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Help! No training in Read Write Inc

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Honey Loop, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Honey Loop

    Honey Loop New commenter

    Please help! I need some reassurance or reminders to stay calm!
    I'm a reception teacher and I have been on the sick for the last half term (hip replacement). I missed the training day on the last day of term on Read Write Inc. which we have used in KS2 for the last 3 years.
    I've just spoken to the Nursery teacher and she told me that the whole school are going to use RWI from September. I've been using a mix of JP and L&S and have been happy with this way of teaching reading and writing.
    Apparently I have been provided with large letter sounds and an instruction book. I've tried to find out how it works but all I can find on the web is testimonials about how fab it is or resources I can buy. Nothing on how to actually use it to teach.
    So, a few questions -
    How does it work?
    I gather that children move into different groups as they progress. Without TA support, will this be manageable or will I spend all day doing phonics groups (I only have 22 children)?
    Which sounds are taught first and how does it fit with the JP and L&S resources I already have (just spent the last 6 weeks of my recovery updating tatty What's in the Box resources.grrrrr)?
    I've read varying accounts of when to start and that it can be monotonous. (Our children are so delayed, that they are more at starting Nursery stage, than starting Reception stage) - any thoughts?
    And finally, how does it work with the cursive script I have to teach in Reception?

    I think I might hate it already, unless someone can convince me otherwise.
  2. OK breath and take stock. I had similar thoughts when we started Read Write Inc in our Early Years Unit. The children are grouped according to ability so you may have 15 plus children in a group and the others with a TA. The programme is written in the handbook and you deliver each lesson as it is written and then after 6 weeks the RWinc Manager will reassess the children and regroup them ready for the next half term. So a reception class will start with the simpe sounds and write and blend them. After re assessment there may be children still on the simple sounds and another group ready to move on which will mean you may teach the new group and the TA have the children relearning the sounds or vise versa.
    At the end of the year the lessons will be upto 40 minutes long and the children may be grouped with year 1 and 2 if you have a wide range of abilities

  3. Honey Loop

    Honey Loop New commenter

    Thanks Littlestones. Does it take long to consolidate? I worry that I will be doing phonics all day, as I have no support this year. Also, as far as I'm aware, thre are no plans to mix year groups. We have small class sizes (ranging from 15-22 children in each class - only nursery has support) and each teacher will be responsible for assessing and grouping
  4. Hi Honey

    Ok the first thing you need is the phonics handbook, it tells you exactly what to say and do to to introduce each sound - this is not the same as the general handbook - it has each sound spread over 2 pages. You will also need associated green word cards but you can manage without these.

    you will teach 1 sound a day as a whole class group and that is it (about 10 mins) - till your assessor tests them all at 6-8 weeks. We don't split into ability groups till after Xmas, then as we have 3 classes and 6 adults we can have a range of groups - someone in your school should be the co-ordinator - ask them how you will manage the groups. How many classes do you have in foundation?

    After xmas children have a half hour session in their groups. Don't panic, once you have read through the phonics handbook and done a couple of days it gets much easier - at first you will be reading the script off the page, but soon you can run with it and make it your own. The first sounds you learn are ma,s,d,t i,n,p,g,o, and the red word 'I'. This means after a week the children can start writing basic sentences - I am 4, I am - name etc. Red words are phonically irregular and are learnt as sight words.

    Oh and you'll need a Fred puppet - most people have a frog but I have a fox. He can only read green words - you can't Fred a red! Oh and as well as RWI we also do at least one other literacy task a week.

    It works really well if you stick to the script and follow the program!

    Are there any schools nearby having training as part of INSET - I know we are - you could pop along if they're not full.

    Good luck
  5. Who ever did your training?
    Red words are decodable, with a 'grotty' grapheme (same as JP 'tricky words' really..). There's no 'sight word' learning in RWI.
  6. Yes you are right, I was just trying to explain it to someone who hadn't done the training. Some red words stay red foreverr, some indeed do become decodeable as more sounds are learnt. but for instance 'I' you teach by showing them the card and them repeating it - like a sight word to someone not in the know.
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    What![​IMG] no you teach that the letter can represent the sound /ie/ in I and mind and wild and find etc
  8. capital 'I' is 'I' - it might make the same sound but you don't write mInd - you write mind.
  9. Honey Loop

    Honey Loop New commenter

    Thanks for your input, everyone. I'm still concernedabout the time it'll take to deliver as I will not have a TA and there will be only me with 22 children.
    also, how will it fit with the cursive I have to teach. The last couple of years I've introduced a sound showing the letter as print and explained that 'this is how it looks in books and in the environment, but this is how we write it'
    And, what about the letters and sounds 'what's in the box' resources (as an example) where sounds are introduced in a different order? Will I not be able to use them until much later?
  10. In addition to the order of introducing the letter/s-sound correspondences in any phonics programme SYSTEMATICALLY, it's also possible to teach any letter/s-sound correspondences in the alphabetic code as the need arises - for example, for individual teaching and as arises in wider books and the wider curriculum.
    Some children won't remember code knowledge introduced casually for the first time, but others will and others will self-teach once they realise the rationale.
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    It doesn't matter what case the letter is, it is still the same grapheme representing the same sound
  12. LauraJeanD

    LauraJeanD New commenter

    Stop being so aggressive! People on here are always so quick to take others down. I know you're not intentionally trying to come across this way but it makes for very uncomfortable reading. There. Said my peace. I'll leave quietly now!
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm afraid it worries me greatly that we are teaching children and aren't secure in our own knowledge. If you consider that aggressive well I'm sorry.
  14. LauraJeanD

    LauraJeanD New commenter

    Sorry. I am being a hypocrite! I just think there are nicer ways to correct somebody.
  15. Why so shocked? It is perfectly reasonable to teach 'I' in isolation - it is unique in the sense that it is always written in upper case. There's no harm in teaching that it represents the same sound as 'i' in 'mind', but you would have to stress that it doesn't look the same to avoid confusion.
  16. I'm with you Laura. I don't think that a forum aimed at supporting colleagues who have asked for help is not the place to vent general frustrations. Don't worry at all about using RWI. It fits very well with Letters and Sounds. Ruth Miskin was the chief advisor for L&S and developed RWI so is based on the same sound teaching principles. You should have copies of the handbook in your school. It is very easy to follow. At first you tend to follow it quite robotically but once you have the hang of it and things become second nature, you will add your own personality and style to it. If I were you I would teach a sound a day to the whole classfor about 10 mins to begin with. Use L &S stage 1 activities to focus on listening, alliteration and rhyme to develop pre-phonics skills for the children who are not yet ready for RWI. After a few days you will have taught enough 'Speed Sounds' for the children to use magnetic letters to try blending and spelling a few simple words, again for about 10 mins per group. You don't have to do all of your phonics activities within any prescriptive session - you can dot it around the day to suit you.The RWI program may go over some children's heads but later in the term or year, when their listening and concentration skills are better developed, there are opportunities to repeat the programme Your RWI manager may be able to allocate a TA to you when your class are ready to split into two groups - those that recognise letter sounds, can decode and can blend and those who need to repeat the program. Use register time, lining up time, PE lessons, hidden objects etc to practise decoding skills (Fred Talk) and beginning sounds and provide the children with the usual opportunities to play with letter shapes and play games It is also a good idea to create a role play area that lends itself to reading and spelling simpel 3 phoneme words and beginning sounds such as a Vets with a recorded answer machine with words such as cat, dog, Pat, rat, Sam, pig etc. As far as 'Red Words' are concerned, initially they are taught as whole word recognition sight words. Later, sometimes much later, as the children learn more complex phonics, some of the red words will become green words (phonetic words) and some will always remain red words. If you go to the RWI website you should be able to find details of lead schools which you can visit in your area to watch experienced RWI teachers deliver the program. When I did this I found it really helpful. I think there are also some training DVD's that you can buy. There are also some helpful videos on YouTube that you could check out. The main thing to remember that as an experienced teacher who has used Letters and Sounds, you will be fine and gradually pick up more and more of the RWI lingo as you go. Hope this is a little more helpful than caustic comments
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    or you could make the point of teaching them that "I" replaces their name and like their name has a capital letter
  18. You could, but I wouldn't, as it doesn't replace their name. It has a unique meaning. And I wouldn't want them to start writing 'me', 'you', 'we' and 'they' etc with capitals.
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Perhaps your pupils don't refer to themselves by name rather than "I"
  20. Occasionally they do, yes, but it is not standard English.

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