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Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by ANNABEL39, Feb 9, 2012.
Can anyone recommend any good phonics training sites or any online courses?
Agree with Maizie it is so easy to teach yourself. As long as you are interested. I have taught so many children to read and it is so satisfying. I had a bit of training whilst doing the STA course many years ago, it was literally one afternoon. It fired my interest and I just read up on it some more.
Ruth miskin is worth looking up, there's a presentation on her website with all the pure sounds on.
We use the Letters and Sounds programme which can be downloaded online. Many schools use this and it is easy and comprehensive. to understand. Phase 1 begins in foundation then phases 2-6 continue through year 1/2. Take a look, you can't go wrong.
I earnestly would not recommend Letters & Sounds as an introduction. Those Phases are completely unnecessary and give a very strange view of phonics teaching. I know one of the authors of Letters & Sounds and please believe me when I say that she would not have worked in 'phases' had she been allowed a free hand.
Nice straightforward programmes such as Jolly Phonics, Read Write Inc, Fast Phonics First, Sound Discovery, Phonics International etc. are much less complex and far more what synthetic phonics teaching should look like!
I agree, our school uses Letters and Sounds and whilst I really enjoy teaching phonics I find the phases really restricting. The idea that pupils all progress at the same rate through the different phases isn't the reality.
I work with SEN groups and Letters and Sounds has no answer to what to do with those children who struggle to get past the blending and segmenting of cvc words,apart from rushing them onwards and upwards in increasing levels of complexity. I too have found it necessary to read beyond Letters and Sounds to support these children.
My school has been part of a Local Authority Phonics monitoring programme. Every child in Foundation and KS1 were put into a grid with the Letters and Sounds phase that they were currently on. We had to do this every term to show how the pupils were progressing through the phases.For whatever reason Letters and Sounds does seem to be the preferred teaching method by many schools.
The really, really annoying thing about L & S is that schools are under no obligation to use it; there are much better synthetic phonics programmes aroud, yet those flaming phases seem to have taken on a life of their own. Fabulous programmes like Jolly Phonics and RWI have been teaching children to read, with good, structured synthetic phonics, for years with never a'phase' in sight. But now the L & S 'phases' are being used as some sort of benchmark for all children. It's rubbish....
Consider. Children have learned s,a,t,p,i,n. You can make a lot of words with those (which is why they are usually the first correspondences taught). From what I understand (I've lost my copy of L & S so can't check) phase 2 demands that they only use these correspondences for cvc words. Am I right? Because if I am, it's bonkers. You will have children who can bearly sound out and blend 'at' and 'it' and children who would be perfectly capable of sounding out and blending 'satin' & 'span' & 'spin' etc.. Without the straitjacket of the 'phase' they could all be working with the same graphemes but at different levels. As it is, you have teachers frantic because the children in the class are all in different 'phases' and it is hard to manage...
Someone tell me it ain't like that
Because it is FREE and teachers don't know that it isn't very good because they've never taught proper synthetic phonics before...
I teach letters and sounds my way! The biggest issue I have with it is that there is so little on applying the sounds taught. It seems there is a bigger and bigger push to teach different phases in certain year groups whether the children are ready or not. We are getting children in year 2 who have had 2 years plus teaching of Letters and Sounds who still cannot read. They are a class of blenders and segmenters but not a clue when it comes to reading a book or writing. They blend their way through every word in a book without any understanding of what they have read. It is all this rushing that is doing it. Rushing to learn and read the sounds as fast as possible. Hence I have a large group of year 2s who cannot read who have done phase 3 3 times now and still don't have the sounds. I am going much slower with teaching the sounds and spending more time practising and applying sounds. I know some won't agree but I teach a maximum of 2 sounds in a week. They are at last making progress.
As for the ccvc or cvcc words Maizie there does seem to be a time in phonics teaching when children are ready to take this on board. Thinking of my littlies, out of a group of 7 children 2 are hearing that extra consonant in ccvc or cvcc words the rest will need to be taught it. They are slightly better at blending them but I do include the teaching of this within phase 3. Phase 4 is a complete nonsense phase. I think most young children certainly at my school would not be able to blend or segment ccvc or cvcc words after only learning 6 sounds.
That is so worrying, GTA. To me it says that the teachers really don't understand what they are doing. You know me, I am the biggest advocate of synthetic phonics ever, but everything I do is with the objective of getting children reading. One has surely got to be extremely thick not to understand that reading and understanding is the only objective we should have in mind, not getting through the 'phases' at the right time; that all the decoding and blending in the world is pointless if it doesn't achieve that objective.
Of course, there are plenty of schools which use SP where the objective (reading) is achieved with most, if not all of the children, but those teachers do understand what they are doing!
I refer you back to my last comment about why schools use L & S!
And I'm going to copy your post to the rrf message board for comments...
No wonder people complain about phonics teaching producing children who can sound out and blend but can't 'read'!