Jumaat, 25 November 2011

Reading Wall

Classroom “Reading Wall” Vocabulary Program

The ReadingKey Classroom Vocabulary Program is an extremely powerful tool that will insure steady grade level reading progress for your students throughout the school year. Students who can correctly read the words for their grade level typically score in the top 10% on standardize national reading tests. The program is designed to be taught in a classroom setting of any number of students. As vocabulary (reading words correctly) and fluency (reading words smoothly and easily) are stated as important reading instruction skills, our Classroom Vocabulary Program will allow your school to state it is implementing effective “research based” strategies for student instruction. Because the program is organized into precise daily vocabulary units, and requires only 30 minutes of instruction per day, it is the ideal program to run alongside your school’s current reading program resulting in significantly higher student success and greatly improved test scores. If the program is used beginning in Grade 1, it will enable identifying problem readers much earlier than other reading programs The individual steps to be used when implementing the program are listed at the top of each day’s vocabulary words (see below). The only skills required of students before beginning the Classroom Vocabulary Program is complete mastery of consonant sounds (b says buh – etc), along with the difficult consonant digraphs – ch – sh – th – wh). If this is accomplished, students will then progress rapidly because of the inherent design of the program. Vowel sounds (which are the hardest for students to learn) do not need to be memorized before beginning the program since these are taught throughout the year in each daily word list. If teachers would like additional practice in vowel sound pronunciation, we have audio and video instruction for the vowel sounds at - http://www.tampareads.com/realaudio/tests/index-rm.htm
If you are a teacher or principal and would like to view the “Classroom Reading Wall Vocabulary Program” in operation, we have set up internet video of the program on our web site. You can see this at – www.tampareads.com/video/index.htm


Print out the day’s Classroom Reading Wall “Lesson” –
tape together – and place in a location where it can be easily seen by all students (i.e. front board).
Discuss the colored vowel sound seen in each word. Have the class say the sound as you point to the colored letter(s) in each word. 
In this powerful and unique step the class says the sound made by all letters up to the vowel sound. For example, if the word was “fast” – the students would say the sound made only by blending the “f” and short “a” together – “fa.” Start with the first word and have the students call out all of the “STOP AT THE VOWEL SOUNDS.” To make it easier, use your hand to cover over the letters to the right of the colored vowel sound.
Students absolutely love this entertaining procedure for beginning the memorization process of any important sound – word – or concept. Whenever the teacher says the words - “COPY CAT” - the students stop whatever they are doing and are to repeat everything said or done by the teacher. The teacher can then say important sounds – words – or phrases and the entire class repeats in unison. For maintaining interest, try adding a few unrelated “yawns” – “coughs” – “noises” etc. The teacher signals the end of the activity by sliding her finger/hand across her throat.
Another fun activity! Students begin by placing both hands on the top of their desk. The teacher says the words in order (pausing 5 seconds before saying the word) but intentionally makes a mistake on one or two of the words. When students think the teacher has made a mistake, they raise their hand and say the correct word - (This technique increases student concentration, thereby enhancing memorization).
6.         TIMED READING
The teacher calls on a student to say the words in order but uses a stopwatch – timer – (or classroom clock) to time how many seconds it takes to say the list. Write the student’s name and time on the board. Repeat this process with several students to see who has the fastest time. This mild competition makes for a fun and exciting activity. 
7.         WORD OF THE DAY
The last word on this list is called the “Word of the Day.” It is typically harder than the other phonics based list words and therefore, requires much more time to commit to memory.
The next step is to further solidify memorization of the words by using a powerful memorizing technique known as “Recognition Memory.” Pass out the appropriate LESSON worksheet available from the Vocabulary Building section on our web site (or CD). Following SKILL 1 Directions -The teacher then calls out each word (or definition clue) in random order. Students are to then look over the Reading Wall words and choose the correct answer and write it on the worksheet. Students then complete Skill 2 and 3 on their own.
       What about students who still show difficulty learning the week’s vocabulary words? Simply give these students one-on-one instruction for 5-10 minutes daily using our special “Student Reading Wall” techniques and you’ll prevent these students from falling behind.

Lesson 1A

Hard Consonant Sounds - Week 1 – Monday
Heard At the Beginning of Letter Names


Students who have completed Kindergarten and are entering 1st Grade should have all consonant sounds memorized. However, to refresh the customary “memory lapses” over the summer, it is important to review the consonant sounds for the first two weeks of 1st Grade. Consonant sound mastery is imperative when learning to read since the majority of reading words begin with a consonant sound and give the primary clue to the actual word name. Approximately half of all alphabet letter names begin with the sound made by and letter (b-buh, d-duh, p-puh, t-tuh etc) and approximately half of the letter names end with the sound made by the letter (f-fff.. l-lll.. n-nnn.. s-sss..).

Therefore, if children already know the names of the letters, you can see how this knowledge would help considerably with consonant sound memorization. Taking this into consideration, the first week of our Classroom Reading Wall has been organized with sounds heard at the beginning of the letter name (hard and soft sounds) and second week with sounds heard at the end of the letter names. The second week also includes the “more difficult” sounds not heard in the letter name at all (h - w – y – etc.).

1 ulasan:

Teaching Phonics to Beginners

Teaching Phonics to Beginners


Alliteration – repetition of the same initial sound in a succession of words. E.g. Fine

feathered friends.

Analytic phonics – see below.

Behaviorism – involves the notion that human behavior is shaped by stimulus and

response to one’s surrounding context and environment. Behaviorists

therefore believe in a process of behavioral conditioning where learning

ideally involves particular stimuli producing appropriate responses.

Blend – combination of single phonemes, e.g. ba, pi, etc.

Consonant blends – combinations of consonants where each contributes a distinct sound,

e.g. spr, nt, lk, cr

Constructivism – involves teacher supported rather than teacher centered learning. It is a

dynamic process that involves learners constructing new ideas based on

their previous knowledge and experiences. Thus, learners construct new

concepts rather than passively absorb information. For these new

constructs to have any purpose and meaning learners have to

understand the interrelationships between the old and the new


Digraph – a digraph can be any two-letter combination that represents a single sound.

However, we can identify particular types of digraphs such as consonant or

vowel digraphs:

(consonant digraph) – a combination of two consonant sounds that together represent a

new sound. Some examples of consonant digraphs are: sh – shop,

ch – chin, th – thin, wh – what, ck – duck, ph – photo, qu – queen

(vowel digraph) – where two vowels appear beside each other in a word or syllable, with

the first vowel sounding long while the second vowel remains silent.

Examples of vowel digraphs are: ai – maid, ee – sweet, ea –bean, oa –

boat, ay – tray. Compare these sounds to the diphthongs below.

Diphthong – diphthong refers to the blending of two sounds with both sounds being

heard, making a gliding sound. Examples of diphthongs include: oi – boil,

oy – toy, ew – new, ow – cow, ou – mouth.

