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Hi, in my setting we are required to support children with phonics twice a week. the children range from 3 to 4ish. i have taken the children on listening walks which they have enjoyed but am a bit confused about where to go next. I would like to do some activities that will not go right over their heads, can you help? I tried doing a dressing up bag activity, where the children could make the sound of the object that came out of the bag, but this seemed a bit much for them, any idea's ?

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Have you tried working through the phase one Letters and sounds activities, some of them are really simple but very effective with 3/4 year olds. We focus on an aspect each week and find that it is the third or fourth time of repeating the activity before the children start to grasp the concepts. We keep a record of who has accessed the activity and then can make judgements of whether they are emerging, developing or are secure within that aspect each time that they have a go

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We do similar max321. Choose an aspect for the week and do an activity each day that links to that, for example today hid lots of things around the garden, they had to find the ones that began with their letter - easy but they love it and gets them thinking! There are lots of ideas online maybe give it a google :-)

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thanks max321 and woodlands, :1b Do you mean go through letters and sounds from Aspect 1 listening walk through to Aspect 7 Say the Sounds? and then repeat ? and also, in your setting do you do the whole group or break up into smaller differentiated groups. And do you keep a daily record ?

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Yep we do aspect 1-7, one aspect a week but we don't necessarily do them in order, fit to book for week etc so if book is rhyming, may do rhyming. Then just repeat! We use the examples in letters and sounds but do other things too don't just stick to those. We do in groups so most in one group would be 8 children, it isn't differentiated on paper just by expectation of the staff doing it. So we plan it weekly (quite general) and this is put up on the board, we make notes but don't keep a daily record as such just put notes on children as they do something new etc. X

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the ideas in the guidance are really only a starting point but there are some lovely activities in there so we do use lots of them. We do an aspect each week so they come around every 7 weeks/half term. We offer it at our adult led choosing time so the activity is done at least once a day and the children can choose whether to access that activity or one of the others on offer which is why we record who is choosing letters and sounds and at what level they are as they may not access letters and sounds every time

Edited by max321
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You have been most helpful thank you. today we went on a Drum walk, children had drumsticks and tested out different sounds as they selected differing materials around the outside area. It worked out well because we had musical instruments inside on that day also. I shall continue to work through the activities, going through one aspect a week. I notice "Hide the Teddy" is next, not sure how that one will pan out as it could be a bit tricky for some of mine, but will give it a go.

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There's a bit more to phase 1 though,Tuning into sounds (auditory discrimination), Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) and Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension). For each aspect you would also need to plan to build up the awareness through those three strands too as talking about sounds without being able to tune into sounds would result in confusion!

Cx

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We are doing this with our school leavers , we ask thenm to bring in item for chatterbox beginning with sound , we continued when we went outside any items they could see beginning with that sound , very enthusiastic , some of more advanced children know the alphabet but not the sounds ! Interesting !

I saw a lovely idea for letter recognition , cut up an orange pool noodle tie on green raffia and plant in garden with letters of alphabet on , children can then dig up letters ! Just trying to find an orange pool noodle now !

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We are doing this with our school leavers , we ask thenm to bring in item for chatterbox beginning with sound , we continued when we went outside any items they could see beginning with that sound , very enthusiastic , some of more advanced children know the alphabet but not the sounds ! Interesting !

Unfortunately knowing the letter names but not the sounds does put them rather behind when they start in reception. It may seem counter-intuitive but to get a prompt start with phase 2 you need children who can orally blend and segment (i.e. secure with aspect 7 of phase 1). Reception teachers do rely on nursery grounding children in the oral/aural discrimination of sounds - in school nurseries this would be the teaching focus over quite a length of time.

Children really need to be able to hear sounds throughout the word too, as this way they can start to apply the phoneme grapheme correspondences they will encounter in phases 2 and 3 to be secure phase 3 readers by the end of reception. There isn't a lot of time in a reception year to do a lot of phase 1 catch up. This could also risk the child not getting the good level of development at the end of reception too...

The difference good phase 1 teaching in nursery makes to children's later success as a reader and writer in reception cannot be underestimated.

Cx

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humm if you could come and teach my parents this that would be great catma! I'm still not sure after all these years how to teach parents the benefits of teaching phonics rather than letter names....or indeed lower instead of upper case letters! Mind you a third of mine have English as an additional language so my first port of call is to get them speaking English well...they have to encode language before they can decode it!

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humm if you could come and teach my parents this that would be great catma! I'm still not sure after all these years how to teach parents the benefits of teaching phonics rather than letter names....or indeed lower instead of upper case letters! Mind you a third of mine have English as an additional language so my first port of call is to get them speaking English well...they have to encode language before they can decode it!

I know! The curse of the capital letters!! I did lots of talking to them and always had displays for parents of how writing skills develop across the identifiable stages. I'm also seeing more and more children where the lack of skill in being able to do anticlockwise movements/retrace verticals is getting in the way of their writing later on - especially where they are doing cursive scripts. It's a stage that isn't given enough focus in this race to "do" letters and it's preventing children from being fluid writers later on.

