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!
There are two activities for each new letter sound this week. If you are able to do both then great, but don't worry if you can only manage one of each sound. These activities are in addition to phonics skills discussed at the top of the page. It helps to practise applying the letter sound which is a key part of teaching phonics. Your child needs to be able to apply what they have learnt before being ready to move on. The activities listed below are fun and engaging so we hope you all enjoy them...
Phase 3 Read and Reveal (ar)
You can do this on the computer without printing by cutting out squares and tacking with a product such as blu-tac (other products available!) onto the screen to hide the pictures. Alternatively you can print the sheets, cut out the boxes and then fold the sheets over to hid the picture. Your child has to read the words using the sound buttons to work out what the word says. You can then reveal the picture when they are right. Nice, simple and excellent reading practise!
Piggy Bank Game (ar)
Your child has to find the pictures that have the 'ar' sound in it and place on the piggy bank. You can then further extend your child by asking them to stick down the others on a sheet of paper and write down what words they are applying their knowledge of other sounds that they know. If you want to go for a cross-curricular skill then get your child to be the one to cut out the pictures to place on the piggy bank - a brilliant opportunity to practise scissor control and developing fine motor skills (and will keep them busy for a while!).
Phoneme Spotter (or)
This is a lovely activity and chance to get out your highlighter or fancy pens which children love to do. You can do it however your child would most enjoy this activity, but we recommend going through the text belonging to each picture one at a time. Before reading the whole sentence highlight the 'or' sounds you can find in sentences. Then your child can read the whole sentence paying particular attention to sounding out 'or' (e.g. f-or-k) rather than sound it out as as individual letters (e.g. f-o-r-k).
Guess the Gift (or)
This allows children to apply their phoneme frame knowledge too which is an important skill to learn in phonics. Children have to guess what the gift is and then write it down sounding out the words (Segmenting) and recording these. This activity is fairly short so don't be afraid to also pick up any handwriting/letter formation errors.
Decorate a Knight's Shield Activity (igh)
This can be completed as a phonics activity and enhanced with art and craft afterwards and used in play afterwards if your child really enjoys this! All you have to do is decorate your shield with as many 'igh' words that you can think of. Your child needs to write the 'igh' words, but they are more than welcome to draw pictures to go with the words too if they enjoy drawing.
igh Phoneme Spotter Activity (igh)
This is the same activity as the 'or' spotter - just a different story and sound! As stated above you can do it however your child would most enjoy this activity, but we recommend going through the text belonging to each picture one at a time. Before reading the whole sentence highlight the 'igh' sounds you can find in sentences. Then your child can read the whole sentence paying particular attention to sounding out 'igh' (e.g. n-igh-t) rather than sound it out as as individual letters (e.g. n-i-g-h-t).
Phase 3 Real or nonsense - (ur)
This activity gets us busy with colouring pencils or pens, and can also develop fine motor skills of controlling pen movements to stay within the boxes. Your child can choose two colours and create their own key - e.g. green for real words and red for nonsense words. Then they have to read through each word in a box and colour in according to their key.
Phase 3 Roll and Read Phoneme Mat (ur)
This activity works if you have a dice in the house and adds an element of maths too! Your child has to roll the dice. Whichever number the dice lands on your child has to read the first word (that has the 'ur' sound in it) on the grid for that number. If they read it correctly they could colour in the box or place a counter on the word. The idea is to keep rolling until a number has all the words completed. That number is the winner. If your child is enjoying the activity then they are able to keep going and can work out which numbers come second, third etc.
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).