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We are starting the journey of learning to read... concerned with reading book instruction

(105 Posts)
kiwidreamer Sat 22-Sep-12 23:07:52

DS is two weeks into his school career, barely 4yrs old but settling well so far knocks wood Friday saw his first reading book sent home, v exciting!! However I'm a bit concerned with the 6 key words we have been instructed to help him learn 'spot these words in the reading book and in the world around them. The foundation team will check child's progress and re-new the words ever few weeks' the words this week are - I - the - to - no - go - into -

This isn't how phonics works is it???? We have a parents meeting on Wed night to explain to us how the school teaches reading so I'm being impatient I guess, does a good phonics program exclude all forms of HFW / sight learning or can the two approaches compliment each other?

cybbo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:09:32

Of course the two compliment each other because not all words can be read phonetically, including most of the 6 words he's got

Tgger Sat 22-Sep-12 23:21:46

Hmmmmmm, no it's not!

kiwidreamer Sat 22-Sep-12 23:23:30

I'm sure I remember mrz and IndigoBell saying previously that if a child is taught to sound out words then HFW are not needed, there are v few words that can't be sounded out and the teacher will introduce these when the child is ready and with context. So far there has been no mention of phonics at all, I must admit I've always just assumed that's how all state schools teach reading now - its not like we had much of a choice as to which school he could attend!!!

LeFreak Sat 22-Sep-12 23:24:08

From what I remember of reception - those words are so called "tricky" words because they're difficult to work out with phonic rules. DD had to learn these too, but they did the whole phonic thing as well.

cybbo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:27:30

There are millions of words that can't be sounded out

In my school we start with phonics and introduce sight words as 'red words, i.e., they can't be sounded out

Those words your son has been given are key words for any reading or writing he might do . Makes sense to introduce them , whether he's started phonics or not

meditrina Sat 22-Sep-12 23:30:30

The phonetics (actual sound, accent and all) of the language isn't relevant to learning to read, which is learning the phonic code of how the phonemes of a language are represented by graphemes.

All those words can be taught phonically, and yes it s confusing to a child to b expected to read words when they have not been taught the phoneme/grapheme correspondences within them. You best bet in the short term is to explain to DS that he will be taught how to decode them, as he learns more sounds, and sound them out to him (with this set you'll also need to introduce the concept of one letter having more than one sound).

It's certainly something to ask the school about. You might want to search MN for mrz's posts about how phonics should be taught, as this will help you see what the school is doing (or failing to do).

Feenie Sat 22-Sep-12 23:31:05

There are very, very few words which cannot be decoded. Letters and Sounds recommends teaching those words as phonically decodable with a tricky bit - not to be learned as 'sight' words, or wholes.

If you are referring to Ruth Miskin's Read Write Inc red words they are not to be taught as sight words - refer to your training, cybbo.

Feenie Sat 22-Sep-12 23:32:21

And the word is 'complement'. smile

cybbo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:32:54

How are red words taught Feenie?

<prepares to be corrected>

cybbo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:33:22


Feenie Sat 22-Sep-12 23:38:30

As partially decodable with a 'tricky' bit - with a GPC that the child has not yet been taught.

There is no way on this earth that Ruth Miskin would want those words taught as sight words.

kiwidreamer Sat 22-Sep-12 23:39:39

Ouch Feenie - shall I write it out on the White Board or would you rather I sound it out for you x 100 hmm

cybbo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:42:27

What's a GPC

Feenie Sat 22-Sep-12 23:43:41


Learn from it or ignore it - not bothered either way.

cybbo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:44:19

Blimey Feenie, what's with the bee in your bonnet?

Feenie Sat 22-Sep-12 23:51:00

I have no bee smile - someone picked me up on here for writing 're' as r.e. once - I thanked them. No one knows everything, do they? I pointed it out with a smiley, interesting that you chose to take offence anyway.

Feenie Sat 22-Sep-12 23:51:35

Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence.

Are you a teacher, cybbo?

DameFanny Sat 22-Sep-12 23:56:05


cybbo Sun 23-Sep-12 00:01:07

No I'm an banjo player in the Royal Philarmonic

cybbo Sun 23-Sep-12 00:01:29

CORRECTION A banjo player

Feenie Sun 23-Sep-12 00:04:39

Interesting smile

Is that the advice your dc's school gave about red words though? That's pretty shocking.

mrz Sun 23-Sep-12 08:42:19

DameFanny and ghoti to you too. It's fun but totally wrong (there aren't any words in English where "gh" represents the sound <f>)

meditrina Sun 23-Sep-12 08:46:06

The 'word' was coined by George Bernard Shaw to promote spelling reform. Only those with a sound knowledge of phonics can get the joke. He wanted phonics more deeply embedded into a regular system of grapheme/phoneme correspondence. The spelling reform campaign has never garnered much support, even though efforts have been made on and off for at least 150 years.

mrz Sun 23-Sep-12 08:52:08

I find it worrying that RWI is regarded so highly and yet so many schools/teachers still believe that red words have to be taught by sight shock
kiwidreamer you are right that isn't how phonics works. Can I ask which books have been sent home?

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