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What is a grapheme and why is this reception homework so hard?

(18 Posts)
Crunchymum Sat 25-Nov-17 10:39:22

I have a degree (granted not in English grin) but I'm stumped.

Homework is draw something beginning with S and then write initial sound and the grapheme [you can then write the word if you want]

Why don't I understand this?

Does it mean draw a 'snake' and the grapheme is SN?

AlbusPercival Sat 25-Nov-17 10:40:20


Oliversmumsarmy Sat 25-Nov-17 10:42:48

Don't ask me dd got a comprehension homework in year 2 which had one question which could not be answered. I actually asked the teacher who said she hadn't a clue either and was wondering herself what the answer was.

It only gets worse as they get older.

BumpowderSneezeonAndSnot Sat 25-Nov-17 10:45:11

I found once they hit secondary the homework became more in my scope of knowledge. At primary all the phonics and grammar they learned totally bamboozled me

Walkerbean16 Sat 25-Nov-17 10:49:16

Grapheme is basically a posh word for letter. The grapheme would be s as you say the s and the n seperatly. Ones that go together are ones like ea in leaf as the sound is just e.

Snap8TheCat Sat 25-Nov-17 10:50:58

Sn isn’t one grapheme as they are two separate sounds.

It would just be s for snake.

megletthesecond Sat 25-Nov-17 10:52:18

No idea. Both mine did this in reception and I went to a parents workshop on the subject. Still don't understand blush.

PosiePootlePerkins Sat 25-Nov-17 10:54:55

Grapheme is the written or printed version of the letter. Literally the black shape you see or write on the page. Phoneme is the smallest unit of sound you hear eg s at the beginning of snake. Snake has 5 graphemes s n a k e and 4 phonemes s n a-e k.

MarklahMarklah Sat 25-Nov-17 10:55:27

I have had to learn the terminology that underpins KS1 learning, as I was at school before this methodology was used.
DDs school are very good at explaining things to children & parents alike, and teaching staff do know what the terms they use mean.

PosiePootlePerkins Sat 25-Nov-17 10:56:03

Actually if they've said write the initial sound and the grapheme, technically they are wrong. If you write s you are writing both the initial sound and the grapheme.

MargotLovedTom1 Sat 25-Nov-17 10:56:06

If 's' is the grapheme, then won't the initial sound and the grapheme be one and the same? So the child would write 's' twice? confused

PosiePootlePerkins Sat 25-Nov-17 10:56:36

Margot cross post, yes!

MargotLovedTom1 Sat 25-Nov-17 10:57:18

Great minds Posie.

MargotLovedTom1 Sat 25-Nov-17 10:57:34


Crunchymum Sat 25-Nov-17 10:58:57

Thanks for the answers... and for not judging me grin

Think we can tackle the homework now shock

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Sat 25-Nov-17 11:02:03

I’m seeing a sock with lots of “s”s falling out of it. That kind of thing?

WindyWednesday Sat 25-Nov-17 11:08:33

I have to ask the dc. I have no idea. I have however learnt from homework that ... is ellipsis. Only three dots otherwise it’s an ellipsis and a full stop.

AuntieStella Sat 25-Nov-17 11:11:12

Graphemes is the term for how a phoneme is written (a phoneme being a unit of sound that carries meaning if you change it). It's ^not' a consonant cluster. So for 'snake' it's 's'

Consonants are fairly straightforward, as most are single letter one-to-one correspondences. But there are double letter ones eg 'sh' and 'th' and ones with more than one sound eg 'g' as in 'god' or 'giraffe'

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