EFL – English as a Foreign Language. An EFL learning environment in one where

learners are learning English in a place where English is not the native language

(e.g. China, Japan, Spain, etc). Therefore learners are less likely hear or use

English much outside the classroom.

ESL – English as a Second Language. ESL involves teaching and learning English in a

country where it is the main language (e.g. Teaching English to migrants or

international students in Australia, the U.K., Singapore, the U.S.A.).

Elkonin Box – designed to help children analyze the segmenting and blending of

phonemes and to decode and spell words. An elkonin box may take

various forms.

Grapheme – a grapheme is the written representation of a phoneme.

Mnemonic – something that helps make information easier to memorize: e.g. a verse to

remember the number of days in each month, such as, “Thirty days has

September, April, June and November…”

Morpheme – the smallest meaningful element of language. E.g. “cat” is one morpheme

and “cats” is two morphemes, the “s” indicating the plural of cat.

Onset – the initial consonant (i.e., the onset of bag is b and the onset of swim is sw).

Phoneme – the most basic unit of sound.

Phonemic awareness - the awareness of individual sounds (phonemes) that make up

spoken words. A learner with phonemic awareness will understand

the relationship between letters and sounds and will be able to

separate them. For example, they would know that the sounds in

the word ‘cat’ consists of three phonemes, c/a/t.

Phonetics – the study of speech sounds and how they are produced.

Phonics – a method of teaching reading where learners associate letters with the sound

they represent.

R - controlled vowels – a combination of a vowel and the letter R where the vowel does

not make either a long or short sound and is therefore considered r

– controlled: e.g. or, ar, ir, ur.

Rimes – part of a syllable that contains the vowel and all that follows it (i.e., the rime of

bag is ag and the rime of swim is im).

Synthetic phonics – see below.

Trigraph – a group of three letters that represent a single speech sound.

Vowels – The vowels are "a, e, i, o, u and sometimes letters "w" and "y".

(short vowels) – When there is a single vowel in a short word or syllable, the vowel

usually makes a short sound. These short vowels usually appear at the

beginning of the word or between two consonants. Examples of short

vowels are found in these words: c a t , e n d, d o g, a n t, b u s.

(long vowels 1) – When a short word or syllable ends with a vowel/consonant – “e”

combination the vowel is usually long and the "e" at the end of the

word is silent (this rule doesn't apply in all cases). Examples of a

vowel/consonant – “e” combination are: b a k e, r i d e, p o l e, t u n e

(long vowels 2) – When a word or syllable has a single vowel and it appears at the end of

the word or syllable, the vowel usually makes the long sound. Example

are: no, he, po/ny

Whole-word phonics – see below.

(http://www.mdk12.org/instruction/curriculum/reading/glossary.shtml; http://www.phonicsworld.com/, http://en.wikipedia.org/, http://www.google.com.my/ [in the Google search engine, type the word ‘define’ followed by a colon then the word you want the definition of: E.g. define: word])


The flashcards and activity sheets used in this program were downloaded from www.mes-English.com, www.bogglesworld.com and based on material contained in Paul (1991). Finding Out 1 and Paul (1992). Finding Out 2. The flashcards available on the course CD should be laminated. However, if teachers are interested in making other flashcards they can be purchased at Phoenix Press (tel: 04-261-9449) in Penang. The store is located at No. 6 Lebuh Gerejah, which runs between Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street) and Penang Street. From the India House Building, walk across Beach Street and down Lebuh Gerejah. The store can be found on the right.


This course will present an approach to language learning that gets students focused on individual phonemes before moving onto more complex language. It is an approach highly suited to absolute beginners, especially in an EFL context where learners have fewer opportunities to engage with spoken and written language. Rather than stare blankly at unfamiliar words, it is very helpful for beginner learners to be able to break down and deal with the components of words. This can also be helpful as a means of remediation for struggling readers at the higher levels.

By learning phonics students are becoming aware of component sounds in the language, blending those sounds, automating their responses to those sounds and applying this knowledge and skill to both speech and text. Phonics presents an opportunity to introduce learners to the logic and relationship between sounds and the construction of words that have meaning. There are at least 44 basic sounds in the English language (readingmaster.com, Internet). It would be great if learners could work with each of these sounds. However, reality often does not allow this to happen. Even so, learner’s early phonic experience working with many of these sounds should later prove useful in helping students break down unfamiliar words and achieve greater confidence and fluency. If students still struggle in the later stages of learning with trying to decode text, it may interfere with their focus on meaning. Ultimately we want students to be using their concentration on meaning in the language. Because we want students to work with meaning in text as soon as possible, this course advocates getting students into working with whole words as soon as possible. Sooner or later students have to automate their phonemic skills to use in the whole language, whether it be in the written or oral form. Therefore, once students have developed a basic phonemic awareness it is important that they start working with whole words and whole language.

This course will try to introduce teachers to some basic concepts of teaching phonics and at the same time try to provide some practical advice. It will offer some suggestions with regards to how teachers can go about teaching phonics, materials and activities. It will also include some discussion about educators’ different opinions and approaches towards phonics and the development of phonemic awareness in learners.


Many teachers and principals unfamiliar with phonics believe it merely teaches learners the sounds in language. This is not the case. Phonics aims to teach students the most common sound-spelling relationships and is associated with print. It involves the development of both phonemic awareness and the ability to work with associated symbols (Blevins, Internet; Hepplewhite, Internet). Phonemic awareness alone simply involves making learners aware of the sound in spoken words (Harris, Turbill, Fitzsimmons & McKenzie, 2001, p. 53). By learning phonics, students are becoming aware of component sounds in the language, blending those sounds, automating their responses to those sounds and applying this knowledge and skill to both speech and text.

Many teachers and researchers suggest learner’s early phonic experience working with sounds and letters should later prove useful in helping students break down unfamiliar words and achieve greater confidence and fluency (Blevins, Internet; Harrison, 2002; Hepplewhite, Internet). Phonics may work well in scaffolding learner’s understanding of the mechanics of language. It is not directed at assisting learners in becoming a text participant, user or analyst (Freebody & Luke, 1990). However, phonics may indirectly make it easier for a learner to later become an efficient reader through becoming a more efficient text decoder (Freebody & Luke, 1990; Hepplewhite, Internet). If students still struggle in the later stages of learning with trying to decode text, it may interfere with their focus on meaning. Ultimately, students need to be using their concentration on meaning in the language.


(Synthetic Phonics, Analytic Phonics, Whole-word Approach & Balanced Approach)

There are a number of different starting points we can use to develop phonemic awareness in learners. In this course I will be sharing my own particular approach to phonics. In summary, my own approach to phonics has been:

· Get students started using Synthetic Phonics. (see below)

· Have students blend vowels and consonants in two-letter, then three-letter combinations as soon as possible. Tasks should be both oral and written.

