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We've finished teaching Phase 3 Letters and Sounds and are concentrating on the children using the sounds in their own writing. I'm aware that we have taught them correct letter formation for lower case letters, but nothing on capitals. We're now stressing that in sentences we always start with a capital letter .... but the children don't necessarily recognise these and certainly don't know how to form them.

 

What does everyone else do? I follow the Revise, Teach, Practise and apply format for L&S lessons. Would you focus on a few capitals at a time to teach them, then get them using these in practise. It just seems very sterile compared to what I think are usually quite fun sessions.

 

Any ideas would be very welcome!

Harricroft

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I have an alphabet line on my smart board, that we use to point to the letters when singing the alphabet song. When children are confident with the letter names, as well as the sounds (obviously) we introduce 2 capital letters a week writing them above our lower case alphabet line, so children can see the correspondence.

We then play games, where I write a lower case letter and they have to write the capital on whiteboards, where we practise the formation.

We also play matching games, etc.

Sorry couldn't help more, hope that gives a starting point.

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Thanks for that. I've typed the capital letters up on the interactive whiteboard and we've been playing a Countdown type game, where I say a letter, if children think they know it they put their hand up, come out and cross it off. We continue until all letters are crossed off. We try each day to see if we can beat our time.

 

We've also done as you are doing, and had children writing the letters on the whiteboard.

 

Today we concentrated on the first seven letters, checking children are forming letters correctly and we'll continue doing a few in chunks. It's just difficult knowing how many to do at one time, because we don't want to spread them out over too long a period because we're expecting them to use them in their writing if we're working on sentences - though I suppose if an alphabet chart with both caps and lower case letters is available it might not be too drastic. Then you wonder whether you should teach the most commonly used letters first?!?

 

More questions!!!!

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I teach upper and lower case letter formation when I introduce the sounds. I don't use letter names as this often confuses children when they first begin learning phonics and many will link capital letters with letter names and lower case with sounds.

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We also have the sea of sounds display from sparkle box, with the lowercase fish next to it's capital fish. This is visual from where they write so they can look for the lowercase and copy the capital. If they copy the formation wrong, we correct as and when, because as you say, they may need to write one we haven't officially covered yet.

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Hi Harrycroft - would be interesting to know what age you are refering too with phase 3 letters and sounds?

 

I am introducing phase 1 to our three and four year olds next term after to speaking with our EECO this week and advised we

should only be concentrating on the first stage in pre-school.

 

Would also be keen to know whether other settings work on letters & sounds in small (4-6 children) or larger groups? I know there are lots of great ideas in the letters and sounds book and CD which may be appropriate for younger children too.

 

dottyp

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dottyp - I'm working with Reception class. Marion, I'm teaching letter names now - didn't do it before for the very reasons you mention - but it is an expectation that letter names are covered in Phase 3.

 

Harricroft

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I have Reception and do phonics in small groups - I have a group doing Phase 5, a group on Phase 4 and 2 groups on Phase 3 (at same level but in 2 smaller groups because I find they get much more out of it than in a larger group).

 

Anyone doing Phase 3 - do you find that 4 sounds a week is too much? With my most able last year, we did the '4 sounds a week' thing as in Letters and Sounds, but then spent several weeks going over them all having taught all of them. This year with my top 2 goups, we did 2 sounds a week, which meant that we didn't then have to have consolidation weeks as they were secure with the new sounds having learnt them a little more slowly.

 

With my 2 current phase 3 groups, 1 sound a week is proving tricky - agh!! However, I think I'm right in hoping that we do need to continue introducing new sounds (even if only 1 a week) and that they'll eventually be able to use them - rather than, for example, doing 'ai' over and over til they 'get it'. Not sure though....

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As I said I'm not using L&S but I teach 5 sounds a week when introducing the initial 44 phonemes then slow down when we introduce alternative graphemes. I teach whole class and then children work in smaller groups to consolidate what they have been taught.

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