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Hi, Have any members seen the Foundation planning on the 'Playing with sounds CD Rom?' - I stumbled across it the other day ... it looks useful, but not sure how? Has anyone else found it, used it or received any guidance on it???? :o

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Hi June

I haven't seen it but would be interested as I have recently been on a course for playing with letters and sounds. Can you remember where you stumbled across it?

Linda

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You can get Playing with sounds from the DFES ref : 0280 2004. It is just an updated version of PIPs. Same games just in a friendlier format.

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Our LEA did a course. i use it al the time and chn have really resonded well. never had any foundation stage formal training so was making phonics up as i went along....this has revelutionised our work in nclass and the chn love the games. The foldeer is alos good for ideas of how to extend the work into child inititated laerning. Lots of the games also feature in the ALS for yaer 1 so that has helped my pooper year 1 children!

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The medium term planner on the cd rom is an older document produced pre playing with sounds so will only refer to PIps stages which are slightly re aligned now in the supplementary Playing with Sounds. The strategy approach to phonics is synthetic (ie directly taught skills of blending/segmenting) rather than analytic in approach and now that the groups of initial phonemes had also been rejigged you can blend/segment cvc words from the start of R, which is where it is expected for this to be done. I wish PWS had been published years ago!

Cx

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Playing with sounds is NOT synthetic phonics it is just moving more towards a more synthetic phonic method than Progression in Phonics.

 

I use a purely synthetic phonic method and in three weeks all my children are reading decodeable books. These children only started in reception this summer term and I have a wide range of abilties in my class. Only one child could read beofre starting school.

 

http://www.rrf.org.uk/53%20Playing%20With%...ds%20Review.htm for more info on SP with plenty of research to back up their claims.

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The Playing with Sounds file comes with a CDROM that has some nice talking book stories with moving pics that can be downloaded onto your class computer. (Oh, and 2 free dry pens too!). There are also some research findings on there to support the programme.

 

The guidance we have received from the literacy consultant is that sounds should be taught 1 a day starting immediately the children have settled in Reception. Using this system, Jolly Phonics is just as good as Playing with Sounds and word-building would start on day 7 of the programme. I love Jolly Phonics and have used it very successfully for several years. However, I have incorporated several of the PwS activities this year because they are great fun :D

 

PS You can download the PwS programme from the internet if you can't wait for the snail mail!

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...but did you read the link I gave...I guess not if you think "Jolly Phonics is as good as Playing with Sounds."

 

I'm afraid the lure of free pens won't convince me.

 

Last year I used the NLS strategies with a similar ability reception class and they certainly weren't at the point my new class are at.

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Mousebat

 

What do you think of Jolly Phonics? We use it in our pre-school: the children enjoy the actions and making the sounds, but we don't do the worksheets. Since our children are as young as 2 1/2, we need to make these sessions quick and fun. I'm not a qualified teacher, and I would like to understand the whole phonics debate more clearly (hence my earlier question about decodeable books)!

 

Any help you could give (in words of one syllable if possible) would be appreciated...

 

Maz

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I'm using Jolly Phonics but you have to follow the handbook to the 'letter' (well almost). We learn a sound a day, they take home a sound book and sound games to play. We blend sounds to make words in group activities. We look at basic c-v-c words and decode them. It's all there in the Handbook. I don't do worksheets as I don't think they enhance their learning.I think the actions are daft but the children like them and so I overcome my embarassment.

I think that 2 and a half is too young. Jolly Phonics is for Recpetion age but I would maybe start the basics ie learning sounds with four year olds - it depends on your kids really.

Decodable books such as Jelly and Bean have a mixture of the 45 key Recpetion sight words and basic phonetically sounding words.

The first set of letters you learn are satpin from which the children can build words after one week s/a/t or p/i/n or p/a/t.

 

This is the first time I've used it and I'm amazed at the results so far.

 

Try the links I've provided - they explain SP in great great detail.