· Use a learning process of:

- modeling (teacher models the language to be learnt)

- co-construction (teacher uses the language with the students)

- independent construction (students have a go at the language by themselves)

- feedback (teacher provides feedback to the students at every stage of the learning process)

· While teaching the individual phonemes, also teach the students pieces of whole language. E.g. What is it? / It is a cat. / Are you a ___? / What is your name? / When is your birthday? etc. Write these sentences on the board and practice them orally. As students learn the individual phonemes they can begin decoding and analyzing these pieces of whole language.

· After introducing a new phoneme, get students involved immediately in a written task, activity or song that reinforces that phoneme and its relationship to other phonemes. Reinforce their awareness of phonemes over and over for the first few weeks until they get used to the sounds. This can be done by spontaneously returning to a letter by using a flashcard or other activity that elicits the correct verbal or written response.

· As students work more and more with whole words and sentences be aware of whether or not they are developing phonemic awareness. Go back and review phonic work where necessary.

When teachers read about approaches such as Synthetic Phonics, Analytic Phonics and the Whole-word Approach, the obvious question is, “Which approach is the best one?” Different teachers will have different theories depending on their experience and preferences. Teachers should be cautious not to see themselves as being stuck inside any one particular approach. You should feel free to experiment with whatever sequence and approach you feel confident with. Some teachers feel very strongly in favor of one particular approach while feeling very strongly against another. I advise against getting into such debates as the ‘synthetic phonics vs. whole word approach’. I follow what is called the Balanced Approach (see CD). I believe it is more helpful to think in the long term and view the different approaches as potentially complimentary. For example, if starting with absolute beginners, teachers could sequence the learning process by starting with Synthetic Phonics, which introduces the basic phonic scaffolding, then as soon as possible start learners blending phonemes, decoding familiar and unfamiliar whole words, then applying these skills to pieces of whole language. This process does not leapfrog over potentially important elements in language development and can be achieved within a few months. I am prepared to use a variety of strategies in the learning process. I use my own judgment as to when whole words and language is introduced to students depending on their response.

Krashen (2005) described three notions of phonics learning and instruction as: Intensive Systematic Instruction, Basic Phonics and Zero Phonics. I have linked Krashen’s (2005) descriptions with three commonly used classroom approaches to phonics: Synthetic Phonics, Analytic Phonics and the Whole Word Approach.


Synthetic Phonics

phonics taught in sequence

learn all "major" rules

all rules consciously learned

reading = practice of learned rules


Analytic Phonics

no optimal sequence

consciously learn only basic rules

most rules subconsciously acquired

reading = source of most phonics knowledge


Whole-Word Approach

rules subconsciously acquired

reading = source of phonics knowledge

Adapted from Krashen, 2005

Synthetic Phonics

Synthetic phonics involves a part-to-whole approach where students first learn the individual phonemes represented by letters and letter combinations. The student learns to apply these phonemic generalizations to reading and pronunciation of text. E.g. a – ant, b – book, t – tiger, b/a/t = bat (http://www.syntheticphonics.com, Internet)

Analytic Phonics

Analytic phonics involves a whole-to-part approach where students learn phonemic generalizations through reading a number of whole words. By learning to read whole words the students can begin to identify patterns such as consonant clusters, rhythm, rhyme, etc. E.g. street = str_ee_t, would-could, p/ot_d/ot, c/ot, sp/ot etc.

(http://www.ltscotland.org.uk, Internet).

Whole-Word Approach

The Whole-word Approach (sometimes referred to as the Whole-language Approach) makes no effort to separate the individual sounds of word parts. Students learn new words by sight, and as they do so will continue to compare and contrast the sounds and letters within them to others words they come across. Students will therefore become phonemically aware without the need for explicit instruction or practice in constructing words phoneme by phoneme. E.g. I can run. John can run. I can jump. Betty can jump.

(http://jan.ucc.nau.edu, Internet; http://wik.ed.uiuc.edu/index.php/Whole_word_approach)


There is no best sequence for students to learn the phonetic sounds in English. However, I personally have taught students the vowels first followed by the most frequently used consonants. In this way, after students have learnt about 10 sounds and letters, they can begin to blend them in two and three letter combinations. They can continue to use their knowledge of these sounds and letters to explore other words they know and ones they do not know. I want to see that students are applying what they know about the letters and phonemes to decode language for themselves without relying on me all the time to decode the language for them.

In the table below I have detailed a sequence of instruction, based on Paul (1991), that would allow students to begin blending letters and making words after only a few lessons. The letters learnt in previous lessons can then be combined with new phonemes as learning progresses.

Single letter phonemes


Double letter phonemes


Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo, Uu

ant, apple, egg, elephant, igloo, iguana, octopus, ostrich, umbrella, up

ee, ea, ch, sh

bee, tree, seal, leaf, chicken, cherry, ship, shop

Bb, Cc, Tt, Dd, Gg

bed, bat, bag, book, cat, can, tent, tiger, dog, desk, gorilla, green

ar, or, ir, oy

car, card, shark, carpet, horse, fork, girl, bird, shirt, boy, toy

Pp, Mm, Nn, Ss, Kk

pin, pen, panda, map, mask, monkey, nut, net nine sock, snake, key, kangaroo

oo, oo, ow, ou

book, foot, zoo, spoon, owl, cow, crown, mouse, house

Hh, Jj, Ww, Rr,

hat, hut, hand, jet, jacket, jump, whale, watch, ring, red

oa, ow, ai, ay

boat, goat, cockroach, coat, window, bowl, tail, train, tray

Ll, Vv, Ff, Qq

leg, lemon, lion, violin, vampire, volcano, flag, frog, fish

Xx, Yy, Zz

fox, box, yo-yo, yak, yellow, yacht, zebra, zoo

In between teaching individual phonemes teachers could be doing any number of other language building activities. Stop occasionally and teach something else about the language, so long as it does not confuse students. In fact, it is very important that students be exposed to pieces of whole language from the start. As student’s abilities increase they should be able to have a go at speaking and writing pieces of whole language that they are encountering every lesson. Below are a few of the language structures that I try to use with beginner students every lesson.

Example initial language structures

What is it? Yes, it is.

It’s a/an _____. No, it isn’t.

What’s you name? How are you?

I’m ______. I’m fine, thank you.

I’m a _____. I’m great!

Are you ____? I have a cold.

Are you a ____? I’m terrible.

Yes, I am. I’m okay.

No. I’m not. I’m not so good.

Is it a _____?


The Cycle of Discovery and Learning is a process that involves young learners trying to make sense of the world around them, a process where successful explorations lead to more confidence and more questions. When introducing a new piece of language I briefly share the student’s curiosity over this new thing. I don’t just slap an object up on the board and say what it is. I create an atmosphere of curiosity… of questioning and then discovery. David Paul (1991, p. 3) describes a process or cycle of early childhood learning that he calls the “Questioning Cycle”. This cycle is summarized below:

The children notice something new.

Students’ attention is attracted by a flash card, an action or some other prompt, which contains new information they want to understand.

They relate it to their previous experience.

