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Letters And Sounds Advice


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hi everyone

 

just wanted some advice on letters and sounds/ phonics,

 

my children are aged 3- 4.5 and i was under the impression i use phase 1 letters and sounds for this age? is that correct?

 

i feel under pressure to be introducing phonic work from parents/management/ other team members and im getting confused as to what to do.

 

alot of my children take an interest in letters/ writing that they see and often ask questions about words and letters and most are attempting writing their names,

 

but i dont think many are ready for oral /blending yet

 

and i think most of their parents (obviosuly keen to get them reading and writing as soon as poss) do try to do some work at home with them and i know this as children use letter names eg "thats an ELL like in my name" (lily) or "thats a muh for mummy" obviously not synthetic phonics.

 

so this is where my confusion lies- obviously the children have an interest in words and ask questions- so if they see an S and ask what it is i reply thats a "sss" etc but some may say "suh" as this is what mum and dad have told them- can this habbit be broken?

 

so they are picking up some grapheme- phoneme correspondence but as they cant oral segment/blend dont necessarily know what these actually mean,

 

so for example a child writing his name - " daniel" produces an S and says ive done a "sss"

 

im trying to follow the childrens interest and answer the questions they have, but obviously without phonic knowledge it doesnt mean anything to them.

 

i also have one child (he is 3.7 years) whose parents practice writing with him- he can bearly hold a pencil (when hes with us anyway), basically a booklet which increases in skills from making zig zag lines to forming letters over and over and joining up dots to make letters, now i think its horrendous, but they say he enjoys it and can he do it at nursery with him. my room is full of mark making opportunities and children have access and opps to make marks/write in all areas of provison, and is a "language rich environment" please reassure me this is enough? i shouldnt be doing silly writing exercises like this should i?

 

hope thats made sense

 

so what do i do? i obviously want to take note and encoruage the children's interest in written words and letters but they are obviously not ready for phase 2 where the phoneme-grapheme is actually taught

 

i do hope this has made sense and u can advise me

 

:D

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We have previously had pressure from parents like this and I spoke to our advisory teacher for support. She was great and came to a parents information evening to support our work. She backed us up with our methods and told the parents it had to wait until school. Ultimately we couldn't stop what they did at home but we just kept to our principles at the setting and used the "ssss" rather than "suh" in sounding out. Not an easy situation but I think you should keep to what you feel is correct and concentrate on the phase 1 stuff. Is there someone like an advisory teacher you could call for support?

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my children are aged 3- 4.5 and i was under the impression i use phase 1 letters and sounds for this age? is that correct?

 

I too was told that pre-school settings should be using the material within Phase 1 only - we're having some training on Monday so I'll let you know if I hear anything different then! :o

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Phase one should begin in nursery and continue as long as the children need it and actually run along side the other phases. I would have thought that if you have some children that are ready for phase 2 you could perhaps begin them on the phase 2 sounds. It is difficult to stamp out the habit of saying the sounds incorrectly and perhaps better to teach them properly if the children are ready. Why not give it a trial for a few weeks and see what happens. Both my children were reading and writing before they began school at 4 1/2. The eldest one was a free reader at the end of reception and the youngest during the middle of year one. They showed an interest from a very early age and I don't think I could have stopped them.

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A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound you can hear in a word and a grapheme is the written representation.

 

c/a/t

d/u/ck

t/r/a/ck

sh/o/p

g/oa/t

l/igh/t

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. I would have thought that if you have some children that are ready for phase 2 you could perhaps begin them on the phase 2 sounds.

 

i dont think they are ready for it but if they ask me "whats that letter" for example while looking at a book or my writing i say the sound, is this ok to do?

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i dont think they are ready for it but if they ask me "whats that letter" for example while looking at a book or my writing i say the sound, is this ok to do?

 

I would definitely tell them the sound if they ask.

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Just to add to that, phase 2 and all the other phases are about discrete teaching of phonics. 20 minute session daily, actually adult led teaching. Reading a book with a child and answering their questions is completely different and therefore would be fine in my eyes.

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Hi,

 

There is obviously a bit of conflict between members of staff as to the right way to proceed here. I would suggest that what is needed is either proper training to be undertaken by you all, or an advisor to be invited in to talk you all through it. Any questions and conflicts can be ironed out at this stage so that you are moving forward as a team!

 

Once you are all singing from the same hymn sheet then any pressures being brought to bear by parents can be addressed. :o

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I'm in the process of re writing our phonics programme for the whole school and would be interested to know if everyone is using Letters & Sounds.

 

Personally I wouldn't "teach" grapheme phoneme correspondence to your very youngest children but would encourage all children to hear the sounds in words (a very difficult skill because it isn't the way we function) . I'm teaching a demonstration phonics lesson on Tuesday to show parents that there is much more involved in the process and ways they can help their child. Good luck with parents

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