Learning to Read...

In our English seminar we learnt about how we teach children to read using phonetics schemes such as 'letters and sounds' and 'jolly phonics'. There is an awful lot about phonics that i don't know and it seems to have changed since I was at school - a statement that makes me sound so old!

We began with looking at definitions of words which are related/used in these schemes, some of these are:

Grapheme - which is how the sound is recorded [written down]
Phoneme - the smallest unit of sound in a word [the sound which a letter makes]
GPC - Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence
Segmenting - splitting up a word into its sounds or phonemes
Blending - putting the sounds or phonemes back together 
Digraphs - a two letter sound
Trigraphs - a three letter sound
Sound button - a dot or line you place under the sound/phoneme to split up the sounds, then when you press the button the children say the sounds getting faster until they blend the phonemes together.

We also looked at what other activities we could use with children to help the learn how to read and write using phonetics and resources. Using pebbles we put together the graphemes to make words, here are some examples of what we did:

After this activity we moved on to look at how to ensure the classroom design encourages children to read, some ideas we had to encourage children to read were:

Using eBooks within the classroom
Word of the Day
Big Picture Books
Story Sacks
Washing line of Letters
Role Play Area
Buddy/Paired Reading
An Exciting Reading Area


  1. This is lovely work and really informative. There are some great ideas.


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