When practicing, the students link new language with what they already know. The students should have developed a sense of pattern in the language that they use to make guesses about new information they encounter. Students need to feel that the language fits together in some way and that they are not learning sets of isolated, unrelated knowledge and skills. The old and the new language must be brought together in activities that repeatedly demonstrate language relationships.

They wonder what it is.

The students have time to wonder, feel curious and make guesses. They will see a need to learn the language before discovering it.

They play with it.

They practice new language through trial and error. When mistakes are made the teacher encourages the children to find out where the mistakes are and make corrections. Students should have an opportunity to practice what they have learnt through a variety of activities and games… not through continual mechanical repetition.

They try to find out what it is.

The child uses the resources available to them in an effort to solve a puzzle. This involves sounding out single letters, making letter combinations and asking questions.

They find out

They learn what is and is not successful. The successes as well as the mistakes are important steps in the process of discovery. By this stage the children should have understood that they have learnt new language that they can use to discover other new combinations. Frustrating this stage by introducing language too difficult to learn should be avoided.



The Vowel Song I (Short vowels sang to the tune, ‘B-I-N-G-O’. Paul, 1991)

a – e – i – o –u

a – e – i – o –u

a – e – i – o –u

Hello. What’s your name?

a – e – i – o –

I’m ­­­­_________.

a – e – i – o –

I’m _________.

a – e – i – o –

I’m _________.

Hello. What’s your name?

After the children have become familiar with the short vowel sounds and the alphabet sounds, this song can be done in a way that combines both the alphabet and short vowel sounds to the same B-I-N-G-O tune.

The Vowel Song II (http://members.tripod.com/~ESL4Kids/songs/vowel.html)

The vowels of the alphabet, I know them all by name, oh!




I know them all by name, oh!

The vowels of the alphabet, I know them all by name, oh!




I know them all by name, oh!

The vowels of the alphabet, I know them all by name, oh!




I know them all by name, oh!

(Continue pattern.)

The vowels of the alphabet, I know their short sounds too, oh.

A-E-I-O-U (sing short vowel sound for each letter)



I know their short sounds too, oh.

The Letter Hunt (adapted from http://members.tripod.com/~ESL4Kids/games/letters.html)

Equipment: Alphabet cards.

Choose some alphabet flashcards the students should know the phonemic sounds of. Have a group of students take a card each and stand at the front of the class. The rest of the class then sings the following song to the tune, “The Farmer in the Dell”:

We're looking for a/an [name of letter],

We're looking for a/an [name of letter],

[Sing sound of the letter to the tune of "Heigh, ho, the Derry Oh!"] E.g. a-a-a-a-a-a

We're looking for a/an [name of letter].

As the children sing, the child holding that particular letter takes a step forward and holds the letter above their head.

Digraph Song (Sang to the tune, ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush.’ Paul, 1991)

ee a tree and ea a seal

ch a chicken and sh a ship

oo a spoon and oo a foot

ou a house and ar a car

or a horse and ir a girl

ow a cow and oy a boy

ow a window and oa a boat

ai a tail and ay a tray

Games & Activities

Tic Tac Toe (Paul, 1991)

Equipment: Alphabet cards

1. Divide the class into teams. Set the alphabet cards up in 3 X 3 grids or write a tic tac toe grid up on the board with a letter in each square.

2. A child from one team comes forward and pronounces one letter. If he/she is correct turn the card over (horizontally for one team, vertically for the other) or if working on the board block out the grids using an X or an O. After the first team has finished a child from the other team tries.

3. The winner is the first team to get three squares in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

4. The game can also be played using pictures instead of letters.


Equipment: A ball or soft toy. Number cards.

1. Hold up number cards and count with the children. Work from numbers 1 to 10 or 12.

2. After you have been through the numbers a few times have the children stand up. Then using a ball or soft toy, have a child throw it to someone else and as they do the whole class counts forward. Some children may not remember the next number. If so class members should be encouraged to help each other.

Number chant (Paul, 1991)

1 potato

2 potatoes

3 potatoes


5 potatoes

6 potatoes

7 potatoes


This should be chanted while clapping your hands or hitting your hand on the desk for rhythm. Clap on each number. Also you can change the word from potato to some other object.

Slam Game (Paul, 1991)

Equipment: Alphabet or vocabulary cards.

Place the alphabet cards on a table or the floor face up. The activity can be done in groups or as a whole class. Ask the children to put both hands on their heads. Call out a letter, u – umbrella, etc. The children then try to touch the correct card as quickly as possible. The first child to touch the letter then gets to call out the next letter. Points can also be kept.

When using vocabulary cards the teacher might like to try a variation from time to time. Try to trick the students by calling out a word with a mistake in it. For example, call out “besk” instead of “desk”.

Car race (Paul, 1991)

Equipment: Alphabet or vocabulary cards, markers, dice or number cards.

1. Place the letter cards around in a circle to resemble a car track. Have a few of the cards picture side up and make a start and finish line.

2. Each child should have a car (any convenient marker will do) and place them at the start line. A child then throws a dice or draws a number card. If they get a five, for example, they will move five places forward and say the letter for that card. If they cannot say the letter they land on they must go back to where they started. If their marker lands on a picture card they can throw again.

3. Crashes. If the child throws a three their car has crashed. They have to place their car next to the card they are on and miss a turn.

4. This game can also be used with vocabulary cards.

Stepping Stones

Equipment: flashcards.

Simply lay out the flashcards on the floor in a hopscotch pattern, like below. Make the pattern longer or shorter if you wish. Mix up the order of the cards from time to time so as to get the students to think. Line a group of students up at the start position. As each student steps next to a card they have to say the sound of that letter. If they say them all correctly they get to the other side. If they mispronounce a letter they have to go to the back of the line and try again.



e i


u b


t g



Concentration (Paul, 1991)

Equipment: Two sets of letter or vocabulary cards per group.

Place two sets of letter or vocabulary cards face down on the table. In turns the students turn over two cards saying what they see on each card. If they find a matching pair they can keep that pair. The winner has the most pairs.

Alpha Toss (http://members.tripod.com/~ESL4Kids/games/alpha.html)

Equipment: 26 A4 sheets with the alphabet on them, one to six beanbags per group.

Print each letter of the alphabet on a separate A4 sheet. In the lower right hand corner, assign a point value to each letter. (I use the letter values from Scrabble.) If at all possible, laminate these for prolonged life.

Purchase half a dozen beanbags, or create beanbags by filling old socks with dried beans, sand, etc., then tying them shut.

Place letters in four rows: six in the first, seven in the second, six in the third, and seven in the fourth. Students then stand at an assigned line and toss a beanbag onto the playing area. Beginning students must think of a word beginning with the letter upon which the beanbag landed and if able to, use the word in a sentence. Intermediate students should toss two to three beanbags, think of words that began with all letters, then use all words in one sentence. For more advanced students, you might have them toss all six bean bags, then create a word using as many of the letters as possible. Points are assigned for each letter used.


