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Reception timetable - phonics / literacy!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Miss.hendo, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. OK. So would you say you have no practical experience of the literacy strategy, searchlights, guided reading and Letters and Sounds and that you have always taught using linguistic phonics?
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    No I wouldn't thumbie
  3. OK. So do you mind saying where you got your practical experience of the literacy initiatives post-1998?

    Even just the literacy strategy?

    It would just be interesting to know.
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Working with literacy consultants/university/students/own children .
  5. What form did that take? Did you dip your toe into teaching children to the strategy? Observe others to share practice? Talk over coffee?
  6. Missed your edit.

    So were your students required to teach to the literacy strategy in your non-LS classroom?

    With your own children did you sort of go along with the multi-cueing? Or did you try to counter the teaching they were getting at school?
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I thought you wouldn't be happy with one example which is why I gave more ... but it seems you won't be happy with anything less than my full CV.
  8. Sorry for being interested.
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    So how does my CV fit in with your observation of time requirements thumbie?

    I'm sure Debbie is aware of how hard teachers work but perhaps she has more faith in their ability to be flexible in their working than you
  10. I was interested in your experience of the literacy strategy because I wondered from what viewpoint you were judging the cueing and whole word methods you called silly. It didn't really have a bearing on the time thing.

    I think my experience of the literacy strategy was different from yours. There was lots wrong with it, but it did emphasise phonics as an initial strategy. On a practical level (just talking from my experience, obviously) it led to a sidelining of one to one reading practice, which was very damaging.
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Interested! I was waiting for the thumbscrews!
  12. www2.ed.gov/.../readingtips.pdf


    ? Every teacher is excited about reading and promotes the value and fun of reading to students.

    ? All students are carefully evaluated, beginning in Kindergarten, to see what they know and what

    they need to become good readers.

    ? Reading instruction and practice lasts 90 minutes or more a day in first, second and third grades

    and 60 minutes a day in Kindergarten.

    ? All students in first, second and third grades who are behind in reading get special instruction and

    practice. These students receive, throughout the day, a total of 60 extra minutes of instruction.

    ? Before or after-school help is given to all students beyond first grade who need extra instruction

    or who need to review skills. Summer school is available for students who are behind at the end

    of the year.

    ? Reading instruction and practice includes work on letters, sounds and blending sounds. Students

    learn to blend letters and sounds to form new words.
  13. The guidance above makes 15 or 20 minutes a day look a bit on the short side does it not!

    It even makes 40 minutes a day look on the short side.

    Figure this out - as much as thumbie considers official promotion of phonics is some big government imposition, the reality is that the government has had to be almost apologetic in its approach and sensitive to early years advisors. Hence the big emphasis on 'Phase One' in Letters and Sounds - which is actually pre-phonics and not pre-requisites.

    To consider that 15 to 20 minutes phonics provision is sufficient for all the children in large class sizes is a myth - and I should not have to fight a corner for sufficient time to be the norm for phonics provision - which IS lifechance stuff whether thumbie wants to split hairs about the definition of the word 'lifechance' or not.

    Ask the children who 'get left behind' - and their parents - whether they would have preferred rigorous and plenty of phonics teaching in the early years and infants - or a token gesture - when the kids become adults and are struggling to get a job.
  14. However - I have to say that the 15 to 20 minutes a day myth is not of thumbie's making - it's pretty much the norm in many schools if not most.

    The thing to do is to track every single child's experience of phonics day by day - by this I mean, in reality, what did Jane practise today under her own auspices? That is: what new words did she sound out by herself and how many, what words did she orally segment and spell today, what letters did she practise writing today - what cumulative words, sentences and texts did she read, consider the meaning for -and discuss today - what did she repeat from the day before to build up her automatic letter/s-sound correspondence recognition, her word recognition, her fluency and automaticity.

    What did she actually do today to lead to her mastery of reading, spelling and handwriting?

    What will she do tomorrow under her own auspices that practises her individual skills?

    If every teacher can, hand on heart, verify that every child in his or her class got the chances above to actually LEARN what is being INTRODUCED, then no worries.

    If teachers can do all of the above in 15 to 20 minutes a day in a class of 30 children, then they're a better teacher than me by far!!!

    And I take my hat off to them!
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I think teachers when talk about 15-20 mins phonics they are talking about actual instruction not about the application within other lessons/activities. I know if I added up all the time spent using and applying skills and knowledge taught in a 20 mins phonic session it would be much more than 40 mins a day.
  16. Debbie's posts don't actually address the real questions here, as she always assumes that more phonics means better phonics, and the earlier the child knows their phonics the better; she also increasingly assumes the more formal the phonics teaching the better. All these assumptions are open to question and discussion.

    On the one hand:

    • More phonics taught in a whole class or group situation means more sitting down and listening for young children, who may therefore not get much from the session after a certain point.
    • The younger the child the less skilled in listening and understanding, as a general rule.
    • Prolonged sessions of formal teaching are less likely to suit and get results with young children than less formal methods.
    • There is a risk that children can build up a dislike of phonics and school if they find the delivery of phonics uncongenial because of their age and stage.
    • Children who find themselves having extra phonic lessons because of lack of success may have this reaction to a greater degree, especially if they continue to experience lack of success.

    And on the other:

    • Time spent on phonics needs to be take from other pursuits which may be of more importance to the development of the young children concerned.
    • Children need certain subskills in place before the formal teaching of phonics (especially if integrated with handwriting) is useful to them. Attempting to hurry these children could be counter productive
    • Other skills taught within reception class, and other experiences besides phonics lessons, may be of more or equal importance to the acquisition of literacy, and yet time and attention given to these skills could suffer.

  17. In other words, phonics might be an important thing to teach, but deciding when and how to teach important content, with a view to the pupils concerned, is as important as the content itself.
  18. Sigh - all these assumptions about me, thumbie, which you aren't in a position to say. Such as, 'she always assumes that more phonics means better phonics'.

    Hmm... and you know that 'how'? What rubbish.

    I don't want to make assumptions about you, either, but what I will suggest is that we must have very opposite experiences because I have never known children, even young children, not enjoy siting down and getting stuck into the phonics resources I've designed.

    You also seem to suggest that any phonics beyond 20 minutes that is 'formal' is at the expense of some other, (more important) activity.

    We have to accept that our approaches and our experiences are different.

    The worry in the early years domain is that prophecies about children become self-fulfilling - such as, they cannot sit still for more than minutes at certain ages, that 'formal' teaching is not appropriate or suitable - or that 'informal' is more suitable (although what I promote for phonics is not 'formal' - that is YOUR word, NOT MINE, so I must be very careful that I make that clear for a start!).

    thumbie - you state above:

    "she always assumes that more phonics means better phonics, and the earlier the child knows their phonics the better; she also increasingly assumes the more formal the phonics teaching the better"

    Where have I said these things? You are interpreting what I have said in your own way and your own words.

    My points have included that it is impossible to deliver the teaching and learning cycle so that each child gets practice at the core skills and sub-skills in 15 to 20 minutes is impossible when there are up to 30 children in the class.

    Have I anywhere said that teaching should be 'formal'? In fact, I questioned your meaning of the word as it is YOUR word.

    For someone who is notorious for picking up on the precision of what was said in previous posts or not, this is not great.
  19. Miss.hendo

    Miss.hendo New commenter


    didn't mean to cause so much controversy on here...

    so all in all going back to the original thread, are we saying that we should teach phonics as well as a formal literacy lesson too in Reception? if so how long do you think the literacy lesson should last?
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    anything with phonics in the title is going to get the same response

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