 

Regards

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But reading isn't just decoding. Children need to be aware that to read they have to develop other skills to help with those words that they can't decode. They need to be made aware of looking at the pictures for clues, splitting words into chunks, looking for smaller words within larger words, missing a tricky word out carrying on reading and then coming back to the tricky word.

The worst thing is children doing letter sounds too early and they are not ready, being totally confused and being put off for life.

The most important foundation is the step 1 in PiPs - general sound discrimination, speech sound discrimination, rhythm and rhyme and alliteration. Cards 1 to 5 in Playing with sounds. If this building block isn't in place for the child then it seems they have an uphill battle.

I'm a big advocate of children learning their sight words in Reception again though some children just aren't ready for this until Year 1. When a child sees a word in a book and thinks gosh I know that word its one from my 'word wall' then its a magical moment. I remember looking at Bibles with a Reception class many moons ago and one girl said Look Miss even this book has the word 'the' in it!

 

I think the pressure is put on us too much by parents for a child to read. I've heard comments such as I'll be glad when you get to school then you will learn to read! What about pre reading skills that we teach the children - do these not mean anything!

 

Sorry about the rant and if it doesn't make sense but the subject of reading is very close to my heart.

Gem

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I think it's a subject close to everyone's heart, Gem. It's good to see it being discussed from different points of view without the descent into scorn and insults which sometimes happens with this subject!

 

Thanks for the links Mousebat. I'm going to harvest any good references during this discussion and have a separate section on the links page - the subject comes up so frequently that I think it deserves its own area. :)

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Mousebat,

 

If you do not use the worksheets, how do you work the handwriting part? That has always been my concern. I am sure that if I only did one sound/day it would keep being interesting for the children... but it takes an eternity for lots of them to be able to do the correct letter formation. My pupils start Reception at the tender age of 4! What do you do? What have you heard is best to do?

 

Thanks in advance for your kind help.

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Smiley PR - I don't use the specific jolly phonics worksheets. We do a lot of air writng. writing on seach others backs to guess the letter and other handwriting worksheets when necessary. We also use sand to write letters.

 

Gemini69 - Jolly Phonics has a set of Trciky words which need to be learnt

as sight words. I still use sight words but only once they are coping with blending. I'm not under pressure to teach the children to read despite pushy parents. We have a meeting in which I discuss my intentions for the coming term and the parents realise it is best to go at the pace of the child.

I don't just rattle on regardless I go at the pace of the children. I used to think that a sound a day was a tall order but in practice it isn't. Children may feel good tknowing sight words in a book but they feel equally pleased with themselves when they have used their phonic knowledge to blend/decode new words. A lot of the english language is decodeable.

Most of the children I get have already developed good pre-reading skills which are still coarried on after I get them, as I've said before, I have the summer Reception intake.

 

I'd don't really want to keep going round in circles so the best thing would be for interested people to go to the two websites I've referred to in previous posts or use google. There is a wealth of information out there on SP.

 

regards

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At pre-school we used to do a letter sound a week but we have decided to abandon all of that and concentrate on learning to listen. So we are using CDs with outdoor and indoor sounds and sounds our bodies make, such as clapping and stamping. Lots of little games that help children to differentiate sounds that they hear all the time. I have the Bobby Shaftoe book and there are some lovely ideas in there-such as playing a musical instrument behind a screen and the children have to guess what is being played. I also like the Ros Bayley book "Helping Young Children to Listen".

Our children feed into several schools who don't all do the same when teaching reading and I am conscious of getting it "wrong". So we are going to concentrate on listening skills, which are so vitally important before they start to learn to read.

Linda

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...but did you read the link I gave...I guess not if you think "Jolly Phonics is as good as Playing with Sounds."

 

 

31228[/snapback]

 

Not yet, but I will! :D

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I think the actions are daft but the children like them and so I overcome my embarassment.