It should be noted that there are differing opinions as to how students can best learn phonemic awareness. Some argue that beginning learners clearly benefit from developing phonemic awareness through learning to identify and blend individual phonemes before moving on to more complex language. Hepplewhite (Internet) suggests research seems to support Synthetic Phonics as the most effective way to establish phonemic awareness and the ability to work with new language in the later stages (Harrison, 2002; Hepplewhite, Internet). Others argue that by getting learners to work with whole words from the beginning they will become phonemically aware anyway (http://jan.ucc.nau.edu, Internet). Learners will deduce from reading whole words how individual phonemes are pronounced. Some teachers who adhere to this approach may highlight the phonemes within whole words while others may not explicitly highlight individual phonemes at all. They may merely model the correct pronunciation of a word. The more learners read the more they hear and see relationships between certain sounds and letters.

There are two key philosophies in education that are at odds with each other. One is Behaviorism the other is Constructivism. Phonics requires teachers to actually teach it and for students to memorize the phonemes. Therefore some have associated phonics to a behaviorist mold of teaching, out of step with current educational thought.

Read the definitions below and consider what your objectives of teaching phonics are.

· What are your thoughts about the value of teaching individual phonemic awareness?

· Where do you see your own teaching style?

· How do you see the teaching style of the education system as a whole?

· Do you see phonics as being more behaviorist, constructivist or somewhere in between?


Behaviorism is often associated with the work of J.B. Watson and B. F. Skinner who suggested learning is associated with good habit formation. Behaviorism sees students as a) the recipients of either good or bad information and b) programmable, to develop either good or bad habits. As such, educators who follow a behaviorist style of teaching will often be more teacher-centered and engage students in repetition exercises in the hope that they will respond appropriately. Behaviorism involves a system of reward and punishment. When a student responds appropriately they are rewarded with a high score, when they respond inappropriately they are punished with a bad one (http://jan.ucc.nau.edu, Internet).


Constructivism is based around the belief that students learn by connecting new knowledge with old knowledge and experiences. If learners are not able to make that connection then they will often be trying to memorize something of which they do not really understand. In other words, for new information to be relevant and understood a learner must be able to relate it to something they already know and understand. Students will only understand new concepts to the extent that a new concept can be related to existing understandings. As such a constructivist classroom is student centered with learners working on problem-solving tasks suitable to their level and needs (http://jan.ucc.nau.edu, Internet).

(See also the work of Lev Vygotsky on constructivism.)

balanced approach

What does a "balanced approach" to reading instruction mean?

Sebastian Wren, Ph.D.

There have been, over the years, two general instructional approaches that have governed reading education. They have gone by many names, but today they are generally known as Phonics and Whole Language approaches. These approaches to reading instruction reflect very different underlying philosophies and stress very different skills. The philosophy underlying the Whole Language approach is that reading is a natural process, much like learning to speak, and that children exposed to a great deal of authentic, connected text will naturally become literate without much in the way of explicit instruction in the rules and conventions of printed text. The philosophy underlying the Phonics approach is quite different -- Phonics advocates argue that in order to learn to read, most children require a great deal of explicit instruction in the rules of printed text.

Whole Language and Phonics Approaches

A young child in a Whole Language classroom is provided with simple, predictable and repetitive text -- frequently the text is already familiar to the child, making it that much easier to understand. Emphasis in a Whole Language classroom is not placed on reading precision and accuracy, but on comprehension and appreciation -- children are not expected to read the text verbatim, they are allowed to insert and substitute words as long as the story still makes sense, and as long as the child is understanding the gist of the story. The primary goal of the Whole Language teacher is to foster a love for the act of reading authentic and connected text, and to keep the process of reading instruction uncontrived.

In a Phonics classroom, by contrast, a great emphasis is placed on reading precision, and children are encouraged to read the words exactly as they appear on the page. Children are explicitly taught "rules" about the way words are written and spelled, and they are taught spelling-sound relationships. After a teacher provides an explicit lesson in a particular Phonics rule (e.g. if the last letter of a word is an "e," then the first vowel is usually long), the child is presented with a passage of text that contains many words consistent with that rule (called decodable text); this provides the child with the opportunity to apply each Phonics rule on a variety of words in the context of a passage. The goal of the Phonics teacher, then, is to instill children with the Phonics rules and the common spelling-sound relationships, and to teach children to apply this knowledge in sounding-out each word they encounter, making the assumption that comprehension and appreciation will be a natural consequence of accuracy.

Some people have characterized the fundamental difference between these two philosophies as being a debate between whether reading is "top-down" or "bottom-up." The Whole Language advocates state that reading is "top-down" in that the meaning of the text is dependent upon the background knowledge and understanding that the reader brings. The reader forms hypotheses and makes predictions, and only samples the text occasionally to confirm those predictions.

By contrast, the Phonics approach could be described as "bottom-up" -- Phonics advocates argue that if a person is able to correctly decode text, meaning and understanding will follow. The text contains the message, and through the act of decoding the text, the reader discovers what that message is.

The Great Debate (a.k.a. The Reading Wars)

Educators have debated over which is the best approach to teach children to read for many years. The ancient Greeks began reading instruction by teaching the letters and the letter-sound relationships, and children did not attempt to decode any real words until they had mastered these basics. In the middle of the 19th century, the great education reformer Horace Mann criticized the Phonics-like approach to reading instruction that was prevalent at the time, describing letters of the alphabet as "bloodless, ghostly apparitions." He advocated more of a "whole word" approach to reading instruction. Late in the 19th century and early in the 20th century, the pendulum swung back towards "skills and drills" based instruction, such as the McGuffy readers and the Beacon readers. Before the second World War, the pendulum of education back swung back again with the publication of the Scott Foresman's "Dick and Jane" reading books that were more repetitive, emphasized simple words that were supposed to be in the child's "sight vocabulary," and which were highly predictable. Thus, the "look-say" approach to reading instruction became the predominant approach to reading instruction. In the midst of the Cold-War era, Rudolf Flesch published "Why Johnny Can't Read," which suggested that the look-say approach was more than merely educationally inappropriate, he characterized it as a threat to democracy. The pendulum once again swung back towards Phonics, but in addition, this book added very political overtones to what was already becoming a very heated debate. In the 1980s, educators rebelled against the contrived drills and worksheets that were common in the Phonics curricula; the pendulum swung back towards Whole Language and more "authentic" reading lessons, and the volatile nature of what has come to be known as "the Great Debate" became even more politically charged.

With social and political conservatives having embraced Phonics as a traditionalist, back-to-basics approach to reading instruction, liberals embraced Whole Language, describing the Whole Language approach as more "democratic" and even using terms like "elitist" and "racist" to describe the Phonics philosophy.

Arguably, the Great Debate, or what some have more appropriately dubbed the "reading wars," has been one of the most destructive forces in reading education. The battles have grown from ideological differences to personal, politically charged attacks on character. Teachers, and more importantly children, have been caught in the crossfire.

