Teaching children to read and spell in a school (classroom) setting
All this 'teaching' might be getting in the way of the highest number of children 'learning'
Take this 'Scope and Sequence' - released by the SA education dept...it worries me! Every student of mine, in a classroom setting, would have explored the vast majority of these correspondences while reading and writing - in KS1. The only difference would be the specific words /vocabular knowledge. We look at words eg 'picture' and ask 'what's new for you?' It may be that /t/ - or they may have already identified it, and previously stored in 'brain dictionary' - so my job is to add value. I might extend it for that child, to explore etymology, morphology etc. I can't plan for that until I've done the activity. So my KS1 students, if later taught in a KS2 classroom with this 'Scope and Sequence' would be bored silly - as they already know all of this. Children are not computers to be programmed. They do not come to lessons with the same missing data. My activities are designed to empower teachers to discover what each already knows - and build on that. Its a far better use of their time as well as that of the children. Scope and Sequences should not be used to plan explicit instruction. But this is just another reason to create the AI Kindergarten Teacher! If they are reading independently before they even start school this stuff doesn't really matter to them - and who knows, they might have a teacher who recognises that they already know all this stuff and who might left them sit it out?
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The 'alternatives to phonetic symbols' show YOU (the teacher) when the graphemes map with different phonemes - even if you don't ever think about it.
As you can read and spell without conscious effort (you access 'orthographic mapping') you can actually get 'blinded' by those graphemes! And this can get in the way of you guiding children towards that phase.
The activities ensure that children SEE the graphemes, and also SEE the 'sound value' for something that is auditory! ie the phonemes.
Most children 'get' this simply by reading - via implicit learning - but we can give others a boost.
Do I ever use picture embedded mnemonics?
I've thought of every conceivable issue - if you do my ICRWY (SSP) activities you avoid them, even if you are unaware of what's happening. This is the only resource I recommend that I didn't design but that you can easily get from ebay etc- but used for a specific purpose ie letter formation. It's the only time I support picture embedded mnemonics - for letter formation (not phonics) - as we have an opaque orthography . The strip was used by my Speech Sound Pics Approach teachers in Australia and all bought the RWI packs for that purpose. I did write to the Ruth Miskin team about this to ask permission over 10 years ago:-) I love a lot about RWI - it's my favourite of all the DfE Validated SSP programs.
If you are using RWI you could add in Speedy Solo and Paired Code Mapping, The Monster Routine, Snap and Crack, Rapid Writing etc so that all gaps are filled for all children- and no child leaves Year 1 still learning to read: all also want to read.
SSP teachers in Australia follow routines
and you can see a logical learning progressions in the ICRWY lessons app - but these are of concepts, and used within real reading and writing activities. Once the children reach the end of Phase 2 please do ensure that they are well on their way to finishing off the 1,2,3 and Away! series - having worked through Green, Red and Yellow Platform readers.
They can 'follow the sounds' say the words for all and clearly identify the mappin (demonstrating orthographic knowledge).
SSP teachers started using these in 2022