Welcome to week five of phonics at home! Hopefully now you have found a phonics routine that works for you and your family at home. We fully appreciate that teaching phonics isn't the easiest in Reception and there are so many things you could do and so many sounds to learn, however we are realistic and understand that home learning is different for everyone for so many reasons.
Last week we talked about revisiting all the letter sounds and high frequency words daily (this doesn't have to include weekends - you all need to have rest and relaxation!) to help keep them fresh in your child's mind and to help embed what they have been learning . Embedding skills enables your child to be able to move on and learn new things without losing the skills already covered. We also put forward the use of phoneme frames to practise sounding out and recording words, as well as writing short sentences daily (again - have weekends off!). These key skills form part of our daily phonics routine in school and doesn't take too long to do either - we aim for our phonics to last in total for twenty minutes daily keeping learning active and moving at a good pace to keep all children engaged. We hope that these suggestions have positively enhanced the phonics you do at home. Keep going this week and your child will quickly adapt to the routine and order of your phonics sessions at home. We hope that you enjoy teaching phonics as much as we do - it is so rewarding!
Toffee Apple Jigsaws Activity
This does require you as the adult to cut these pieces out. If you have got a laminator then you could laminate the pieces so your child can play with it for weeks to come and it will still look brand new - but don't worry if you haven't, that is an additional ideas and a luxury not an essential.
Your child can place the different letters around the apple cores to make different words - it doesn't matter if they make nonsense words, this is actually a skill they learn to do in phonics as it strengthens their ability to tackle reading unfamiliar words. Once they have made a real word you could put the complete apple onto a lollypop stick to turn it into a toffee apple, or simply put to one side. Whatever works best at home for you! They can however only complete it by sounding out and blending to then read the word independently. The aim is for your child to make all five apples complete. You could revisit this activity for several days as you can make so many different words - you can challenge your child to make different words to the day before - just remember to write down every day what words they made!
Sam's Window Smash Picture Match - Letters
Each window pane is split into three sections - the same as a phoneme frame. This activity only has the initial sound and your child has to match these to the right picture. However, extend this and make your own window pane phoneme frame and get your child to write the cvc word in.
Fairy Phoneme Frames
You don't need to print these out on A4, you could do them by looking at the picture on the screen and writing in your own phoneme frame sheets you've made or shrink them down to print two to a page to save ink/paper if you would like them as a paper resource. Children have to record what the picture is in a phoneme frame - they should be able to do this independently.
Lolly Stick Lucky Dip
This is a great activity if you have somewhere you can hide the lollypop sticks. This is designed for use in a sand pit but if you don't have one of those get creative...you can put them between the cushions/seat pads of your sofa or put them in open cereal packs for example. Where there is a will, there's a way! To complete this activity they have to pull out the lolly and then match it to the correct word, They can only match it if they have sounded it out fully and accurately. They can then play this game with their siblings or other household members to keep them entertained during their play time.
Week 5 - As lockdown enters into another week we will no doubt have all found a way to make life and learning at home work for you and your family. Whatever is your new 'norm' and even if it feels like chaos right now just remember "good things can still happen in the midst of chaos" (quote from @theburntoutbrain, @tinybuddhaofficial).