31245[/snapback]

 

The actions are a really important part of JP for those children who are kinaesthetic learners. When reading, children often do the action of the letter to trigger their recall of its sound. I think it's really powerful.

 

Sight vocab is also good, but is best suited for visual learners. I do use flash cards with the class, but you have to do so with caution - some children can "read" whole books this way but not have taken in the story at all!

 

All children get there in the end, it's just a case of finding what suits their learning style the best. Reading is not a race and cannot be un-learned!

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I was not a phonic learner as a child and although I have used Jolly Phonics very successfully in the classroom and taught myself lots in the process, I have also taught lots of children very successfully with a "look and say" approach too. The actions are the clue to the success of JP. So, I think it is important to offer a variety of methods. I wonder whether I would have learnt phonics more successfully had a synthetic approach been implemented?!

 

Those listening skills are so vital, Linda, and I am sure your children will benefit from these enhanced skills and be ready to learn phonics fast in their new schools. Have you looked at "Foundations of Literacy", thats got some good ideas too?

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Hi Susan

Thank you for that bit of advice. I have just found it on a web site and it looks good-it has some lovely games to play. I am off to the exhibition in Manchester tomorrow so will have a look for it.

Linda

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Thank you folks - seems I've begun a heated phonic debate (eek!) which I hadn't intended!

My initial questions was purely about the medium term planning that's on the CD Rom not the phonic element, although that is included in the planning .

The planning is for 'Early foundation Stage and Later Foundation stage' and seems to be split into 5 units per term and links to ELG's, S.S and NLS, DEW and PIP's the units are titled 'Print around us, Alphabet rhymes, Nursery rhymes, Narratives, Non fiction, Poetry .. etc etc... There are a list of possible texts/ materials and possible outcomes - if as Catma suggests this is quite old then it may not be relevant but I hadn't come across it before and it seemed quite useful.

There seems to be a lot hidden on the disk that folks are not aware of - including stuff for other year groups further up school!

 

Has anyone tried planning their CLL around these units? Or does anyone use other form of units to structure planning - I tend to have a main focus each 1/2 term and then link into the Big Books and ongoing themes that we have ?

Thanks

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Playing with sounds is NOT synthetic phonics it is just moving more towards a more synthetic phonic method than Progression in Phonics.

 

I use a purely synthetic phonic method and in three weeks all my children are reading decodeable books.  These children only started in reception this summer term and I have a wide range of abilties in my class. Only one child could read beofre starting school.

 

http://www.rrf.org.uk/53%20Playing%20With%...ds%20Review.htm for more info on SP with plenty of research to back up their claims.

31189[/snapback]

 

The authors antipathy to the NLS may have something to do with their slant on this debate. "Lesley Drake is currently deputy head of an East London Primary school . She was a literacy consultant for the NLS from 1996-2003, but resigned on principle from this role because of the DfES failure to test the NLS intervention programmes and the failure to act on the criticisms expressed at the DfES seminar in 2003. Debbie Hepplewhite is a primary-school teacher and past editor of the RRF Newsletter." Is LEsley Drake linked to the RML approach?

 

From reception PWS also expects you to learn sounds at a fast pace, and to blend sounds to make words in group activities. it also looks at basic c-v-c words. To do this the letter groups have been realigned and are similar to satpin etc. Because of this approach I would put this in the synthetic camp.

Cx

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Well, this has been something new to get my teeth into :D

Think I'm more confused than before, now.

Last week, I went on an excellent course based on the Playing with Sounds folder, with lots of practical ideas for preschool and reception children. I came back buzzing and raring to go.

Then I read this topic, studied the RRF information and am kind of stuck in the middle now! The main thing that I'm uncomfortable with is the claim by both camps that relevant, significant research has

1) not been carried out, or

2) has been carried out, but references are vague.

 

I found the RRF's review mentioned several researchers whose work apparently supports the synthetic phonics approach, but there was no bibliography at the end of the article so that interested parties could check up on the original sources. In the absence of this, it seems to me that their claims don't really have any more validity than anyone else.

