new to all of this advice needed

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

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preschoolteacher
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new to all of this advice needed

Post by preschoolteacher » Mon May 05, 2008 9:29 pm

hi there im new to the forum and was hoping somebody could give me some advice

i recently gained my EYPS and after working with under 3s for many years have now been transferred to a new centre, within the company i workk for, and working with 3-5s.

what i need advice on is phonics and reading.

I know I am going to be using the letters and sounds phase 1

however, my room was already set up before my transfer to the centre went through and the managing director had supplied oxford reading tree books for the room. the nursery nurse who has been in the room in my absecne and who i will be working alongside has been using these books, sending them home with parents and sitting with individual children to listen to them "read".

at the moment the children are using the wordless books but the nursery nurse suggested that 1 of our 4 years olds should be started on the simple word books to become familair with the high freq/key words.

I am new to all if this but have been doing lots of research to back up my gut feelings but have come across differering views

my feeling is that the ort books dont really fit in with the letters and sounds as, from what i can gather from my research, children memorise the words and often guess from the pictures as opposed to sounding out the words as with L&S

i dont know if i am misinterpreting anything and am getting quite confused as to what to do for the best, as well as feeling not quite equipped with enough knowedge and information on the area to go to my manager and nursery nurse and explain!!

any advice would ve very much appreciated
thank you in advance

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Mon May 05, 2008 11:18 pm

Hi there - you are very welcome to our forum!

You are absolutely right to be concerned about the use of Oxford Reading Tree books with 'Letters and Sounds'.

The 'wordless' books are fine because they are simply about developing speaking and listening skills.

The notion of the 45 reception 'sight' words is now known to be flawed practice and the old National Literacy Strategy 'searchlights' reading model has been replaced by the 'simple view of reading' which amounts to 'decoding' and 'comprehension'.

You are in a difficult position, however, as you are new to your setting and you may need to be sensitive as to how you approach this issue.

Nevertheless, it is important that staff keep up to date and 'Letters and Sounds' has been sent in hard copy form to many settings and is readily available to view online. Thus, you and your colleagues need to read up on the synthetic phonics teaching principles to update your knowledge and understanding of teaching beginning reading instruction.

There are several really good sets of cumulative decodable reading books now thanks to publishers understanding the importance of the changes to how best to teach reading. These include 'Jelly and Bean' by Marlene Greenwood, Jolly Readers, Big Cat Collins, Fast Phonics First, Read Write Inc and Dandelion Readers. Perhaps you could ask the companies of some samples to review.

Good luck with your new job.

kenm
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Post by kenm » Mon May 05, 2008 11:20 pm

See also Susan Godsland's post here.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

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Susan Godsland
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Post by Susan Godsland » Tue May 06, 2008 8:22 am

I know I am going to be using the letters and sounds phase 1
Phase 1. of L&S is 'phonological exercises WITHOUT letters'. There is no harm in doing this type of exercise with children, in fact it is much better than including any form of whole-word memorisation -which will occur if the ORT 'Biff and Chip' books are used. Phase 1. does not teach reading.

preschoolteacher
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Post by preschoolteacher » Wed May 07, 2008 7:19 pm

thankyou for your replies

my ideas on the matter are obviously correct thank goodness, i just need to inform everyone around me now.

a further query i habve is about guided/shared and individual reading.

as i said in my previous post the children are sent home the ort books and the nn has been going through the books individually with each child and while reseacrhing i have come across the phrases guided/shared/individual reading

could anyone explain what each of these is and what you would recommend me to do with 3-5 years olds, again im getting mixed views and dont know what to do for the best.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri May 09, 2008 12:51 am

Will reply tomorrow! ;-)

preschoolteacher
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Post by preschoolteacher » Mon May 12, 2008 6:46 pm

anyone any advice to add?

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Tue May 13, 2008 12:36 am

The guided and shared reading approach is very much a mixed methods approach which was highly promoted as part of the National Literacy Strategy approach from 1998.

Part of the rationale was to do with the time it takes for teachers to hear children read individually - a seemingly onerous if not impossible task for teachers of large classes.

Part of the guided reading approach was to do the book to death prior to the children attempting to read it. The storyline was introduced, any tricky or unusual words were pointed out - in short, the children were set up to be able to guess their way through the texts through a multi-cueing approach.

There's nothing wrong, in my opinion, with different types of small group reading in class. For example, using a set of identical books to study a topic or look at how books work - or to enjoy some poetry or a story together.

The trouble is that much money was spent on identical copies of books for group work and yet if you ask a group of children to spend 20minutes twice a week 'reading' when they can't read in the first place - they're not going to get very far.

Also, many of the types of books bought in as group reading books tended to be of the look and guess and repetitive or predictable type of text not suitable for a synthetic phonics approach.

They key is to identify, as the teacher, what it is you are planning to achieve in any reading activity - whether for individual readers or for group reading activities.

Is it for the individual to rehearse their code knowledge and skill in the context of a book (so can they blend sufficiently well to be reading books?) - or is to teach about other aspects of literature or topic content or what?

The synthetic phonics rule of thumb (if you like) is that early reading is at the level of learning the letter/s-sound correspondences at first, followed by blending simple words consisting of code knowledge taught to date - and then when children can blend well, they can start reading cumulative decodable reading books.

Those children will still need to keep learning their letter/s-sound correspondences, and they will still need to keep practising at word level.

Then you, the teacher, can look at your resources and consider whether you have any group books which are worthy of spending time looking at in class for a variety of purposes.

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