I don't understand phonics and reading

(152 Posts)
Catinthebed Mon 18-Nov-13 15:21:07

Ds is P1 Northern Ireland. Didn't know any letters or sounds when he started due to speech and language difficulty.

Has now done a number of phonics and had a few picture only readers. Today he got his first reading with a word in it and he knows it say "look". However he hasn't done L or K as a phonic.

He is Dc 4 and I am bit lost as none of the rest did phonics and it's complicated by speech and language complications.

Should I teach him to sound out "look" or is that going backwards given as he already knows it?

MomentForLife Mon 18-Nov-13 15:29:03

I would just go through the letters and sounds and keep reinforcing them with him, doesn't matter if he hasn't done them at school. Reading with phonics is about decoding words using phonic knowledge.

'Look' is a hard one to do with phonics as they're also taught that the double o is an 'oo' sound like 'zoo'.

If he recognizes it by sight that's good because when you get to a word like 'book' you can remind him that it's the same as 'look', not the 'oo' sound.

MomentForLife Mon 18-Nov-13 15:30:34

Sorry if that was a bit garbled!

BerstieSpotts Mon 18-Nov-13 15:33:36

Well no, phonics would teach that "oo" can make the sound it does in zoo, or the sound it makes in look, book etc. It's unlikely he's come across this sound yet in either form, though.

It's possible he has just picked up the word "look" as a whole thing. I agree, it won't help to get him to sound it out if he doesn't know the individual sounds, just concentrate on the sounds they give you to practice with smile

There are a few good books on amazon which are a parent's guide to phonics kind of thing.

BerstieSpotts Mon 18-Nov-13 15:34:14

Oh - sorry Moment I totally missed the "also" in your post and thought you were saying it would only be taught one way!

MomentForLife Mon 18-Nov-13 15:46:16

No worries! I agree he might not have come accross either 'oo' yet but would be good to keep practicing the sounds of the alphabet.

LittleMissGreen Mon 18-Nov-13 15:46:51

sad that sounds like the school are doing half hearted phonics i.e. teaching phonics but haven't upgraded the reading books.

That's what DS1s first school did - Ginn books full of 'look' and 'come' whilst apparently learning phonics.

Even if he could read the word 'look' I would break it down and show him where the sounds come from l...."those two together make u".... k
It isn't going backwards, it should help when he comes across new words, even if he doesn't remember all 3 new phonemes in the future.

Catinthebed Mon 18-Nov-13 16:13:20

Littlemiss it is a Ginn book and thats what I was thinking. He hasn't blended any sounds so to teach L, K and OO this week on top of M doesn't feel right.

However we have been warned that phonics are tricky with receptive language difficulties and he may need to learn some words by sight.

My ds is reception in England. He gets books with short sentence s but we had a reading meeting and it was made clear that they don't expect them to "read"the words yet they want us to get them to talk about the story through pictures. teacher will let each parent know when each child had learnt enough sounds and will get phonics readers.there is enormous pressure apparently to be sending books home from the beginning.

My older daughter started at a different school and we didn't get any books at all until nearly xmas as they waited until they had actually taught them the relevant phonics bits (I don't speak phonicswink ). I guess what I'm trying to say is, I think you would not be fussy to ask teacher to clarify what they expect from school at this stage

maizieD Mon 18-Nov-13 17:06:45

However we have been warned that phonics are tricky with receptive language difficulties and he may need to learn some words by sight.

I can't see any good reason why this should be so. Isn't receptive language difficulty concerned with not understanding spoken words?

Were you given any reason why it should affect decoding and blending?

ThisIsBULLSHIT Mon 18-Nov-13 17:15:36

We teach key words alongside the different phonemes so I would just help him learn 'look' as a word. Yes some children learn better through remembering the shape of a word rather than using phonics, 'look' is a fairly unique word and is one of the easier key words to remember.

Could it just be that his reading book has the word look in it? I doubt the teachers will send home books with only the phonemes they have been teaching in.

I am sure the teacher will talk you through it if you ask them, or maybe they do phonics workshops or something like that?

maizieD Mon 18-Nov-13 18:13:30

'look' is not a fairly unique word and doesn't have to be taught as a 'whole'. What about book, took, nook, crook, shook, brook?

If a child is being taught phonics as per the govt guidelines (assumimg that ther OP is in England) then the school should not be sending home books which have words in that the child cannot decode. It doesn't help them with practising decoding and blending and can be very off putting for the child.

I doubt the teachers will send home books with only the phonemes they have been teaching in.

That's exactly what they should be doing.

If your child had only been taught to add and subtract would you expect them to come home with homework that required them to divide and multiply?

