Having fun with phonics
What are phonics?
Phonics are words made up from small units of sound called phonemes.
Phonics teaches children to be able to hear and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words.
This stands for Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences. This means that they are taught all the phonemes in the English language and how to write them down. These sounds are taught in a particular order.
The first sounds are
s, a, t, p
Children are taught ways to blend sounds together. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge sounds together until they can hear and say what the word is. This skill helps children to read words.
Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending, so it pulls the word apart. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the different phonemes that make it up. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.
A way of writing down a phoneme or sound.
Digraphs are basically phonemes with two letters. For example
ch, oo, th
There are approximately 44 phonemes in the English language despite there only being 26 letters in our alphabet!
There are many ways to help children secure their phonics. It's great to use the 5 senses to explore the specific sound or phoneme that you are concentrating on.
Sight - use a magic wand to create a spell in the air of the phonic, or use an interactive smart board
Smell - create the shape of the phoneme in items that smell delicious! Use flowers, soaps, fruit or other delightfully whiffy things!
Touch - use sensory items to trace the phoneme. Use soft, hard, squishy, bobbly toys to create the shape and trace with your finger whilst saying the sound.
Hear - blindfold the child and get them to follow the sound of your voice whilst saying the targeted sound.
Taste - can you think of things to eat that start with that sound?
How about trying to create the shape with your body or create the shape using string or a rope and walk beside it?
Making activities engaging and kinaesthetic will stimulate the child(ren) and create a holistic approach to teaching and learning.
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Where can I find more information and phonic resources?
Janna at Fun Phonics has specific information on how to teach targeted phonics, plus she has created lots of exciting resources to support activities. Watch Janna's phonic videos here, www.funphonics.education where the children are demonstrating new strategies and games!
Fun Phonics is a small, independent, UK based phonics school for parents, staff, and pupils of primary and pre-school education.
Fun Phonics offers educational advisory and consultancy services, courses and seminars for groups of parents and educators of children.