Reading help...

(63 Posts)
Houseworkprocrastinator Wed 16-Jan-13 22:19:04

I need a little bit of help with explaining some sounds to my daughter. In school they follow the jolly phonics (i think) and since doing the initial sounds in reception, they haven't brought any sounds home so i have no idea what they are learning. ("nothing" according to her) She is currently in year 1 but i think a little ahead in her reading than the majority of the class but i am now struggling to help her with the 'rules' when reading.

Things that have come up recently are...

when CH makes a c sound (she has had words like archaeology, chameleon and character)

when S makes a sh sound (measure, unusual, sugar etc)

Are there any rules to help explain when these happen?

we have also been having words ending in TION and SION are these taught as whole sounds?

Thanks in advance...

Feenie Fri 18-Jan-13 19:16:35

Remind me how many classes of children you've taught to read, Masha?

feenie does the teacher know you are a literacy coordinator?! You should tell them!

She sounds like she is pretty good at reading OP, but do go and see the teacher and she/he should be able to give you the info you need.

Feenie Fri 18-Jan-13 19:24:20

I have! Will email that to you when I get to my laptop, checkpointcharlie smile

mrz Fri 18-Jan-13 19:30:45

Obviously I disagree with your claim that those 95 words aren't decodable masha but if you recall what you posted we would teach to try the "ch" sound first (as this is most common) and if that doesn't sound right/make sense to try the alternatives "k" as in Christmas or "sh" as in chef. ^ And because the trying out of alternatives is very tiresome, it's far more economical, when it comes to the words with tricky bits in them, to learn them as whole words.^

how many of your 95 word list contain the spelling <ch> representing the sound "k"? ...that would be zero! so a really useful response to the OPs question. Your list doesn't help anyone read or spell Christmas, Christopher, chemist, ache, chrome, character, chasm, chrysalis, echo ...

Ta feenie !

Pozzled Fri 18-Jan-13 20:01:06

Masha, my DD1 would have no trouble at all decoding many of those words, and she's still in the very early stages of learning to read.

Mashabell Sat 19-Jan-13 07:14:27

Pozzle
Many children learn to read those tricky words quite easily - if they have been talked to and read to from babyhood and have a good vocabulary. They are much harder for less fortunate ones.
Pozzled
Those words are far more troublesome for children who have more trouble learning to read than your or my dd it. They stumble over those far more than the 181 high frequency words which have the main sounds for the main English spelling patterns and with which phonics works really well:
a, am, an, and, as, at, back, bad, can, cat, dad, gran, grandad, had, has, hat, man, rabbit, ran, sat, than, that, that’s,
came, gave, made, make, place, take, same, name, baby,
away, day, may, play, say, way,
car, dark, garden, hard, park,

bed, best, better, eggs, end, fell, get, help, let, let’s, next, red, tell, them, then, very, well, went, yes, her,
been, feet, green, keep, need, queen, see, sleep, three, tree, trees,

big, children, did, didn’t, different, fish, him, his, if, in, is, it, it’s, its, king, little, miss, still, thing, things, think, this, will, wind, wish, with,
birds, first, girl,
inside, like, liked, time, I, I’ve, cried, night, right, by, fly, my,

box, dog, fox, from, got, hot, long, lots, no, not, of, off, on, so, stop, stopped, top, floppy, across, along,
cold, old, told,
go, going, home, over, clothes,
or, for, horse, morning,
found, house, mouse, our, out, round, around, shouted, about, boy,

but, duck, fun, just, much, mum, must, run, sun, under, up, us, jumped, suddenly,
use,
their, they, new, again, air, because, began, boat, window.

If it wasn't for the words with irregular spellings which I pasted in earlier, learning to read English would be much easier and take a fraction of the time it does now, and nobody would dream of using anything but phonics for teaching reading. The difficulties are caused entirely by the rogue spellings which don't use the main patterns:
wag - was, ear - early, dream - dreamt, now - slow.