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Interesting points those, Helen.

I too have studied the RRF claims and while I can go with some of them there are others that leave me feeling that everything I have done over the years should have been useless and I know werent. (Does that make sense?) So I think we have to be careful here and sensible and pick and choose those bits that most support us in our teaching at that moment in time. For some of us, it is not sensible to rock the boat anyway and conformity within the school is important. As practitioners we should be looking for ways to improve our practise at all times and with each cohort of children different solutions may be required.

If playing with sounds is practical and play based, as I believe it to be then surely we can not be too far wrong in adopting and adapting as needed?

The main criticism against PiPS was that it was too slow and certainly did not match to Jolly Phonics but there were some games that could easily be adapted to be played alongside JP to support and consolidate. Surely it is possible to use PWS in a similar way?

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I'm in contact with Debbie Hepplewhite who is the main instigator in this country of spearheading the campaign for Synthetic Phonics. She is an extemely busy lady who has kindly given me some more information on Playing with Sounds and Synthetic Phonics. Her knowledge and studying of the research is second to none.

 

She has been following this debate at my request and here is Debbie's response.

 

The "research" which is linked-to on the 'Playing with Sounds' accompanying disc, is ALL speaking AGAINST the advisability of the National Literacy Strategy programmes and training!

 

The DfES links to it and refers to it in such a manner that teachers may make assumptions that that research SUPPORTS the National Literacy Strategy! That is just not true. I think the DfES has relied on busy teachers not having time to read the research and to assume that the research supports the NLS programmes and searchlights reading model.

 

I attended the DfES phonics seminar in March 2003 which is where the research papers stem from. Sue Lloyd attended that seminar but the DfES did not distribute HER paper which described why the NLS is NOT synthetic phonics.

 

Prof Greg Brooks stated in his report of that seminar that the National Literacy Strategy was synthetic phonics in "Sue Lloyd's ( Jolly Phonics) sense".

 

Professor David Hopkins, who convened that seminar, stated that the NLS reading model was broadly correct and that this was concluded at the seminar. No, this is not correct. Some people at the seminar no doubt supported that view (especially the people who wrote it!) but the speakers did not and their papers did not. People need to read both Dr Morag Stuart's paper from the seminar and Dr Jonathan Solity's paper. Both papers are linked to from the CD Rom accompanying the Playing with Sounds folder. They can read Sue Lloyd's paper in RRF newsletter no. 50 [articles and RRF newsletters available to download for free from the Reading Reform Foundation website www.rrf.org.uk].

 

http://www.rrf.org.uk/50%20Synthetic%20Phonics.htm

 

The contents of the 'research' referred to by contributors on this forum shows how it was ANTI the NLS methods and programmes.

 

http://www.rrf.org.uk/51%20Index.htm (link to DfES phonics seminar papers from this link - several of the articles in this newsletter were a response to the DfES phonics seminar and to Greg Brooks's paper)

 

'Playing with Sounds' was brought out as a consequence of that seminar. It is not a synthetic phonics programme.

 

The Clackmannanshire research did not have a 'phonemic awareness' teaching element 'without letters' whilst 'Playing with Sounds' is all about playing with sounds WITHOUT LETTERS. Research shows that it is more effective to introduce spoken sounds WITH LETTERS.

 

What ever results teachers are achieving from following advice in 'Playing with Sounds', my suggestion is that they could achieve much better results still from using a proper Synthetic Phonics approach.

 

I suggest any comments be directed to Debbie Hepplewhite' site.

www.syntheticphonics.com

 

Regards

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I'm not quite sure what the problem is, mousebat?

TES is full of this and it really is not very helpful. Some of us dont go there anymore because of it.

I think you would agree that we all entitled to our own opinions? Isnt that why we live in a democracy?

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..........I too am entitled to my own opinions.

 

But at least I have an open mind to try out something new.

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