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Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Honey Loop, Apr 10, 2011.
There, read what Debbie says. Much more coherent than my waffle!
I could send you several resources that give practice at reading/spelling split digraph words.
[Word cards, sentences on cards, card games, Board game, posters]
I teach the short and long vowels in January with my Reception class (we have already covered all the Jolly Phonics sounds in the Autumn term): we chant the vowels, sing a simple vowel song, and go through flashcards for the vowels, saying first the short sounds and then the long sounds.
Once most children are confident with this, I introduce magic e. I know that's an old fashioned term, and "split digraph" was introduced years ago along with the NLS. But, I've always found "magic e" more child-friendly and easy for children to remember - most of my children can remember the vowels, but they're not all confident with their digraphs.
I introduce magic e with a poster that I made, and then we practice blending words using large magnetic letters. I like to pick a cvc word that will make a real word once magic e has been added eg we read "hop", add magic e, recall that magic e will turn "o" into "oh", and then read "hope"
I don't really follow Letters and Sounds, so don't worry about which phase it comes into. I just find it useful, and easy for children to pick up, so there's no reason not to teach it.
The short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds are really handy for many words.
Consider 'making', 'baby', 'biking', 'poking' and so on.
The configuration in the word either becomes 'a-i', 'a-y' and so on - not just 'magic e'.
That is why teachers need a flexible approach to teaching phonics for reading and phonics for spelling.
Sometimes, a letter/s-sound correspondence is easy for reading purposes and not for spelling purposes.
Letter 'x' is a classic example of this. It is easy to read words like 'fox' or 'taxi' or 'text' - but what if the child wants to spell 'ducks', 'likes' or 'bikes' or 'looks'?
The child can 'identify' /ks/ in those words - but they are not spelled with letter 'x'. That is why the teacher needs to think about all aspects of phonics for reading and for spelling. This will bring in some work on singular/plural and verb endings.
Also, the Phase 6 of Letters and Sounds - I would suggest that those things need to be addressed as a constant. You don't just get exposed to words with prefixes and suffixes when you have done Phase 2 to 5 of Letters and Sounds. They appear in natural language all the time for reading and for spelling.
Whilst a phonics programme can provide you with a planned, systematic structure, you still need to be proactive with an incidental approach at all times - but beware of ruining a great shared big book read with 'phonics' teaching. Don't!
When I'm doing whole class phonics I tend to stick to short words that most of the class will be able to decode quickly eg short magic e words, be, she, go, no etc.
But I do keep repeating the mantra "try the short sound first. If it doesn't make sense - try the long sound". By now, I can pause after "try the ..." and the class will chorus "try the long sound".
It helps the whole class with those useful little words, but it also gives my more able readers a useful strategy for words like those quoted above which they might come across in their reading books.
Split digraphs are not difficult for the able children in reception - we are teaching phase 5 to 20 out of 60 children with all the others having some input on it. The children can recognise and use split digraphs for reading and some are beginning to relate it to their writing. We are continually reviewing, revising everything taught, but some children understand and learn much more quickly than others.
I usually start with a word such as tie and say that sometimes the consonants are cheeky and try to split the letters of the sound up - I them show an m coming along and forcing its way between i and e to make time.