Code Mapped stories help children learn to read more easily.
At least 20% of children will find reading English words difficult - they don't 'hear' the speech sounds in words, 'see' the pictures of the sounds (graphemes) in words, recognise the meaningful parts (morphemes) or have the vocabulary knowledge to map the whole word to its meaning in and out of that particular context.
Although 'Reading Ready Brains' activities within the Early Years have a focus on all children becoming 'readies' the reality is that far too many slip through the cracks in school.
I am, therefore, producing 'ready-mapped' words because single word mapping is great, eg as we do with 'Speedy Sight Words' (and why our reception children recognise AND SPELL over 400 before grade 1) but the goal is to READ. We want children engaged and wanting to read more! Miss Emma x
Words 'mapped' for those learning to speak and read English.
To support systematic and explicit phonics instruction, to 'kick-start' the learning to read process, children are given 'Code Level' readers, to use those grapheme-to-phoneme correspondences within activities that link directly to the end goal ie orthographic mapping as a skilled reader.
Typical features of decodable (Code Level) readers.
The sequence of grapheme-phoneme correspondences through the series of books is clearly outlined and this must be matched to the scope and sequence implemented in phonics instruction in the school
The target grapheme-phoneme correspondences should appear often throughout the text. Some poor quality decodable books have very few examples of the target GPC
Text that is continuous and includes correct grammar and punctuation.
Early readers should contain only one sentence to a page and then progress to more text as the readers gain more experience.
Any ‘tricky’ words are noted for teachers so they can be discussed with beginning readers prior to reading the text to minimise potential confusion.
Use of tricky words is minimised so that the primary strategy is decoding using phonic knowledge rather than guessing words in context.
Text is written in Standard English
In the UK phonics books must be fully decodable and match progression exactly to pupils’ phonic knowledge. This is required by Ofsted and the teaching sequence should show a cumulative progression in knowledge that is matched to the books children read, so that they are not expected to use other strategies to work out unfamiliar words.
I have found that to bridge the gap between 'decodable' readers and authentic texts, children need a bridge. This bridge is more important to some children than others - who start 'self-teaching' and become skilled readers with very little help, especially when they have experienced that kick-start (SSP Phase 1 and 2)
Although I understand why teachers in the UK are told to use books that do not require children to do what I call 'track-back' this arguably robs children from developing the very skills that independent readers use. Many children will not only be able to do this, but will enjoy the challenge.
'Track-back' means figure out the word FROM THE CLUES (not allowed within synthetic phonics) and then work out the grapheme to phoneme mapping.
They may not have encountered /h/ but they can figure out the sound value (phoneme) because they can see what Stan is doing with the pan.
Children will need to develop these skills if they are to become readers. They will come across correspondences that are unfamiliar. eg the /u/ in the word 'put' - if they try to 'sound it out' using the grapheme to phoneme correspondence taught within their grapheme teaching order, they will not say the word correctly - and the word would not make sense.
It would be easier if the Speech
Sound Monsters were embedded!
As seen in the ICRWY lessons app children can start 'transition readers' when they are at the Yellow Code Level. These help with bridging processes too.
So I use decodable readers, as seen in DfE 'validated' systematic, synthetic phonics programmes, with regards to suitable texts but align my teaching with The Active View of Reading far more so than the Simple View of Reading.
As my focus is generally the children who have speech and language challenges, and phonemic awareness deficits, I also take more of a 'speech to print' approach.
We are constantly going between 'speech to print' and 'print to speech' but children are used to thinking of spoken words and breaking them into their speech sounds using 'Duck Hands' - so seeing 'hat' and then Duck Handing the spoken word - to figure out the speech sounds and, therefore, the mapping of /h/ to the sound, would come naturally.
I hope you enjoy some of the 'decodable readers' I have been writing - Braintree Forest.
I will be mapping words and putting them on VisibleEnglish.com