Recently the National Academy of Sciences released an analysis of research in reading instruction called Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children. In the preface to this book, the committee that authored it expressed their hopes that the research-based information provided in their report would "mark the end of the reading wars." They state that, "The study reported in this volume was undertaken with the assumption that empirical work in the field of reading had advanced sufficiently to allow substantial agreed-upon results and conclusions that could form a basis for breaching the differences among the warring parties." Their intent was to provide information about research-based reading instruction without regard to ideologies or sides in the reading wars. It was clearly their intention to simply promote the best information available about reading and reading instruction, and to ignore which "party" had promoted it in the past. Still, reviews of the report summarized the content with overly simplistic statements such as "researchers call for a balanced approach to end the reading wars."

A Balanced Approach

In fact, very few educators today would describe themselves as strict advocates of either a Phonics approach or a Whole Language approach -- most would describe their teaching as "balanced," which, on the surface, has a great deal of appeal. Educators nationwide are promoting a "balanced" approach to reading instruction in an effort to bring an end to the reading wars. However, while an end to the reading wars could not possibly be more desirable, it is important to remember that a compromise between these two approaches to reading instruction will not necessarily result in the single, best approach. If either Phonics or Whole Language was even close to being the panacea of reading education, then there would not be a Great Debate. The fact is, there is not much evidence that either the Whole Language approach or the Phonics approach is particularly effective. As Marilyn Adams has said, "We have known for 30 years that Phonics did a better job at teaching reading than Whole Word -- and now Whole Language -- instruction. But, you know, it never was that much better." Neither approach has been sufficiently effective, so why do we assume that a compromise between these two approaches will provide educators with the most effective approach possible?

While the pendulum of reading instruction has swung back and forth several times, reading performance for children has remained quite stable, and unfortunately, quite poor. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has been used to assess major areas of education including reading performance since 1969. In 30 years, despite the different approaches to reading education that have prevailed at different times, reading scores have not really changed appreciably; about 40 percent of this country's forth graders have always performed in the "below basic" category, while approximately 5 percent have been ranked in the "advanced" category at the other end of the distribution. Around the world, not just in the U.S., when either a Phonics approach or a Whole Language approach is adopted, an unacceptably large percentage of children fail to learn to read. According to the 1992 NAEP, most teachers in the U.S. adopted what they described as a balanced approach to reading instruction, but still the scores remained unacceptably low.

Problems with a Balanced Approach

One possible contributing factor in the stability of the NAEP scores despite teachers moving to a more "balanced approach" to reading instruction stems from the fact that most people do not agree what the term "balanced approach" means. A balanced approach could be generically described as "mixing some Phonics with Whole Language," but how this is accomplished in any particular classroom is unclear. The eclectic approach, as some have come to call it, sometimes involves teaching Phonics first, and then "graduating" to Whole Language approaches. Alternatively, the Phonics instruction may be explicit, but children might be given more opportunities to read connected, authentic literature. Or, lessons prescribed by Phonics and Whole Language may be intermixed in the hopes that different children will benefit from different "styles" of teaching. Similarly, it is not uncommon for teachers to use an amalgam of decodable text and predictable, repetitive text in a diplomatic approach to balanced literacy instruction. The argument is often made that the best elements of each philosophy can be utilized while the worst are eliminated, but how are we to decide what the "best elements" are? Should we assume that the two approaches represent the entire world of reading instruction, and that the "best elements" are to be found in one camp or the other? It is possible that some combination of the two approaches will work better than either approach alone did, but is it necessarily the best possible approach for each individual child?

Science to the Rescue

Research in reading is providing us with approaches and understanding that neither "camp" was able to provide -- fresh ideas and new ways of thinking about reading and reading instruction that are not consistent with the tenets of either traditional Phonics or Whole Language philosophies are being substantiated and validated through empirical research. Teachers are now being encouraged to look beyond the restrictions of the traditional approaches to reading instruction, and to use research evidence to gain an understanding of the reading process that allows them to make clearer and more purposeful instructional decisions. More importantly, teachers are able to use the information provided by research to customize instructional strategies to individual children's needs -- rather than creating lessons based on a philosophy or an approach, teachers can examine a child's development in reading and respond with appropriate instruction.

As long as educators are in any way expected to base their educational decisions on the issues, debates, politics and polemics of the Great Debate, and as long as we limit our horizons to approaches and philosophies that have been advocated by one faction or another, there is no reason to believe that real progress in reading education will ever be made. Phonics approaches may be improved by incorporating elements of Whole Language instruction, or vice versa, but it is doubtful that the best approach to reading instruction will be scavenged from these two philosophies, and it is even less likely that any instruction that is not squarely centered on the individual student's learning needs will ever be universally effective.

Rather than picking the best elements from these two approaches, it seems sensible to simply ask what information about reading and reading instruction has been supported by research, and move forward from there. If we focus on what research has said about how children learn to read, and if we truly focus on the educational needs of each individual child that is learning to read, then we do not need to concern ourselves with striking any sort of balance or making any compromises in our reading instruction. Educators should not be asking whether a lesson is Phonics-based or Whole Language-based, they should be asking whether a lesson is going to help a specific beginning reader to learn to read.

The most troubling aspect of the debate over Phonics, Whole Language and balanced approaches to reading instruction is that the interest and debate almost always focuses on the lessons and activities that a teacher should deliver (and the order in which those lessons and activities should be delivered). A typical Phonics teacher plans lessons weeks or months in advance. So does a Whole Language teacher. So does a teacher who is trying to balance these two approaches. But if instruction is to be customized on individual students' learning needs, teachers need to become more adept at planning lessons to focus on areas of instructional need that were revealed through artful assessment and observation of individual students. Lesson plans can be thought out in broad strokes in advance, but if instruction is to be truly effective, lesson plans need to be constantly revised to accommodate new assessment information, and lessons need to be customized to suit the learning needs of individual students. The Great Debate over reading instruction does not help teachers to develop more assessment driven, individualized instruction strategies.

As stated earlier, an end to the Reading Wars could not be more desirable, but the debate will not end as long as the focus of reading instruction is on the teacher and the activities and materials. The focus needs to shift to the student and the individual learning needs that can be revealed through ongoing, diagnostic assessment. Only when all teachers learn to diagnose student reading skills and respond with focused, deliberate instruction will literacy be available to all children.

Word Wish

Game 1: Basic Bingo

Distribute the 6 playing boards (1 to each student or one per two or three students - depending on your class size) and give the students some time to talk about what they can see on their and other classmates' playing boards. Then proceed to play Bingo by shuffling the playing cards and pulling out one random card at a time. If a student has that picture on their playing board they should indicate so by naming it. The teacher then hands that card to the student and they place the card on the correct space of their playing board. Once they have placed cards over all 9 spaces on their playing board, they are the winner of that round. Rotate the playing boards around the class to new students, re-shuffle the cards and play the next round.

