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Letter of the week


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Mind block any ideas.... We are looking at introducing letter of the week in line with our current phonics (3 & 4 area) however I would like to also reflect this somewhat in our integrated 2's area. Just so it's more of a whole setting thing but tailor it to the needs of the two areas - any ideas welcome. Thanks :)

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couple of things to think about with this...do you follow the letters and sounds advice? only it would suggest that doing a group of letters is a good idea (teaching a small group means children can use them not just learn in isolation) i do not really agree with teaching 2 year olds letters....unless they really understand good speech, listening etc first and use lots of language with tenses /verbs/concepts etc etc ....masses more you can be doing with them first.

The letters and sounds pack gives you a graduated approach to learning phonics....which is much more than learning a single letter at a time.

Sorry i haven't really answered your question...just my opinion of course feel free to ignore!

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Following on from fm's advice - I wouldn't worry too much about a 'letter of the week' for 2 year olds - I would also suggest following Letters and Sounds phase one - lots of worthwhile opps there......

Mastery of a steady beat - using 'Beat-baby' is always good for the 'littlies' - if you are not familiar with 'Beat-baby' search this forum or google Ros Bailey

I'm sure you already do this but if not - lots of lovely rhyming stories - we have several with Cds - have a look on 'Barefoot books' - current favourites with my children are 'Portside Pirates'. 'Animal Boogie' and 'The Journey Home from Grandpas'

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Yeah we do above just a staff member wanted to try and include it somewhat into her area (2's) and for the life of me I carnt think of a way to do it that would be appropriate and you have both just confirmed what I thought! I carnt find a way to tailor it to the childrens needs in that area as it's just way too much even when broken down. When staff make a suggestion I always give it great thought but felt I may have missed something here and it may be possible so came to ask on here to see if anyone could think of anything. Thank you muchly appreciated :)

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With nursery age children (3 and 4s) in schools we would be strongly advocating a focus on phase 1 which is all about aural sound discrimination. We have found that racing to phoneme grapheme correspondence(PGC), without the firm foundations of being able to discriminate sounds aurally in different places in the words they hear, is actually a disadvantage when they enter Reception. They need lots o experience of listening to, tuning into and talking about letter sounds as a sound!

Learning to read and write is not really supported at the later stages if they do not have a solid understanding of how sounds work. The phase 1 materials as others have said already do give a very good structure for enabling young children to have these pre reading and writing skills firmly embedded. If I were to have a new reception intake who were really aware of sounds aurally I would be well placed to teach the phase 2 letters in the short timeframe needed to get them off to a good start for phase 3 security by the end of reception.

There is sometimes a sense of needing to race to the finish, which does, in the end, give children more problems than benefits. They know PGCs but they have no sense of how sounds work together to make words and make sense, so they fail to segment independently to spell and blending defeats them.

Obviously where children are ready for PGCs because they are secure in the aspects of phase 1 then I'd say work with them in groups to start phase 2.

The 2 yr olds just need lots of story, rhyme, singing, and a strong C+L focus!!

Cx

Edited by catma
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I agree there. As an example my grandson has just started school having had no real input on letters per se in preschool year and at home, just lots and lots and lots of stories, and hearing sounds.

In just the 6 weeks he has been in school full time, hes lapping up the phase two and phonics, because he was so ready for them. I am glad he didnt do them at preschool, and we didnt do them at home, his passion for stories and listening games etc was much more important.

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Yeah we do above just a staff member wanted to try and include it somewhat into her area (2's) and for the life of me I carnt think of a way to do it that would be appropriate and you have both just confirmed what I thought! I carnt find a way to tailor it to the childrens needs in that area as it's just way too much even when broken down. When staff make a suggestion I always give it great thought but felt I may have missed something here and it may be possible so came to ask on here to see if anyone could think of anything. Thank you muchly appreciated :)

Excellent - print off this thread and show it to the staff member! :1b

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Mundia...exactly the same thing happened to my daughter...no real letter knowledge before school ...six weeks in was reading fluently! other daughter (dyslexic) had been exposed to letterland (YUCH!!) but because of hearing issues had no real knowledge...caused her immense problems, if people had helped her to tune in it would have been much more helpful!

Just as another example ...i have a little chap at the moment who has eal...his understanding is not too bad but his speech in english is not good (what i mean by that is he does not have a large quantity and does not talk in full sentences). His parents have taught him the alphabet names.....and have now taught him the letter sounds to match but he has NO knowledge of what these mean and therefore cannot use his knowledge. So he is even unable to find his name as he cannot understand the instruction and therefore cannot find the H sound at the beginning...he is unable to tune in to it as he is not listening for the 'sound'

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Yeah completely agree, I had a parent the other day so pleased her child could read a list of words she had produced but infact he had just memorised the word he has a good awareness of alliteration and is a very clever chap but he wasn't sounding out the words at all. We tell our parents from the start about phonics and how we learn sounds etc etc etc (I don't need to tell you lot that lol) quite a few parents have not had any dealings with reception children since they were at school so it's completely mind boggling to them how it is now. We are very lucky that we go into our main feeder school at the start of every September for a few weeks so we can observe what they start learning in that environment straight away it helps us get it right for what we teach and other things.

We hold phonic parent learning groups towards the end of their time with us (not run by us I must say but a qualified teacher who knows more than us lol) to help parents before school starts she also works with our main feeder school too.

Thanks everyone

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Excellent - print off this thread and show it to the staff member! :1b

I'm tempted to print it off and show it to parents!

We have just sent a survey out and one came back from a parent who is a teacher of reception and year 1. One of her comments was something along the lines of "not seeing evidence of pupil attainment and academic achievement in reading, writing and number on Tapestry" Her son has just turned three...

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The attractive thing about naming sounds is that it's quantifiable so grown ups feel a great deal satisfaction when children can reel off lots of sounds or letter names, but as others have said it is the application that is key and phase one stuff supports that - development matters does not refer to sounds and letters for the two-three age band.

 

With regard to including two year olds... We're in a family group and what I've done for my guys, as well as the phase one activities, is use photos packs of children in the preschool and things that begin with the same sound as their name (no text) eg Shayne, shoe, shark etc. So those that are tuning into sounds are noticing the alliteration, whilst the less experienced ones develop their noun vocabulary.

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I'm tempted to print it off and show it to parents!

We have just sent a survey out and one came back from a parent who is a teacher of reception and year 1. One of her comments was something along the lines of "not seeing evidence of pupil attainment and academic achievement in reading, writing and number on Tapestry" Her son has just turned three...

Deep sigh......

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AGGGGHHHHH!!!!! Poor 2 year olds, talk about how to completely put them off reading later in life! As MarshaD said, identifying letter sounds is quantifiable and this is why some parents are so keen. It's impossible for children to read and write successfully if they can't discriminate between sounds and this needs to start with non-speech sounds, as in Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds.

I've found "Foundations of Literacy - A balanced approach to language, listening and literacy skills in the early years" by Sue Palmer and Ros Bayley really useful. It might also be worth looking at EYFS Development Matters Literacy : Reading section for 2 years olds to help reinforce to your member of staff what's needed at this stage of development.

Good luck!

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