mini' charts - or perhaps the school can provide the homes with charts.
This sets the parents up to be able to constantly 'help' their children with spelling. So, in the right context, the parent would say, 'What a fab plane, you're drawn that so well, now let me help you with the spelling of plane as it has a different spelling alternative. You've got the sounds right but in that
word, you need the split digraph spelling so it looks like this 'plane'. In fact, that is actually an abbreviation for the full word 'aeroplane' which is a really unusual spelling. We spell it like this......'
So you see, it's about the culture for spelling being in it together
not a 'right or wrong' scenario where the child feels bad about the parent or teacher 'correcting' the spelling. (Or the adult feeling bad about pointing out the spelling.) It's not about 'correction' so much as 'helping'.
You could provide parents with this link or this poster to support spelling even at home - or to explain how you are going to support spelling in the school with reference to alphabetic code charts: https://phonicsinternational.com/Let_me ... l_that.pdf
Thank you so much. This is so helpful. It is so difficult when we are learning through online learning. I have shared your website and resources with my parents. I have 3 children myself 2 of which had no phonics input and one did. I really noticed the difference and this is one of my reasons for being so passionate about phonics. The most amazing thing is the little girl who spelt 'plain' is deaf and has cochlear implants and her mum is amazed with the progress she has made. Thank you so much for all the amazing work you do and for replying to me â�¤ï¸�
Fantastic to hear your circumstances and the little deaf girl's. Once teachers and parents get on board with the use of the alphabetic code charts, they can teach any spelling, or alternative pronunciation, as required, as constant 'incidental' phonics teaching.
I think I make it really, really clear that my programme design, core resources design, and guidance, is very much based on sharing with parents and carers. I don't believe in patronising them or keeping our teaching methods secret or belonging to teachers only. It seems to me you have embodied this ethos already. I'm still trying to persuade some schools this should be the approach but often teachers don't engage with the sending of the school's book bag home with the children's phonics folders. But why don't they? It just takes a bit of getting used to - but not that much!
Note: Words that sound the same when spoken but have different meanings, and sometimes they are spelt differently such as 'plain' and 'plane' are homophones. The English language has many such words and both teachers and parents can explain this to children as needed.
Here is another useful poster for incidental help with reading: