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Letter/sound/word of the week?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by kaz_allan, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Hi all
    can anyone share what they are doing with learning letters and sounds and key words in reception. Do children take key words home and how many each week? Do you do the same for sounds and alphabet each week?
    I am not sure how to work this next year as new to reception and currently they send all key words home at once but practice a few each week in class. no alphabet or sound work is sent home and only a few sounds taught each week from letters and sounds.
    any advice/suggestions would be great.
    thanks allx
  2. In reality, Letters and Sounds amounts to detailed guidance, not a practical, full programme for teaching 30 children in a class for around three years - there are virtually no resources and teachers have to work hard to create the words and sentences into a format which they can use with the children themselves.
    If your school is not set up with ample teaching and learning resources, you need to consider discussing this with your headteacher.
    It should be obvious what you need to teach from the school's systematic programme and available resources. If it is not obvious, you may have a resourcing issue.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    In reception I taught 5 sounds a week using Jolly Phonics (because our parents like it) . Each child has a "sound Book" and each new sound is added as it is taught and sent home to practise. The book is returned daily so the sounds can be added.
    I've just purchased some of Debbie's Sounds and Letters resources to be used by the staff in reception and Y1 next year although we will retain JP as our main programme in reception.
  4. Msz said: "Each child has a "sound Book" and each new sound is added as it is taught and sent home to practise. The book is returned daily so the sounds can be added."

    Sadly, I get the impression that this great idea by Jolly Phonics has died off in some schools as they say they now 'follow' Letters and Sounds.
    It was the 'Sounds Book going home' routine which led to me developing the 'core skills' (or multi-skills) Activity Sheets which I consider to be hugely important - and these are designed to become part of the bookbag routine.
    Double-sadly, teachers might ignore these dismissing them as 'worksheets' which have got a bad name in primary schools. I hope this does not happen however.

  5. This is another of my gripes against read write inc as the trainer says it is to be used in school and is not intended to be sent home. There are no useful letter/sound cards in the manuals that can be copied and sent home without fiddling around on the photocopier resizing. It's as if RWInc doesn't trust parent sto continue the sound work "properly"

    Previously we used jolly phonics to teach letters and sounds and sent a sound a day home.
  6. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    We use Jolly Phonics and teach 4 sounds a week. On Fridays we send home an A4 sheet that shows that week's letters, the sound they usually make, the associated picture and the action.
    We begin key words in January once most children are confident at blending to read. We teach a set of words one week (about 8 or 10 words in a set), and revise them the next week. I usually teach about 2 words a day when I'm introducing new words. We send a sheet home at the end of the week with the set of words on.
  7. Cariad2
    What do you do if a child already knows some letter sounds and quickly grasps blending? Would you send words home earlier.
    I'm moving into Reception in Sept (currently in Y1) and our present EY teacher starts Jolly Phonics almost immediately and sends home a little book each week with the sound/picture of action stuck in which I shall continue as I feel this works really well.
    She also sends home 'flashcards' of words that link into our reading scheme (mainly ORT but some other publications too) they are split into 4 stages and there are about 80+ words. She does this when the children are secure in a number of sounds.
    I wonder though whether some of these words need to be re-jigged as some are easily blended and others are much trickier to learn. I obviously need to send the CV and CVC words home sooner??? She has done this for 15 years (only ever taught in Reception) so she insists it works!
    Don't want to re-invent the wheel but going through mounds of flashcards with 28 kids every week seems hardwork and I know we try and continue it through into Year 1 but often it's something that gets missed.
    Do your words link to your reading scheme or are they just high freq words?
  8. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    I don't send words home earlier - I extend children through their reading. So they will advance through the reading scheme more quickly than children who aren't so confident. The most able children seem to just pick up high frequency irregular words by meeting them in their books.
    I can't remember offhand,but I think our word lists came from Letters and Sounds. They're a mixture of regular and tricky words in each set. That seems to work OK. At the beginning of the week I'll introduce the easier words such as CVC words. Most of children can decode the words which makes the less confident children feel good about the reading. We leave trickier words to the end of the week, and talk about which letters make the sound that we expect and which parts of the word are tricky.
    We don't have a reading scheme as such. For years, we had Oxford Reading Tree, but over the last few years we've been building up our collection of decodable books, using books from a number of different schemes. We've graded the books according to their phonic complexity, and now don't introduce the ORT books until children are confident blenders (the green and blue books are the lowest level, but they're awful - years and years ago they were given to children in September, and they just used to memorise them because they're too complex)
  9. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    I've just reread your post, and realised I'd skimmed this paragraph. Did you mean that your reading books are split into 4 stages? If you did, I'd suggest that the stages are very broad. It might make it difficult to match books to a child's ability.
    I've split my books into 7 levels. I posted a suggested progression on the Resource Bank ages ago - it might be helpful.
    I've just checked it out, and it's by no means comprehensive - I posted it a few years ago, and more decodable books have come out since then. It also only has the first 4 stages that I use - I have 3 higher stages with more advanced ORT books.
  10. Hi
    No the flashcards are split into stages not the scheme, we have a really good bank of reading books but use ORT as the trunk and then use others to reinforce/consolidate.
    The ORT has some excellent picture only books now, they are grey and then they move onto purple, First word/First Sentences (Stage 1). Our children probably don't meet Stage 2 (green) in reception unless they are really confident readers and Stage 3 (blue) is read by Year 1 - but obviously some children are higher up the scheme.
    We currently have a reception child reading at Stage 7 but she is exceptionally bright!
    We have seperate books for guided reading which are colour coded/book banded!
    Thanks for your help
  11. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Teenytiny, you posted something higher up the thread. I don't think what you say about Read Write Inc and parental involvement is correct, and it sounds as though your trainer was not well-versed in what the scheme documents themselves actually say. Was that a trainer from RWI that your school had paid a lot for? I would complain if they were so lacking in knowledge of the scheme; unless of course they had been asked by someone at your school to tailor what they said to exclude parents for some reason.
    The phonics handbook and lesson plans for Read Write Inc does refer to sending certain things home, it fits well on a photocopier, and certainly in the lesson plans book there is stuff that it would be useful sending home to a parent. I talk as a parent who never received anything from school about Read Write Inc so I bought some of the materials myself and was able to see what it would have been great to receive at home as parent. Also, on the RWI section of the OUP website there is some useful info for parents, and there are certain things that parents can buy via Amazon or OUP that are great - e.g. the small sound cards.
  12. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    louise ea, what are the colours and stages you refer to in ORT? I don't recognise them at allI I'm afraid.

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