Mashabell Sat 19-Jan-13 07:22:01

Mrz
how many of your 95 word list contain the spelling <ch> representing the sound "k"?
None. Only 27 out the 7,000 most used English words spell the /k/ sound with ch (against more than a 1,000 with c and a few hundred with k).
'School' is probably the most common of them.

The OP asked if there is a rule when 'ch' is pronounced /k/. - There isn't. They have to be learnt word by word, but in the early stage of learning to read children can use other letters in those words to help them work out which it should be.

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 07:39:12

Yes, there is a rule. The rule is when the ch denotes that the word has a Greek origin. Christ comes from Christos.

mrz Sat 19-Jan-13 08:03:22

Sorry masha but how on earth can you think it is easier to learn long, long lists of words, your initial 95 words then the 27 where <ch> is the spelling for "k" and then the list where <ch> represents "sh" and then the list where <a> represents "o" and the list where <a> is the spelling for "ay" and the list where <c> represents "s" and <d> represents "t" .... and <x> represents "z" is easier than try "ch" first then try "k" hmm

Mashabell Sat 19-Jan-13 11:03:42

Learnandsay
The rule is when the ch denotes that the word has a Greek origin.
And children learning to read know which ones do? - I merely explains those stupid spellings. It's useless for learning them. (Btw. Chaucer spelt 'Christ' as 'Crist'. It still referred to the same person and sounded just the same.)
And 'school' has that daft spelling because it is related to German 'Schule'.

Mrz
try "ch" first then try "k" ...and if that fails, try sh.
Thank u for making it absolutely clear that SP involves more than just sounding out and blending.

And that's exactly what all teachers would advise in the early stages of learning to read, not just SP evangelists, but they would not call that 'phonics'.

But the object of the excercise remains learning to recognise all common 7,000 or so English words by sight instantly, as we all can.

This is much the same in all European languages. Just being able to do so for 3,000 most HF words already turns children into quite fluent readers, because it leaves them with only a few words on a page that they still need to decode. Decoding is learning to read - not being able to read fluently.

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 11:15:38

Children can read Christmas, Christ and Chris without knowing why they are spelled the way that they are. Children can likewise read know, knee, knot without knowing where the silent k comes from. But there's no reason not to tell them. It just adds to their knowledge.

Feenie Sat 19-Jan-13 12:13:09

And that's exactly what all teachers would advise in the early stages of learning to read, not just SP evangelists, but they would not call that 'phonics'.

No, they wouldn't, Masha - some (incredibly) would say use the picture to help hmm. But if they tried the method described, yes, they would call it phonics. Not sure why you would try to claim otherwise.

Feenie Sat 19-Jan-13 12:14:23

And Masha, you forgot to remind us how many classes of children you have taught to read successfully? smile

mrz Sat 19-Jan-13 13:20:41

Just being able to do so for 3,000 most HF words already turns children into quite fluent readers

Do you mean the 300 most HFW?

The average child has a vocabulary of 4000-6000 pre school and learns about 3000 more words each year so learning 7000 words is pretty limiting

Houseworkprocrastinator Sat 19-Jan-13 16:12:17

oops... i didn't mean for a debate blush

it is useful to know all the phonics rules and sounds, i dont think it was taught like this when i was in school. But it seems to me that some children (and i think my daughter included) are taught the initial 42? sounds and then given books to bring home and read. the rest of her knowledge has kind of come from me so far. I have taught her many of the sounds after that and some rules like the magic e (i know that isn't taught any more) but i also have at times just told her what the word is e.g through, laugh, brought etc. mainly because i had no idea how to explain the gh and ght thing. so i think she has learned through a combination of phonics and by sight.

Tgger Sat 19-Jan-13 16:19:09

Which is how many, many children learn to read. Myself and DS included. His phonics is better than mine though due to more thorough teaching smile.

