I had such lovely feedback last week when I introduced the idea of teaching phonics to parents so they may help their child learn their sounds and eventually read and write. Some of you I know tuned in to watch me live! So exciting!
This is the first in a series of posts and the aim is to get you started, give you food for thought and hopefully show you that it can be fun!
Something I have always done and found that children have always loved, is use the correct names for things. They are clever little beings and there is no need to dumb down. Now this all depends on what age you are starting this but G is almost 4 and knows the word phoneme. That is the correct way to describe the ‘sound’ letters make. The actual letter is called a Grapheme.
When teaching phonics we do not go in alphabetical order, instead we start with ‘m‘. Here are the first 15 phonemes with a description to help you make the sound.
NOTE- Some phonemes are long stretchy sounds and some are short bouncy sounds but they are all ‘pure’ meaning they are stripped from that awful ‘uh’ sound at the end. Also none are in capitals- children do not need to learn about those yet!
m – mmmmmm (as if you are rubbing a full belly)
a – a a a (short bouncy sound, not aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa).
s – sssssssssss (hissing like a snake)
d – d d d d (short boucny- trick here is not to open your mouth very wide at all- try not to add an uh after it!)
t – t t t t (short bouncy, as with d, try not to say tuh)
i – i i i (short bouncy)
n – nnnnnnnnnn (long stretchy, like an aeroplane)
p – p p p (short bouncy- a soft sound with no uh after it)
g – g g g (short bouncy- quite a tricky one to avoid the uh but keeping your mouth as small as possible helps)
o – o o o (short bouncy)
c – c c c (short bouncy, keep your mouth as small as possible)
k – exactly the same as above- they are different graphemes but are the same phonemes!
u – u u u u (short bouncy and the only one allowed to be an uh! 🙂 )
b – b b b b (short bouncy, another tricky one but keeping your mouth small helps)
f – fffffffffffff (long stretchy, sounds like an airbed deflating!)
Ok so those are your first 15, all in set 1 of the ReadWrite phonics scheme that I am using. If you saw my scope on periscope last week you will see that I use the Read Write Inc. Flashcards they are just the best I think.
Here are a few activities you can try with your little one to get them started on their phonics journey. Nothing too full on but all a great way of getting them listening or using their mouths to make sounds.
We love nothing more than lying on a blanket in the garden and watching the clouds roll by. We also love listening to see what we can hear. This isn’t phonics related but it gets them discriminating between sounds. What can they hear? If yours are anything like mine then they will love doing this as you walk anywhere too- listen mummy, I can hear a bee!
WHAT IS IN MY BOX?
Find a selection of noisy objects and place them in a box. Put your hand inside and make one of the objects make its noise. Can they tell you what it is?
I once did this on my interactive whiteboard- I downloaded lots of sounds and played each one to my class. When I played the sound of a phone ringing half the class didn’t know what it was!! I was shocked but soon realised that these days we either have music (I have Rhianna) or weird ringtones when our phones ring- some people have their phone on silent!!
ANIMALS ON THE FARM
Get a selection of farm animals or find some in a book. Depending on the age of your child either describe the animal and they must find it and make the noise of the animal, or point to an animal and they must make the sound. The idea is to get them using their mouths to make different shapes and sounds.
How often do you use musical instruments? Ours rarely come out of the box if I am honest and writing this makes me realise how awful that is! Why not get them out and sing favourite nursery rhymes. Can they join in and shake a tambourine? If they can develop the skill of shaking in time to the words then that will help with breaking down words to write further down the line.
I will include this each and every week as it is by far the most important activity you can do with your child. It is said you should aim for a minimum of 5 books a day. We spread ours throughout the day but I know plenty of people who read them all at once. This can include listening to a story on a cd player or watching a story on cbeebies but I would limit those and focus on you doing the reading.
That is all today, keep an eye out for my live scope at 11am today (10th August) but I will be uploading a video to YouTube where I will be demonstrating the sounds- hearing them said correctly is much better than trying to read about them.
Next week I will introduce the next few sounds and we will take a look at the importance of rhyme and alliteration.
See you there!