Game 2: Lotto

Similar to the Bingo game except in this case the cards are spread out face down on the table or in a stack. Students take turns selecting cards. If they chose a card that corresponds to their playing board, then they keep that card and earn one point. If it is not their card, they return it to the table face down or at the bottom of the card stack. Once one student has located and placed all of the cards required for their board, that student is the winner and the round is over, each of the other students earning as many points as cards they have managed to find. For calmer, well behaved classes, this activity can quickly be organized in group work with less active participation from the teacher.

Later this game can be more challenging by incorporating the vocabulary with simple meaningful sentences. For example, students who flip over a correct card may be required to state "this is a..." or "I have a..." or "I found..." before they have the right to collect it and add it to their playing board.

Game 3: Memory Game

This is a simple memory game version of both of the above mentioned applications. In this game, students examine their boards for a minute or two to try to remember which words are featured there. They then turn their boards face down with the blank cover face up. As the teacher draws random cards from the deck and announces what they are as in Game 1 above) or as cards are flipped over or taken from a deck on the table (as in Game 2 above), students can offer to 'claim' them. They place 'claimed' cards next to their overturned board and the game continues until all of the cards have been drawn randomly and claimed by students. They then turn their boards over and see how many they got right. For each card they claimed that matches their board, they get one point. For each incorrect card, they get -2 points. To make this game harder, have students also attempt to place their cards in the same order/lay-out as that featured on the overturned board. Correct words that have been incorrectly placed could then incur a -1 point penalty.


Week 1





s i t p a n


Day 1

  • Write s on WB and ask ss What is this? (probable answer: es) What sound does it make?

s – weave hand in s shape (like a snake) - say: sssssssss

  • class repeats
  • everybody stands up. Repeat action: whole class – individuals
  • attention on WB – check understanding
  • ss sit
  • repeat for: i t

i – point with finger at something - say: i i i i i i i

t – make a T for “time out” - say: t t t t t t

  • ss sit. blend s + i + t to make: sit
  • reinforcement: point / touch symbols on WB

repeat gesture/ sound

Days 2 – 5

  • Repeat for: p a n

p – pretend to puff out candles - say: p p p p

a – wiggle fingers above elbow (ants) - say: a a a a a

n – make a noise (a plane arms out wide) - say: nnnnnnnn

  • at start and end: revise sounds: show or ask for correct gestures.
  • blend / segment words ( pan ) to make p + a + n

(use words sheets at end)

sit, pan, pat, tap, nap, pit, pin, nip, tip,

tan, sin, nit, tin, sat, nat, sip,

Week 1








  • T writes one letter on WB (from s i t p a n )
  • ss stand – T faces front - “draws” letter in the air so ss can see
  • T: Show me your finger. ss hold up right or left finger (check for left-handed ss)


  • St airwrites a letter facing away from class – ss guess the letter.
  • airwrite names P/W
  • ss airwrite s i t p a n on partner’s hand
  • write letters from s i t p a n on partner’s back (finger / pencil)
  • touch the correct letter on paper from teacher’s sound – P/W

Letter and Sound Relay Race

  • ss stand – 3 columns (teams) facing WB
  • T writes letters on WB (from s i t p a n )
  • T makes a sound. The front member of each team runs forward to touch the correct letter. T: Is that correct? or Who is correct?


  • ss write the letter from the sound the teacher makes.
  • use pictures, number flashcards
  • quiet version – ss sit - T writes letters on paper - says the sound – ss point
  • large classes written paper at opposite ends of room

Looking, listening, pointing

  • ss sit in groups – P/W – micro leaders
  • lay words sheet on desk – say word – ss point / touch correct word
  • st points to one word – group segments / blends

sit, pan, pat, tap, nap, pit, pin, nip, tip,

tan, sin, nit, tin, sat, nat, sip,

Letter formation – writing (worksheet at end)

  • ss sit in groups – 1 words sheet per group / 1 wksht per st
  • class watches T demo on WB – ss copy on wksht
  • IMP: T monitors – helps with correct pencil grip
  • 1 st points to one word – group writes
  • 1 st says a sound/word – group writes

Week 2



c k e h r m d


Days 1 – 5

  • Copy procedure for week 1
  • T shows letter flashcard / writes on WB gives / elicits sounds
  • T models actions – ss copy actions.

c k clap hands – say: ck ck ck

e hand to ear (can’t hear you!) – say: eh eh eh
h Hold hand in front of mouth out of breath – say: h h h
r angry dog – say: rrrrrr
Rub tummy see tasty food – say: mmmmmm

d kick start a motorbike – say: d d d d

  • blending sounds ss blend selected letters

e.g. [ce / ke / he / me / /de ]

[ci / ki / hi / mi / di ]

[ca / ka / ha / ma / da ]

[pe / se / te / ne ]

  • segmenting words

e.g. [ red / her / deck ]

  • letter sounds song on same letters as in week 1

  • at start and end: revise sounds from week one: show / ask for correct gestures.

Week 2








Airwrite s i t p a n with finger, nose. Add new letters (below).

Write on back

  • write week 1 letters on partner’s back from T’s prompt on WB, (partner doesn’t look)
  • ss choose letter
  • in three columns
  • write on back in teams – pass letter along.

Noisy Letters

  • prepare: cards with the letters (enough for whole class)

c k e h r m d s i t p a n

  • ss take 1 card each – hides it
  • ss move round room making their sound until they have found their partners
  • repeat procedure

Tray Game

  • prepare: tray with objects (book, bag, box, button, bowl; pen, pencil, paper, plate; scissors, sock, spoon, sweet)
  • give objects to children (revise names)
  • T makes sound (s or b or p ) ss with an object beginning with that sound puts it on the tray (e.g. s = scissors / sock / spoon / sweet)
  • redistribute the objects (ss with different objects)
  • use letter cards if nio objects

Team Writing

  • prepare: 1 board marker per team / large sheets of paper – extra WBs.
  • Demo: 3 ss to write a 3-letter word (one letter each); 6 ss competition quickest is the winner.
  • Ss in groups of 3 one pen per group – each group in front of WBs – write word given by teacher. (sit, hit, pan, can, man, pin, tin etc)

Letter formation – writing (worksheets below)

  • as for week 1 = c k e h r m d

Week 3



g o u l f b


Days 1 – 5

  • Copy procedure for week 1
  • T shows letter flashcard / writes on WB gives / elicits sounds
  • T models actions – ss copy actions.

g spiral hand down (water down drain) – say: g g g g

o turn light switch on and off – say: o o o o
u putting up an umbrella – say: u u u u
l licking a lollipop – say: l l l l l
f hands come together (toy fish deflating) – say: f f f f

b hitting a ball with a bat – say: b b b b

  • blending sounds ss blend selected letters

e.g. [go / lo / fo / bo // og / ol / of / ob ]

[gu / lu / fu / bu // ug / ul / uf / ub]

  • segmenting words

e.g. [ red / her / deck ]

  • letter sounds song on same letters as in week 1

  • at start and end: revise sounds from weeks 1 + 2: show / ask for correct gestures.

