Sunday, 15 November 2015

Phonics- Top 3 Tips & Tweaks

As you may know I'm a bit of a Phonics geek and I love finding new ways to spice up my lessons.
We follow Letters and Sounds at our school and I love the freedom it affords.
 I live by the 'Fast, Fun and Frequent' approach to my sessions and like to get the kids up and moving as much as possible.

In this post I've included 3 top tips or tweaks you might want to use to add a bit of pizzaz to your sessions too! 

As we all know one of the most valuable parts of a Phonics session is the 'Apply' part. It gives the children a glimpse into how they will actually use these skills in real life and show them that they CAN read! 

With my group, children who are needing more practise at Phase 2, tracking the text as they read is a big issue. Using text trackers (or partner pointers if they are reading in a pair) has given this key skill a massive boost. 
Yes they all have fingers but these are just so much more fun!

Fly swatters have added a great fun twist to my Phonics. 
Buy 2 for £1 in the pound shop and give your 'Revisit and Review' section a makeover too! 

I like to put the grapheme cards in the middle of a circle, have 1 kiddie shout out a sound and the children with the swatters have to race to splat it! This can be used when reading tricky words, practising blending or even applying their reading skills. 
To ensure maximum participation I split my group into 2 and use 4 swatters. 

I'm a firm believer that before a child can blend and segment using written sounds, they need to be able to do it orally. I adore teaching these skills using my little friend 'Freddy'. Freddy can only 'sound-talk' and so he whispers his instructions to me, I sound-talk them to my little friends and they blend the sounds to follow the instruction- it's lots of fun, active and an invaluable step.
 My puppet friend can also work in reverse- the children have to sound-talk to give him an instruction! Perfect! 

If you don't fancy using a puppet, why not try my 'Daisy says….' set to practise those all important blending skills too! 

Please let me know if you try out any of these ideas in your Phonics and how you got on.

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