With EAL learners I have always argued that ALL children are learning the same thing when they learn phonics, irrespective of the languages they communicate in. We've found fluency in another language isn't really a barrier to hearing and identifying the same sounds...and with high quality teaching and learning they can do as well as the non EAL children in the GLD - at least they definitely do in my LA! But it makes the role of nursery in focusing on auditory discrimination even more important.

Edited by catma
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thanks max321 and woodlands, :1b Do you mean go through letters and sounds from Aspect 1 listening walk through to Aspect 7 Say the Sounds? and then repeat ? and also, in your setting do you do the whole group or break up into smaller differentiated groups. And do you keep a daily record ?

Don't forget that Aspect 7 should be covered in the term before children start school; so concentrate on 1-6 until then, when they should be ready to go on to the oral blending and segmenting element.

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now sorry jasminerose to hijack a bit just wanted to pick up on catma's point!

 

With EAL learners I have always argued that ALL children are learning the same thing when they learn phonics, irrespective of the languages they communicate in. We've found fluency in another language isn't really a barrier to hearing and identifying the same sounds...and with high quality teaching and learning they can do as well as the non EAL children in the GLD - at least they definitely do in my LA! But it makes the role of nursery in focusing on auditory discrimination even more important.

Had to have a think about this! but i agree that the learning of phonics info is probably correct (i remember learning my french alphabet ...though i'm not sure i used it...more sight and see but i was older when i did it) but some of my children only do 9 hours with me and if they are going to benefit from the whole of the curriculum at school and from the social aspect too then i think the emphasis still has to be on speaking and listening...if they don't understand the instructions or the words then how are they going to use phonics?

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now sorry jasminerose to hijack a bit just wanted to pick up on catma's point!

 

Had to have a think about this! but i agree that the learning of phonics info is probably correct (i remember learning my french alphabet ...though i'm not sure i used it...more sight and see but i was older when i did it) but some of my children only do 9 hours with me and if they are going to benefit from the whole of the curriculum at school and from the social aspect too then i think the emphasis still has to be on speaking and listening...if they don't understand the instructions or the words then how are they going to use phonics?

Yes, the length of time you have them is probably a key variable.

I completely agree speaking and listening is crucial and I'm not arguing against that, but exposure to "talking about sounds" really does make a difference! Maybe my approach is that EAL learners are not cognitively or linguistically behind their peers, they just don't speak English yet. They can comprehend the concepts of sounds because it is learning about language, not learning a language?

I also used to use words and sounds in home languages too - had a lot of Latin American children in my last school and we would use Spanish words so /m/ would be manzana to help build the links.

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I also used to use words and sounds in home languages too - had a lot of Latin American children in my last school and we would use Spanish words so /m/ would be manzana to help build the links.

this is a really good idea when you have children who speak 'latin' based languages however most of mine are not in that catagory...(also i have 9 languages spoken in the setting at the mo!) We tend to find latin language based children do pick up on english sounds quicker (as do their parents...which is also a key factor) it makes it much more difficult when the english sounds do not appear in their culture and so the physical structure can also give issues (L/R substitution in Korean for example)

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Maybe my approach is that EAL learners are not cognitively or linguistically behind their peers, they just don't speak English yet. They can comprehend the concepts of sounds because it is learning about language, not learning a language?

 

I am of course by no means suggesting that children with EAL are less capable! but they are doing things in two languages which does require extra brain usage!! one of my most able children is fluent in German and english but i also have several who are exhibiting difficulties in one language let alone the three that they use at home!

Hope i'm not being a pest Catma....It's Always good to have a discussion about these things...i have no one around who is able to give advice at this level ...and sorry about hijacking again!

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this is a really good idea when you have children who speak 'latin' based languages however most of mine are not in that catagory...(also i have 9 languages spoken in the setting at the mo!) We tend to find latin language based children do pick up on english sounds quicker (as do their parents...which is also a key factor) it makes it much more difficult when the english sounds do not appear in their culture and so the physical structure can also give issues (L/R substitution in Korean for example)

Wow, nine languages in your setting!! My mind boggles. We have only ever supported one EAL child in my eleven years in the setting!! Cannot begin to imagine how you manage it.

Edited by zigzag
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Wow, nine languages in your setting!! My mind boggles. We have only ever supported one EAL child in my eleven years in the setting!! Cannot begin to imagine how you manage it.

yes keeps us on our toes! that's why all my staff are makaton trained ...so we sign to everyone! (not all the time ..i get stuck on certain words! :blink: )

sorry quoted twice????

Edited by finleysmaid
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I am of course by no means suggesting that children with EAL are less capable! but they are doing things in two languages which does require extra brain usage!! one of my most able children is fluent in German and english but i also have several who are exhibiting difficulties in one language let alone the three that they use at home!

Hope i'm not being a pest Catma....It's Always good to have a discussion about these things...i have no one around who is able to give advice at this level ...and sorry about hijacking again!

Not at all!! And I hope you didn't think I was suggesting that...

Wow, nine languages in your setting!! My mind boggles. We have only ever supported one EAL child in my eleven years in the setting!! Cannot begin to imagine how you manage it.

I suppose always working in inner London LAs I'm just used to there being huge numbers of languages spoken - we have over 90 languages spoken in the LA I work for now. But you could now include Cornish as an OFFICIAL language at least!!

 

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