Friday, 27 May 2016

Teaching Phonics, Sounds and Blends

Reading, writing and arithmetic were the three Rs of formal schoolwork back in the day, and these are still the basics of learning today.  Having used ACE and LEM phonics with my older girls, I would like to share what's working now with my 7 year old, Raelee, who is a very visual and audio learner.    We did a LOT of written work back then, way too much, so now I have refined our written work to just a few worksheets a day that meet specific goals and don't just fill up a folder.  Most of these worksheets come from Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT),  or are ones I've adapted from that site, or just made up myself, based on what Raelee needs to learn.  

My plan, when we first started this blog, was to document our learning as we went along, but life got a bit crazy, so I'm now finally able to start talking homeschooling again, particularly maths and phonics, as they are the core of our sit down work. 


We've done a lot of sounds over the last year or so, and still have quite a few left to learn and learn well.  

DID YOU KNOW? Although there are only 26 letters in the English alphabet, there are over 40 sounds to learn and over 70 ways to spell these sounds?   That's amazing and it takes time to learn them and integrate them into good reading, spelling and writing skills.  

This link has a basic chart of the all the sounds and their spellings, though I'm sure there are others out there.   

I have used the LEM Phonics Phonogram charts as a reference for the sounds that need to be taught, because I used LEM Phonics for one of my older girls and found it very thorough at the time.  

So, when learning a new sound and/or spelling, we first find pictures that begin with or include that sound, make a collage on the letter template, then build words, read words, and read sentences, all with the target sound.  

We review our learnt sounds constantly, in various ways, so I will write some more about that as I go along.  

But, what are we learning now, as I write this blog post?
Having learnt most of our consonant sounds, we are doing x and z in this current chunk of learning (over 5-6 weeks). We're also learning and practising the soft c sound and next week it will be the soft g sound. I decided to do these two sounds fairly close together because the same rule applies to both of them.  

What are these rules, you ask?  Good question.

DID YOU KNOW?   If c or g are directly followed by an e, i or y, then they make their soft sound.  
Look at these words, for example:   circus, cent, city, cycle, cyclone, centipede, circle, fancy, dancer, princess, gentle, giant, giraffe, gym, agent, wedge, George, badge, bridge, ginger, etc.  
There are a lot of these types of words and we've picked some of the more familiar ones to help us learn the sounds and the rule. 
There are a few exceptions to the rule, like in the words get and girl, but for the most  part, the rules apply and make it easier for a young reader to spot the sound in an unfamiliar word.

So, over five weeks, this is the plan:
Soft C - introduce and teach
Z - introduce and teach, plus review soft C sound and teach rules for soft C words
Soft G - introduce and teach, plus review Z sound
X - introduce and teach, plus review soft G sound and teach rules for Soft G words
review soft C and soft G words and rules.

These are the worksheets that I have made so far for teaching these sounds, based on some others I've used and based on the practice Raelee needs.

We circle the letter directly after the c or g and decide whether it will make the hard or soft sound.   Then we read the words or sentences.  

I've also incorporated the soft C and soft G sounds into our reading pages, in our My Friends Reading Book.   I have made our own reader to include sounds we're learning, plus sight words, as we learn them.  We call it My Friends, because the stories are about six characters that we've made up, and their family and friends.   We use pictures from My Cute Graphics.  It is really important that the child is able to practise the target sound and previous sounds in meaningful text, not just isolated words, and to be able to recognise words in their favourite books.   I will write some more about sight words and our My Friends reader in another post.  

After we've spent time on soft c and soft g, we will move onto learning the long vowel sounds that occur in the CVCe words, otherwise known as 'magic' or silent E words, many of which require soft Cs and Gs.
for example, face, rice, mice, cage, page, stage, slice, space, trace, etc

These words are very prevalent in readers and just everyday life and Raelee is showing herself very keen to learn these words and to understand why the word 'hope' doesn't say hop-ee.

So, that's where we're heading for this next learning chunk.   Raelee is enjoying having some new and interesting words to read in her My Friends reader, and new words to use in her story and letter writing.    She loves that she can now spell the name of one her favourite teenage heroes - Georgie.  

Please let me know if you have any questions or if any of this has been helpful to you.  I'm more than happy to tell you where the specific worksheets can be found. 

Linking up at:
The Life Of Faith

No comments:

Post a Comment