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Teaching Students to Read and Spell.
Online training, student phonics and HFW videos, decodable readers and more - join as an SSP member and learn online with Miss Emma,, The Reading Whisperer, from anywhere in the world!
Miss Emma also runs 'Steps to Reading' playgroups and offers 1:1 sessions with children in The Reading Hut (Dorset, UK). She is passionate about early intervention, and works in partnership with parents from all over the world.
Miss Emma has a BEd Hons *Early Years specialism) MA Special Educational Needs and is undertaking a doctorate at the University of Reading.
What does the letter 't' represent? Which speech sound/s?
Just as speech sounds (phonemes) can be represented by different Sound Pics (graphemes) the Speech Sound Monsters clearly show when the Sound Pics represent different speech sounds!
Look at the letter t. It represents 3 different speech sounds here, TORCH RATIO FUTURE. Look at the words and think about each phoneme.
Letters don't 'make sounds', they represent sounds; WHICH speech sounds depend on the word!
So if a child hears 't makes /tuh/, t for tree' etc it can be misleading. t represents /ch/ and /sh/ in these words. So SSP children know ‘t’ represents the phoneme ‘tuh’ in our Green Code Level, our first Code Level but it will always depend on the word. We work with ‘tuh’ as it’s so common, but our Sound Wall (spelling clouds) allow children to explore this whenever they want! When we are exploring words eg when writing, we can’t limit them to just words with high frequency graphemes! We do this within decodable readers to practice blending HF graphemes, but ‘real’ books will have the whole code. It’s vital that we expose children to it.
Most kids aren’t given opportunities to understand that whole code. Removing ‘levelled readers’ to replace them with decodable readers won’t remove the issues children face when reading. They need all the info, so HOW we guide them to that matters. We are showing parents and teachers how to ensure that the highest number of kids can read ‘real’ books. We want them to choose what they want to read. So we create solutions for teachers, and resources that allow children to understand the written code. We don’t have time to explicitly teach all 350 or so spelling choices. But that’s ok, because brains are amazing when you give them access to info. So please make sure they can see all the spelling choices using a Speech Sound Wall and by using the Spelling Cloud Keyrings etc Choice of readers is all about ‘best fit’ for the child, depending on their understanding of the code!
When children explore words using Code Mapping to segment words down to the phoneme level AND Monster Mapping they reach the stage of Orthographic Mapping far earlier as they are AWARE of how speech sounds are represented on paper, and how letters are used to represent these speech sounds,
Traditional phonics programs are slow-paced and do not facilitate differentiated learning OR expose children to the WHOLE CODE. Unfortunately, many teachers and parents are not aware of this, and think they can teach the whole code explicitly, or that children will just 'pick it up' - even if they don't give opportunities and strategies to help them do so. This is often because of the phonics training they receive, and the phonics programs they chose (or are chosen for them)
If you are a parent ask your teacher how your child learns that t can represent /ch/ and /sh/ etc. Because if taught using phonics the theory is that phonemes map to graphemes in ALL words. Every word (but two) can be ‘sounded out’ ie is decodable.
We must start not only empowering teachers with knowledge of the science of reading (SoR) but also help them to APPLY it.
That's what I do every single day, and I LOVE it.
Miss Emma X