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Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Miss.hendo, Aug 5, 2013.
so how are you going to explain my commitment thumbie?
or any other poster who is enthusiastic regarding phonics?
You and Maizie are examples of people who are enthusiastic about phonics but do not produce phonic materials (as far as I know).
Debbie is an example of a person who is so enthusiastic about phonics that she has made a career out of writing materials, giving training, producing resources etc.
I don't know enough about any of you to be able to explain the enthusiasm and commitment but I assume you believe that it is important to children's progress that they learn SP or LP in the ways you advocate.
which is exactly why Debbie felt that she needed to produce resources to support the teaching of phonics and to support teachers.
She didn't produce a programme then decide SP was a good idea for children's progress
Oh my goodness - a lot has gone on since I last visited the forum - I've been busy writing yet more resources- for KS 2 children who didn't get as good a grounding as they might have done in KS 1 - or who have greater difficulties in becoming literate from a more 'fun games and activities' approach for 20 minutes a day - or maybe they have English as a new language - or have some core skills but not the handwriting - and so on!
All I have asked folk to do via this thread is consider whether, in 20 minutes, it is realistic in large classes for the teacher to provide the teacher-led revisit and review part of the lesson, followed by teacher-led 'introduce' the focus letter/s-sound correspondence along with a bit of modelling of blending, segmenting and handwriting - followed by a guarantee that every child has had the chance to independently practise the sub-skills and three core skills with a bank of cumulative words, sentences/texts?
If people say they can do this within 20 minutes, like Msz, then fine - although I have to say that I have broadly gauged the time required to do the above, well, may take two complete sessions - not just one - and that it might take 30 minutes for the first day (session) and up to 40 minutes for the next day (session) - but focusing on the same letter/s-sound correspondence over the two days.
In other words, introducing a new letter/s-sound correspondence every other day instead of every day-ish.
I am suggesting that a number of things may lead to weak learning for some of the children:
Inadequate time for at least the slower-to-learn children to get the chance to LEARN.
Too fast a pace for at least some of the programme of work.
Too much emphasis on pink and fluffy 'feel good' games and not enough emphasis on direct practice (which also feels extremely good when children feel themselves doing and learning - but this does not seem to be generally appreciated by some folk - such as thumbie).
Yes, but what about the consequences of spending longer on adult directed phonics, and adopting more formal activities? This question still remains unanswered. One early post suggested that it would be expected that phonics would be taught for 20 minutes per day, literacy for 20, numeracy for 20. If phonics takes an extra 20 minutes, what happens to the other areas of learning? If children are sitting still for phonics, then for literacy (I think the OP seemed to see is as a possibility) that's a lot of sitting still. What gets dropped?
And why are you calling games 'pink and fluffy'? I never played anything pink and fluffy with my class.
You brought the word 'formal' into the conversation - not me. I still suggest that you have done that to make my version of phonics sound more draconian.
I prefer the words fit-for-purpose and core and focused. So, if I need children to apply themselves independently to decoding a number of new words, I would provide them on paper so they can 'work with' and 'own' their activity - plus paper-based resources can go home for informing parents - and can be re-used for revisit and review. Many children need a lot of repetition for embedded learning to take place.
A 'pink and fluffy' way of reading words might be to put some word cards of new words into the sandpit to be extracted before reading. I would say that this is extraneous. I have no problem with such an activity if it is an additional enrichment activity - but I would have a problem with it if it was perceived to be sufficient for up to 30 children to get enough practice of blending a bank of new words for their main daily experience.
If you want to promote games and activities for basic literacy skills, then it is up to you to describe what they might look like.
I think the kind of practice that children get (and not just the time allocated) is very important to guarantee success for them all - and great success at that.
Further, you seem to have no concept of intrinsic satisfaction of learning. Your vision of 'formal' and 'too long' are not at all in keeping with my experience of little children knowing their routines and loving them and thriving on them.
Perhaps you just haven't seen enough different types of provision to fully appreciate the outcomes.
'Career' implies that Debbie has been promoting phonics and producing materials for most of her working life. She hasn't. But I think you would like people reading this to think 'Well, she would, wouldn't she; it's her career.' And I think that by the use of this term you want people to doubt Debbie's integrity.