Feenie Mon 18-Nov-13 18:20:44

Yes some children learn better through remembering the shape of a word rather than using phonics

Oh lordy shock

How will learning the shape of 'look' help? Quite apart from the fact that it won't work, since it's the same 'shape' as book, boot, loot, boob, why not just teach them to actually read the bloody word?

In fact that entire paragraph is contrary to advice in Letters and Sounds - which has been around for 8 flipping years now - about teaching key words/tricky words/whatever you want to call them.

Euphemia Mon 18-Nov-13 18:26:51

I teach P1 in Scotland, and from a class of 19 I have only four children taking home books with words in them.

What is the point in sending home books the children can't decode yet? confused

In NI, do you make a distinction between the "oo" in book and the "oo" in moon? They're both the same in Scottish accents - no short and long versions.

handbags88 Mon 18-Nov-13 18:38:24

I also teach in Scotland and at our school we use the Read, Write Inc scheme - the books only have words in them with the sounds that the children know. I have used Ginn in the past and didn't find it helpful at all for children who struggled with reading.

Also - most children use a combination of phonics and sight recognition (shape of the word) when learning to read.

cloutiedumpling Mon 18-Nov-13 18:41:29

DS2 was having trouble with phonics this time last year. I found the cbeebies alphablocks website great. There are short cartoons which teach some of the phonics sounds and games too.

mrz Mon 18-Nov-13 20:05:20

The GInn 360 books rely on children memorising the words in the books (and are probably one of most boring schemes every to be published) The school is teaching phonics but using Look & Say books ...it doesn't work!

mrz Mon 18-Nov-13 20:10:38

I don't know any children who learn to read by the shape of words I know lots who didn't learn by that method

LittleMissGreen Mon 18-Nov-13 20:21:13

Catinthebed - Littlemiss it is a Ginn book and thats what I was thinking. He hasn't blended any sounds so to teach L, K and OO this week on top of M doesn't feel right.
Hmm, hard one sad With DS3 (but he has learnt lots more phonemes in school than your DS and they do lots of blending already) when he comes across a new phoneme - usually in library books, I point out the new sounds to him, he then blends them, but I don't particularly expect him to remember them.
I have a particular hmm feeling about Ginn books, as DS1 went to school able to blend simple words and knowing lots of phonics. He then promptly forgot them when he was taught to read by sight, and his spelling is now appalling and he can't work out even phonetically plausible spellings, let alone the right ones. So I could be biased by bad experience!

ThisIsBULLSHIT Mon 18-Nov-13 20:21:48

I know lots who haven't learnt by that method and have got on brilliantly with phonics but I have also known some who can remember look because of the 'picture' of how it looks. I have!!! It might sound ridiculous but lots of children recognise that word before they are sufficiently fluent in phase 3.

And children should be reading phonetically decodable books of course but they should also not know about 10% of the words in any book so that it is challenging enough and they learn some new words!

Of course we plan using letters and sounds. Why is the paragraph it contrary to advice? Teaching the 100 words alongside the phoneme for that day/week?

mrz Mon 18-Nov-13 20:27:23

I hate those stupid phases!!!
No ThisIsBULLSHIT they should be able to read the words in the books not know them by sight and certainly not by shape!

ClayDavis Mon 18-Nov-13 20:33:58

It's contrary to advice because Letters and Sounds tells you to sound out the 100 HFW. Not to teach them by sight, shape or any other method you might come across.

Feenie Mon 18-Nov-13 20:37:09

We teach key words alongside the different phonemes so I would just help him learn 'look' as a word. Yes some children learn better through remembering the shape of a word rather than using phonics, 'look' is a fairly unique word and is one of the easier key words to remember.

Why is the paragraph it contrary to advice?

The advice isn't to teach the tricky words 'alongside' anything. You teach them as decodable but with a tricky 'bit' - so as part and parcel of your phonics teaching. Helping a child learn 'look' just as a word is contrary to that advice, as is using word shape as a strategy. It isn't a unique word, as MaizieD explained, and children don't have to 'remember' it - they can just learn to read it.

ThisIsBULLSHIT Mon 18-Nov-13 20:39:24

I only mean 'look' not all words!!!!!!!

AHHHHH I always feel really stupid when I post on threads with some of you lot on.
I am a good teacher, dedicated and proactive, always get fantastic results and my class really like me. I should know by now not to bother posting on phonics or reading threads really as I seem to say something that enrages or amuses someone. <gaffer tapes mouth shut>

I honestly believe that some children are able to remember the word 'look' before they know how to sound it out.

Sorry OP if I have inadvertently derailed the thread a tad.

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