Houseworkprocrastinator Sat 19-Jan-13 16:31:37

i cant remember learning to read, the only thing i remember is watching words and pictures in school smile

i don't think my daughter has learned enough phonics in school though, i don't know weather this is because her reading is slightly ahead of the teachings or that they don't follow an in depth program. I would like her to have a bit more knowledge of it even if she is reading by sight a lot of the time.

Tgger Sat 19-Jan-13 17:35:26

I don't remember really either, just have pieced together what my Mum has told me, which seemed to be flashcards and some sounding out. smile.

I know you say you don't find the teacher approachable, but it might be worth making an appointment to talk to her about this issue so you can help your DD. They seem to be revising all the sounds and particularly the difficult ones in Y1 at DS's school, but I think they covered all if not most in YR by the end of the year.

Or, you could teach her the remaining phonics sounds/the split vowels- eg i-e etc yourself. What I found with DS is that his reading was way ahead of the phonics in school, so I taught him in an amateur way myself, piecing it together as I went along, then the phonics teaching at school caught up- he would bring the sound sheets home (this was in YR) so it consolidated his learning and gave me a clue/confirmed I'd taught him right(!), re how they teach the sounds at school. They followed the RWI programme for learning the sounds.

Just had an idea for you. If you are keen you can buy phonics cards- this might help you and give you all the clue you need. I bought them for DS in the end as he really wanted to play school- they are here www.amazon.co.uk/Read-Write-Inc-Phonics-Flashcards/dp/0198386818/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1358616760&sr=8-2. Those are the harder ones but you can see the easier ones (green ones) as well. DS has both! (he knew all of the sounds when I bought them), he was just keen to "teach" me and his sister grin.

They seem to be revising all the sounds and particularly the difficult ones in Y1 but I think they covered all if not most in YR by the end of the year.

Houseworkprocrastinator Sun 20-Jan-13 17:21:22

thank you tgger, will look at those. always good to revise stuff and i still have one who starts school in september so she will be learning too.

when they did the sounds in reception they brought home photo copied sheets from the jolly phonics hand book to practice writing them. this went as far as having er, ou, ie, ue, oo but i have seen nothing since then so i don't know if they have learned any more.

mrz Sun 20-Jan-13 17:31:06

they should continue to learn the different ways that sounds can be written in English.

so er-in fern
ir in girl- ur in curl - or in word - ear in learn -ar in collar
ou in shout
ow in owl- ough in bough
ie in tie
igh in high
i-e in mine
y in cry

ue in true
o in to
ew in new
oo in moon
oe in shoe
ou in soup
ui in fruit
ough in through

etc.

Missbopeep Sun 20-Jan-13 17:57:21

masha The OP asked if there is a rule when 'ch' is pronounced /k/. - There isn't. They have to be learnt word by word, but in the early stage of learning to read children can use other letters in those words to help them work out which it should be

I think you will find that "ch" as a "chu" sound only comes after a vowel. eg church, chap, and at the end of words when preceded by either a vowel or a consonant- eg lurch. touch.

and "ch" as a "k" is on the rare occasions when it's followed by a consonant- eg chromosome and Christ.

.

Missbopeep Sun 20-Jan-13 18:01:49

p.s. 85% of words conform to phonics- the rest are either high frequency irregularwords which are learned in other ways or irregular words which are a bugger but which have to be memorised. Even the irregular wods such as those ending in - ough can usually be grouped together: rough, tough, enough, dough, although, etc etc etc.

Ther are more spelling rules ( not really rules but more words that are pronounced the same) than most people imagine- it's just that most people have not sat down and worked out why they are as they are.

Mashabell Sun 20-Jan-13 18:26:02

p.s. 85% of words conform to phonics
Wrong. For reading 80% are decodable, because some variant spellings do not pose decoding problems (fly - high, mane - lain).
For spelling, 55% of English words contain one or more unpredictable letters.

mrz Sun 20-Jan-13 18:28:10

masha those words are easily decodable!

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