Lots of practitioners like to add a bit of Christmas sparkle to their lessons towards the end of the Autum term.
In this article I share 4 simple Christmas reading activities, which can be adapted to use with any phonics programme. These could be incorporated into phonics lessons (depending on your learning objective and focus) or they could be used as short stand alone phonics activities on the days your timetable doesn’t allow for a full phonics lesson (eg because of Christmas plays/parties etc).
Sign up to receive an editable Christmas bauble grapheme recognition activity (described below).
This article explains the purpose of the home school reading diary, why writing ‘read well’ is not particularly helpful and what parents/carers could write instead to best support the development of their child’s reading skills. Sign up to receive a bank of useful, time saving comments which could be used in reading diaries and how these can be written using very few words.
This article outlines 5 things you can do to increase the chances of your children doing well in the phonics screening check. Links to resources are provided, tips are given and you can sign up to receive an analysis of graphemes used in previous PSCs and those which have yet to be used.
This article outlines the things it is useful for your child to know before they start school and what you can do to help them learn these things. Sign up to access a 10 minute video in which you’ll discover 3 key early reading/writing skills some children learn incorrectly before they start school, so you can help avoid the need for your child to re-learn these skills in September.
This article explains what tricky words (also known as common exception words) are and identifies different types of mnemonics which can be used to teach children how to spell these words. Video links with practical examples are provided and you can sign up to receive two free tricky word spelling mnemonics you can use to help your child learn these spellings – one is suitable for Reception children and the other for Y1.
This article outlines 5 things you can do to maintain/improve your 4-7 year old child’s reading during the school holidays. Links to relevant research are provided, tips are given and you can sign up to receive 4 free phonetically decodable digital poems for your child to read to/with you during the school holidays when you may not have enough reading books from school for them to practise with.
This article explains why supporting your child with phonics at home is so important and provides you with practical ways in which you can do this. Sign up for a free 9 page activity booklet with lots of variations on a popular game, which you can use to develop your child’s phonics skills at home/when out and about, with no resources and little time required.
There are lots of things to consider when choosing what approach to use to phonics teaching - be it sticking with your own programme or investing in a validated one.
The videos below should help you to clarify your thinking and make the decision making process easier.
Video 1 identifies 40 things to think about and discuss in school to identify the approach that will be best for you and the children you teach. I would add another 2 things since making this video:
Video 2 identifies 8 common mistakes schools make when choosing an SSP. I have been concerned about certain trains of thought which seem to be common amongst school staff when considering SSP programmes to invest in. These have come to my attention through discussions with schools and reading online forums. Watching this video will help you avoid such thoughts leading to costly mistakes when choosing a programme (including your own). Hopefully you can then focus on the things that will have a positive impact on phonics teaching and learning in your school.
I hope you find these videos useful.
Following the DfE response to some additional queries I raised with them, I have made another video containing additional information.
This video explains everything we currently know about the future of Letters and Sounds. I am awaiting answers from both the DfE and OFSTED to some questions seeking further clarification on a number of issues. I will post another video(s) when I hear back from them. Register for my newsletter (bottom right hand corner of the home page) to receive a notification when the next video is availble to watch.