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Anyone care to share experiences of Dancing Bears?

(5 Posts)
screamingeels Wed 26-Feb-14 16:44:06

The phonics books - as opposed to non-pc animal attractions.

I just want to check if DD and I are doing it right, and how long it takes to make a difference.

DD is 6 in Y1. She's been slow to get to grips with reading, only recently moved up to yellow books at my instigation. School say phonics is at the heart of what they do, however I think they use mixed methods (every time I talk to them about DDs reading difficulties they give me sheets of hfw for her to memorise). DD's phonics haven't moved on since reception so she's basically early phase 3.

I do think she may have some sld and school teaching approach doesn't help so i will continue to work on them, in the meantime I thought i'd see if I could consolidate her phonics using dancing bears - so questions -

We've been doing it for a little over 2 weeks and manage a bit less than a page a day. This seems ok i think.

What does learn a sound a day mean? Because if its that letters 'ar' on flashcard make sound 'ah' thats taken 2 weeks. And now i've introduced 'er' she's confused again - can't tell them apart on flashcard, a little better in words i think.

She hates the cursor. I think she really needs it as most of her reading strategies are some form of guessing

We passed the first mastery test but only just as she has problems with speed. She insists on sounding out every word before saying it, even the very familiar or non-phonetic ('the') which obviously slows her down.

Is this all par for the course as its a new way of learning for her? Will it click into place and she'll start recognising words and graphemes without the obvious effort she's having to put in at the moment?

Just intrested in how it may have worked for others.

ikuji Thu 27-Feb-14 10:45:41

I have not used Dancing Bears, but have first-hand experience with Apples and Pears. Both programmes have been discussed on SEN board and I think you will get more replies if you repost there. You could also contact Sound Foundations on their advice line 08448 708 158. Hope this helps.

mrz Thu 27-Feb-14 18:06:21

I have used the Bear Necessities and aimed for a page a day. Passing the mastery test in 2 weeks sounds perfectly fine to me. When you say she sounds out "the" how does she do that? If she is saying /t/ /h/ /e/ the or /th/ /e/ I would stop her and definitely use the cursor to push her through the word.

screamingeels Thu 27-Feb-14 19:56:12

Thanks both - I forgot Sound Foundations have a helpline. The 'the' thing is /th/e/ - for a while she sounded out th as 'the' so 'that' would be /the/a/t. And explaining that I think all thats happened is that she's over-corrected herself now she sees all 'th's as /th/ including the one in 'the'.

umpity Fri 28-Feb-14 11:32:29

Contact Simon Smith, sorry about that. Its a pop song reference

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