The transition to real books

This forum has been created to provide a non-challenging environment for teachers and parents new to using synthetic phonics.

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Post by Kelly » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:39 pm

As another homeschooling mum (although admittedly only a short-term one) I was just going to share one of my 'lessons' as a comparison.

My children all have workbooks (so I don't need to do too much lesson preparation as I found that to be the hardest (most taxing) part).

I introduce a new sound and then the child will complete the first worksheet (independently generally once they reach this point in the curriculum). I teach them to read and spell using the new sound so each worksheet generally has a segmenting and blending activity.

The worksheets also revise the last few sounds that they have been taught which in this case are 'sh', 'ch', 'ee' and 'oo' (there is a sound review box on the bottom left hand corner which the children have to recite).

The first 'th' worksheet (as an example) is:


Depending on the child (their interest and ability), we may complete a second worksheet such as:


After that we read a book that uses that sound. Note that with my books the pictures are on the following page so the child cannot (even if they were allowed to ;-) ) predict.


Then we might do one other activity e.g. writing a story (and creating a picture using different mediums) or a HFW activity or a game.

The following day, depending on whether the child has retained the sound we might do the last worksheet:


OR, we might move onto introducing the next sound.

That is my approach which I hope was helpful.

PS I love this photo sharing thing! I have mastered it!

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:24 am

It's great to see some of your worksheets, Kelly, and great to see you using another facility. I am sure lots of people will want to know how you do it.

I notice that you separate out the 't' from the 'ch' and this is not uncommon in phonic resources. My husband and I have even had discussions about the grapheme 'tch' and whether the 't' is sounded separately or not. They have even done this in the latest Every Child A Reader report which I have been asked to review. The example given is of a child's segmenting of a word into, w-a-t-ch-e-d. I would teach this as w-a-tch-ed.

You will find that many people would put the 't' with the 'ch' to create an alternative grapheme 'tch' for the sound /ch/.

I think what happens is that adults may approach the break down of words from a knowledge of 'spelling' perspective, rather than a breakdown of the sounds/phonemes in the word.

Just some food for thought!

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Post by Kelly » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:18 am

Thanks for that Debbie.

My preference is not to teach 'tch' separately. Mainly to try and simplify the code for young children and also because I believe t-ch (if you can't hear the 't' ;-) ) is 'tweakable'.

I also wonder if it helps right from the start with spelling? Certainly it appears to.

For the same reasons I don't teach 'wh' like some programmes do. As I think it helps (for spelling purposes) to use all of the sounds: w-h-y, w-h-ere and 'tweak' (if necessary).

Thanks for the 'food for thought'. I appreciate it. :grin:

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