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Sounding out HFW

(6 Posts)
Jurassicmumof2 Fri 19-Dec-14 07:09:45

DS is in reception. His school tend to send home a mix of phonics books and look and say/HFW books (particularly fond of Ginn 360). I've followed many of the phonics debates on here and I'm really behind the idea of decoding all words but struggling with how to convey all the incidental rules needed for these books. Don't have an exact example to hand but remember there was a page "Where? No not in here, in here." We manage "not" and "in" then I'm stuck. Are there any good guides to decoding all the tricky/HFWs?

maizieD Fri 19-Dec-14 11:30:09

His school tend to send home a mix of phonics books and look and say/HFW books

Oh dear.sad

I've never heard of a 'guide' to dealing with words containing code which children haven't yet been taught. I expect it's because people who use these books don't:
1) realise how illogical it is
2) realise how much more difficult and puzzling it makes it for children learning to to read
3) believe that repeated exposures will make children learn them as 'wholes' (which it might, but it equally might not)

I'd suggest that you analyse the words into their component sounds; e.g 'where' = /w/ /air/, work out which letters are spelling each of the sounds, so 'wh' spells the /w/, 'ere' spells the /air/. Tell him these are sound spellings he hasn't yet been taught but 'In this word 'wh' is spelling the /w/ sound and 'ere' is spelling the /air/ sound' (pointing to the spellings rather than spelling them out verbally is easier) and practise sounding out and blending the word. If he understands the concept that letters spell sounds and finds the phonics side of reading straightforward he should be able to cope with this.

But I do wish schools wouldn't do this; it is really poor practice and makes one wonder if the quality of their actual phonics teaching is any good.

Jurassicmumof2 Mon 22-Dec-14 21:20:29

Thanks so much for your reply. DS loves the school and is so much more enthusiastic about doing stuff at home this year I'm letting the phonics stuff go and just trying to stick with it at home. He uses sounding out as his first port of call for reading words and want to keep him going on that, just wish Ginn 360 made it easier for me! Thanks for the techniques suggested!

Mashabell Tue 23-Dec-14 07:13:03

If u have been following some of the discussions about phonics on here, u will realise that all disagreements about the teaching of reading are about how best to teach the words which contain letters with variable sounds, such as here – there – were.

Nobody disputes that phonics is right for teaching the main sounds of English spellings, from 'fat cat' to 'station' and 'carnation'. But when it comes to alternative sounds, especially in the most common words, many believe that it's best to be honest, admit that English spelling does not always make sense and help children to recognise the likes of one, two, once, only, four, your, me, we, he, she, be as quickly as possible whole words.

This does not mean paying no attention to any of the letters in them and treating them like pictures – just not spending too long on torturous decoding of them. I used to write the ones that kept giving my son trouble on little cards and get him to look at them one at a time. Some could soon be left aside. Others needed lots of going over.

erin99 Tue 23-Dec-14 19:56:28

We were told to treat anything they haven't been taught the graphemes for, or anything that can't be sounded out generally, as a 'tricky word'. You just tell the child the word, no messing about trying to explain or understand it. Keep the flow going. These words are often repeated in the text, so the child will start to recognise it during the reading session and you will prob only need to tell them once or twice at the start. When DD started YR I thought reading should be about her reading and me listening, but I eventually discovered that she learned more (and enjoyed it more) when
I was helping more actively. In your example sentence I'd happily read the 'there' and 'here's if DD couldn't, or even do the whole page, and the next page would be DD's turn.

This may not be the fastest method but it's good for keeping interest and morale high, and that's the key to it all, I think.

mrz Tue 23-Dec-14 22:00:55

Oh dear! shock

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