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Alphabet Strugglers


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After slogging the letters of the alphabet and doing lots of playing with sounds games/PIPs games/Jolly Phonics - all the usual you do, I've got 2 children who know only 1 or 2, 8 who know 10-12, 14 who know 13 or more -only 6 know all of them. Is anyone else experiencing similar problems? What should I expect at this point of the year - I'm sure my last class latched on to them better by the same time last year. I would be most grateful if anyone will compare notes and I'm wondering what action to take next

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After christmas we assessed our children - some know them all (about 7)and about 3 out of the children couldn't recognise any or even hear the sound at the start of the word and a couple who only knew a few so we've targeted them with the TA doing small group work whilst the rest move onto further work on segmenting and blending and other phonemes everyday in our phonic session. This has had some impact at least the one child who knew 0 now can recognise 12 letters but he still struggles to hear the sound at the start of the word!! The rest have made progress too yet the poorest child is away still so I'm not holding out too much hope ! We've done much of the same activities as you Kermit and made them as active as can be - so any further ideas too would be great !

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Was going to post a thread similar to this one and saw Kermit had beat me to it. Am experiencing exactly the same problems - got a group of about 3 who know about 4, about 10 who know 15-20 and the rest range from 30 - 42. The group who know 15-20 have been going out with my NN each day when I do my phonic session and at Christmas they all knew around 5 so it really has had an impact. These children really struggle to stay on task and so the small group work has been brill. Am surprised how many of my better children are unable to blend words independently. They can do it in a flash when I say the sounds however when they say the sounds they come out with a completely random word. Have tried to get them to say the sounds quickly and emphasise the first sound but they are still finding it difficult. Am finding they are much better at segmenting than blending. Any tips on teaching independent blending would be greatly appreciated.

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oh my life this is soooooo wierd!... i too was going to post something similar tonight...

 

I have about 8 children who know most of there single letter sounds and can segment a word and tell me each sound in it... but then struggle to blend them together... so I have a booster group where I work solely on blending the sounds in words.

 

In terms of the rest of the class. With the exception of two children, they all know all the single letter sounds and about 16 of them know all the blends too... I have about 9 clever clogsies (plural for clogs?!? :o ) who I have an extended phonics group for twice a week who know all these plus consonant clusters so the're working on alternative phonic blends. Umm... I have 30 children.

 

So yeah anyway, any suggestions on blending would be great!

 

~ Porl

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It is obviously that time of year..I was going to ask a similar question too!! I have 30 reception children with a spread of abilities from a child with statement to a high flyer who is reading non scheme books fluently!! As a whole though there is the usual mix. I have introduced all the single sounds with majority of children having a good grasp, and am now just wondering about the order and speed of introducing the blends, Different publications seem to go for different approaches, we use jolly phonics but I don't want to overload my children if i should 'save?' some input for the yr 1 colleagues!! equally the more able are ready for the challenge....what does everyone else do?... and when will we be allowed to use one successful approach and stick to it for more than ten minutes????

 

:o

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Doesn't this just highlight that some children are just not ready even in reception for phonics. I wondered be at all surprised if a greater number of those children we have who are finding difficulties

are still 4, or are boys, or both? I know some of my children (well quite a few actually) don't 'get' it but then the penny drops and sometimes, yes they are in year one when it happens, (of course thats always down to brilliant year one teachers isn't it?!!). When we look at brain development, and reading teaching in other countries, we shouldn't be at all surprised that some children find it hard at the age of 4!

 

For children finding it hard we focus a lot on developing auditory discrimination through games, as if you cant distinguish sounds, you'll never 'get' the phonics code. We find this particularly with our deaf children who struggle much more with reading and writing than their hearing counterparts.

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I'm not convinced that all children are phonic learners, I'm afraid although I would advocate Jolly Phonics and am well aware of the advantages those children have who can grasp this. Perhaps your strugglers need other strategies to learn to read and write as well ?

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Thanks for the advice -do you have any resources you use as well as JP/Playing with sounds games that work well? I liked the Action Words Marion but the Y1 teacher (lit co-ord too) said I couldn't do it because they don't do it in Y1 -I agree some things need to have a standardised way but my class were doing so well with inventing their own actions for words, they remembered them----should I do them in secret???

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I find it hard to understand why the lit co ord isn't willing to try any method especially if the children enjoy it and respond and hopefully learn, unfortunately we all know teachers like this. We have now adopted action words in KS1 and also use them for children who are struggling in KS2. There are a number of similar resources but no guarentee your co ord will like them any better.

http://www.senter.co.uk/downloads/tatr.pdf

http://www.senter.co.uk/downloads/awvo.pdf

our LS teacher has recommended something called direct phonics which is similar

We also use some games called word race which are pictures with sets of high frequency words which the children read in 1minute at home.

good luck

Edited by Marion
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