Week 3








Noisy Letters

· letters from weeks 1 + 2 (select – not all)

c k e h r m d s i t p a n


  • new letters with finger g o u l f b

Invisible Writing

  • ss have pencil + paper
  • T traces outline of letter on WB with finger – ss look at WB
  • Ss write letter – T checks – asks ss to say letter sound


  • invisible numbers (1 2 3)
  • whole words: ss’s names / names of animals
  • parts of body (arm leg eye ear foot)
  • c a t

    Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ

    any words on walls in classroom

sound buttons

  • ss sit in groups
  • T writes CVC word on WB + dots under each sound
  • explain when you ‘press’ a button – ss say the sound of the letter above it
  • word sheets on tables – ss work in groups or P/W


  • T’s name / ss’s names

Number Fingers

  • ss have figure cards: 1 2 3
  • T calls out number ss hold up correct card + fingers

Letter formation – writing (worksheet at end)

  • ss identify + count sounds in CVC words:-

combination week 2 week 1

rip, nip, hip, man, fan, bun, sum, run

red, her,

sit, pan, pat, tap, nap, pit, pin, nip, tip, tan, sin, nit, tin, sat, nat, sip,

Week 4



j z w v


Days 1 – 5

  • Copy procedure for week 1
  • T shows letter flashcard / writes on WB gives / elicits sounds
  • T models actions – ss copy actions.

j jelly wobbling on plate – say: j j j
z killing a mosquito – say: zzzzzz

w Blow on open hand (you are the wind) – say: wh wh wh
v holding steering wheel of a van – say: vvvvvv.

  • blending sounds ss blend selected letters

e.g. [ce /]

[ci / ]

[ca /]

[pe /]

  • segmenting words

e.g. []

  • letter sounds song on same letters as in week 1

  • at start and end: revise sounds: show or ask for correct gestures.

Week 4








Noisy Letters letters from week 1 + 2 + 3

( s i t p a n c k e h r m d g o u l f b )

Airwrite new letters with nose, elbow, toe ( j z w v )

Relay Race

  • (from week one) for new letters

Bag Letters

  • you need a non see-through plastic bag + letter cards
  • ss take letter card from bag – say the sound – correct?
  • ss sit in groups – one bag per group
  • ss keep the cards for correct sound
  • start with week 1 letters – then week 2 + 3 + 4


  • cards with whole words / number word cards 1 - 10
  • add swapping stage Can I have…? May I have…?

Washing Line Words

  • you need string long enough to tie across the room + clothes pegs + letter cards
  • T hangs the letter cards a+t on string (all other letters near one end)
  • ask ss to make the word cat by adding another card – st pegs c next to at


  • other spelling families (-ill, -ong )
  • number cards – 1 to 10, 2 to 20 etc

Number Fingers

  • as in week 3 for 4 5 cards, fingers + dots

Letter formation – writing (worksheet at end)

  • ss identify + count sounds in CVC words:-

combination week 3 week 2

rip, nip, hip, man, fan, bun, sum, run

red, her,

Week 5







Noisy Letters (from week 2)

  • letters from week 1 + 2 + 3 + 4

s i t p a n c k e h r m d g o u l f b j z w r

Airwrite new letters with finger / toe / nose / elbow ( y x ch )

Sound Frame and Sound Count

pencil and paper.

  • d o g

    Phoneme Frame demo: Draw a three square grid on WB
  • T says word with three letters+sounds (dog) write in grid:

  • T says word ss write in phoneme frame on WB (words below)
  • do with 4 letters+3 sounds words (duck) (words below)
  • Phoneme Count. 3 boxes on WB:-

3 letters, 4 sounds

4 letters, 3 sounds

3 letters, 3 sounds

  • T says word ss count sounds – write in correct box on WB (words below)
  • Repeat both activities – ss sit in small groups

word lists

3 letters, 3 sounds

cat can bed man dog boy toy hat pen leg cup sun tin bin hip nip rip jam van

3 letters, 4 sounds

bell bull duck sock ship chip shop chop chin ring sing song

4 letters, 3 sounds

box, fox, six, mix, fix

Sound Buttons (from week 3) for c ch x

number flashcards: from week 3 + 4 (110)

Number Sequencing

  • flashcards (110) words and figures
  • number songs “once I caught a fish alive” “little Indians”

Letter formation – writing (worksheet at end)

Week 6



sh qu


Days 1 – 5

  • Copy procedure for week 1
  • T shows letter flashcard / writes on WB gives / elicits sounds
  • T models actions – ss copy actions.

sh Place index finger over lips – say: shshsh
Make a duck's beak with your hands – say: qu qu qu

  • blending sounds ss blend selected letters

e.g. [/]

[ / ]

[ /]

[ /]

  • segmenting words

e.g. [ ]

  • letter sounds song on same letters as in week 1

  • at start and end: revise sounds: show or ask for correct gestures.

Week 6





Airwrite new letters with nose, elbow, toe sh qu

Noisy letters (noisy sounds) (from week 2) ch x qu sh k

Sound count (from week 5)

  • 3 sounds, 3 letters (hot, pot, sit)
  • 3 letters but 4 sounds (fox, box, six)
  • 4 letters but 3 sounds (ship, shop, chop, chip)

Circle Swap Shop

  • letter card to each st – class stands in circle
  • T says a sound – every st holding the correct letter swaps their card with another st for the same letter (odd number of cards swap twice)
  • ss in small groups T monitors
  • try with similar sounds:-

ssssssss + ffffffff p p p + b b b e + eeee


  • whole words (e.g. cat ss with c a t cards swap)
  • give each st an object (pen, pencil, paper; book, box, bag; spoon, scissors, sock)

T makes sound p b s ss with object starting with that letter swap objects

  • numbers

Airwrite number sequence,

  • ss guess – first speak out loud – then write sequence

Invisible writing

  • T writes figures – ss write number words


  • cut up bingo number grids below (one card each st) + pencils
  • Oral Bingo DEMO draw a nine square grid on WB fill with numbers 1 – 10

say three – draw a cross through the 3 show how to get three in a row

  • hand out bingo grids - call the numbers
  • Reading Bingo: repeat the game this time write whole word on board.


  • number flashcards / use 16 square grid for 1 - 20

Number Dictation


number flashcards (words, figures, and grouped dots in separate sets) paper and pencil.

  • prep: number flaschcards: words + figures + dots (as on dice)
  • number comprehension: T shows dots – ss write the figure + count the dots
  • Oral: T says number in random order - children write figure / whole word
  • Reading: T shows number words – ss write the figure


Translation: for one ss write satu

How Many Hands?

  • oral: T calls a number 1 - 10 – ss collectively hold up that many hands
  • reading: T holds number flashcard (words or figures) ss respond as above


  • groups of ten for numbers up to twenty
  • sums three plus six (3 + 6) = ss hold up nine hands