My previous comment still stands.
I fully agree our children love phonics and are so proud of their achievements. We found reception children "playing phonics" in CI time with a pack of post it notes to blend and segment words after the first phonics session with their class teacher presumably because they found it such a terrible experience
I'm sure you would like to say 'fit for purpose', but is it? You need to support that description by showing that the purpose of children progressing with reading, without other areas suffering, is well served by this more formal approach (sorry, not going to abandon 'formal'). 'Core' - I'm assuming you mean basic and foundational, as though stuff learnt through less formal approaches is somehow less valid, less basic and less foundational. Why should that be the case. 'Focused' - yes, and why can't a less formal activity be 'focused'? So I prefer 'formal' as a better description which does not assume.
The sand tray activity you mention is unlikely to encourage any child to actually read the words. It is not fit for purpose. Fair enough. You would have to add an adult and a search and find the word element. Perhaps a well-motivated group could fish out the words in order to find and decode ones with specific GPCs. What would be 'pink and fluffy' about that? Why 'pink and fluffy', anyway? Are you saying that your activities are 'blue and stiff'? What's that about, Debbie? So a list of words for child to work with and take home is a blue and stiff activity. Strangely it sounds like a standard classroom activity, very similar to the old word tins. It would be good if the words could be assembled to build a variety of sentences and phrases, but it would be best to have them on pink and fluffy word cards for that.
Satisfaction from learning can be gained from any learning activity, it doesn't have to be formal. Yes, children like routines, and games and playful activities can be repeated with different content. Perhaps you just haven't seen enough types of different provision to appreciate the outcomes.
That's a lovely example of a pink and fluffy activity, there, Msz.
A Pink Fluffy CI activity after the wicked abusive Teacher Led and Directed lesson earlier in the day thumbie it had traumatised them so much they wanted to continue all day.
Your caricature of teacher led lessons as abusive and traumatising Msz, not mine. Is that what your teacher led lessons are like?
thumbie - I think you are fixated on the words 'formal' and 'informal' and these mislead the issues at hand.
Do I think longer time spent on very high-quality and effective phonics teaching is time taken away from something more valuable? No.
Do I think a bank of cumulative words which permanently belong to each learner is the equivalent of the tobacco tin going home? Absolutely not.
That comes from the days when the parent at home was expected to drill the child in the words from the reading book - and the reading book couldn't be given to the poor child until he or she could recognise all the words in the tobacco tin.
Sore point with me. Before I knew any better, I used to do the tobacco-tin words sent home by my child's teacher with one of my children (it was in the Roger Red Hat days) and this particular child could only ever remember the card with 'Roger Red Hat' on it - for obvious reasons. I was a trained middle school teacher and didn't know how to teach reading - or how to help a struggling child.
The method was totally flawed. The child was totally failed. As a mother and a teacher, I was totally failed because I was ignorant of how best to teach reading - or how best to support my struggling child. If only I know then what I know now.
I had intuited the alphabetic code as a child - but this was not sufficient for me to know how to teach phonics for reading and spelling. Because the danger is when you intuit the code, you don't realise you have! You often don't even realise, as adults, how and when, and how often, you apply the alphabetic code. That is why so many people, including many teachers, think that 'phonics only takes you so far' - or that the 'English language is not phonetic' or 'only partially phonetic' - all of these things are misunderstandings.
When we send home cumulative word banks nowadays, the child has had teaching at school and knows about sounding out and blending - and may well just need some repetition - some children more than others.
Most parents would want to be informed as to what is going on to teach reading in the school and many parents would want to support their child to get the additional practice.
You can hardly send home the word cards from the sandpit for every child!
I took my lead from your horror that we should expect young children to use paper and pencil
Well, I have no problem with formal and informal. But if you can think of better words which distinguish teaching styles wth the same accuracy please say. 'Fit for purpose', 'core' and 'focused' just don't do it.
When I mentioned word tins I was commenting on the resource not the objective. No, you wouldn't send home the words from the sandpit.
However you get to know the 'alphabet code', intuited or taught, it doesn't really have much bearing on how you teach it, once you've decided that it is worth teaching, that I can see.