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Year 1 Phonics Groups

(15 Posts)
lexie01 Thu 27-Sep-12 23:06:18

Sorry not the most interesting of subjects and I am sure this has been done to death but here goes...

Since Reception my DD and a couple of other children have been removed from the class during the normal phonics sessions to work in a smaller group doing slightly more extended work. Up until now this has always worked fine but since entering Yr1 I the same group (who I believe are working in Phase 6 - not absolutely sure what this means btw just something my DD has told me) are taken to the ICT room everyday and 'play' phonics games on the PC with the TA. Is this 'normal'? I know my DD enjoys the session because it is fun and on the computer but everyday? Or is this something that happens in most schools these days? I am not sure whether I should mention my concerns to the class teacher....

clam Thu 27-Sep-12 23:14:29

Well, what are your concerns, exactly? That she's having fun learning phonics? Or that she's using ICT? Or doing phonics every day?

lexie01 Thu 27-Sep-12 23:38:40

I suppose that she is learning phonics by the aid of a computer program and not be some form of interaction with the class teacher.

Pozzled Thu 27-Sep-12 23:42:31

There are some great ict phonics games available, but it shouldn't be every day, they should still be getting teacher input. I would have a chat with the teacher, but ask to clarify how it's being done first. A yr 1 pupil isn't always the most reliable reporter.

WofflingOn Thu 27-Sep-12 23:53:11

Have a look at this website and see what you think.
ICT is a daily part of school now in one form or another, don't let ignorance prejudice you against it.

AThingInYourLife Thu 27-Sep-12 23:56:59

And don't let ignorance blind you to the fact that computers are not as good at teaching as people are.

WofflingOn Thu 27-Sep-12 23:59:21

grin I know, I started in the days of blackboards and chalk, but even I have come to realise how useful, appropriate and differentiated ICT resources can be.

Pozzled Fri 28-Sep-12 00:16:07

I love phonics play, it is a great resource. Alongside teacher-led input and activities. I can't imagine that any year one child, no matter how bright, would be able to do without any phonics teaching and assessment from a real teacher.

lexie01 Fri 28-Sep-12 09:02:07

Thats my point Pozzled. I have no problem with using ICT (I come from an IT background) but I think it should be in conjunction with other teacher led activities which at the moment it doesn't seem to be.

I guess fundamentally I worry that because my DD is only 1 of 2 in her class to be removed into a small group of 5 to work with a TA that she is being sidelined a little. That because she is quite bright she and the rest of the group are being taken to ICT to play these phonics games whilst the teacher 'teaches' phonics to the rest of the class. I know in some respects I should be grateful - the ratio of TA/children in this group is excellent but I can't escape the feeling they are being left to plod on because they have already learnt all the basics and left until everyone reaches the same level. I am probably just being paranoid but......

learnandsay Fri 28-Sep-12 09:52:54

It's not absolutely true that people make better teachers than computers do. It depends what you're teaching, how and to whom. Computers don't mind repeating the same instruction over and over again, whereas most people do mind. So computers do have some advantages over people in certain situations.

RiversideMum Sun 07-Oct-12 20:33:55

If your child is working at that level I would expect quite a lot of sentence reading and some dictation for writing. If your child is working on a PC every day in phonics then she is getting no "writing" in her phonics work.

mrz Sun 07-Oct-12 21:48:31

Computers don't mind repeating the same instruction over and over again and they don't mind if you make the same error over and over again and they certainly won't explain exactly where you are going wrong and how to put it right.

I think you need to know exactly what your child is doing in the ICT suite with the TA and whether it is a holding activity or extension work. As RiversideMum says good phonics teaching involves reading AND writing.

learnandsay Tue 09-Oct-12 10:12:54

Well, mrz, that depends on which computer program you're running! It's not unlikely that it will indeed tell you what you've done wrong and how to put it right. These days they will often play a sound file with the instructions.

mrz Tue 09-Oct-12 18:00:05

Yes they do learnandsay they play a generic sound file that applies to any user ... not terribly helpful for someone having problems.

SoundsWrite Wed 10-Oct-12 18:31:40

The problem with using computers to teach children phonics is that, because they are programmed, they are unable to scaffold the learning process to meet the needs of the individual child. So, for example, if a child can't hear the first sound in a word, the computer doesn't know what the problem might be. A teacher can stretch out the sound, vary the pace, choose an 'easier' (according a number of different criteria) word, put in some lines on a whiteboard, know from previous interactions what the child knows and doesn't know and respond accordingly, and many other things. A computer will never be able to do those things.
What's more, when a child is working on a computer, they are using a QWERTY keyboard and this doesn't reinforce the relationship between sounds and spellings when the spelling contains more than one letter. In fact, I have often seen children typing a word like 'light' and saying 'l' i' 'g' 'h' 't' as they type. And, as mrz cogently suggests, the sound files are tied to one accent of the language - usually RP - which doesn't accord with the accents of most children.

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