These decks are a little more advanced than the previous ones available here, here and here. They reflect the teaching sequence used in the Phonic Books Talisman 1/Rescue Series and the Sounds-Write program‘s Extended Code section and books, but can be used with other synthetic phonics teaching sequences and programs.
The decks work from sound to print, and focus on the following sound-spelling relationships:
/ay/ as in “mistake”, “contain”, “holiday”, “navy”, “obey” and “great”.
/ee/ as in “coffee”, “disease”, “secret”, “carry”, “believe”, “protein” and “compete”.
/oe/ as in “remote”, “roast”, “follow”, “hero” and “mangoes”.
/er/ as in “swerve”, “circle”, “burnt”, “search” and “worth”.
/ou/ as in “aloud” and “trowel”, and /oy/ as in “point” and “destroy”.
/oo/ as in “smooth”, “rule”, “true”, “fluid”, “jewel” and “group”.
/igh/ as in “delight”, “despite”, “crisis”, “apply” and “allies”.
/or/ as in “porch”, “before” and “drawn”.
/or/ as in “stall”, “chalk”, “brought”, “daughter”, “author” and “warm” (there were so many spellings of this sound they wouldn’t fit in a single deck).
/air/ as in “chair”, “declare”, “bear”, “where” and “their”.
/ar/ as in “charm”, “past”, “calm”, “heart” and “aunt”.
One deck of high-frequency words with a mixture of the above sound-spelling relationships (not available separately, but included to bring this set up to a dozen decks).
The decks can be downloaded individually (starting from the third item here) or as a discounted bundle of 12. We suggest printing the cards on A4 200gsm cardboard, available from major stationery shops, which can be used in most printers/photocopiers.
If you plan to use the cards a lot, we suggest laminating them, though this is not essential if you’d rather not add to the planetary plastic overload. We recommend that children be encouraged to practise their scissor skills by cutting them up, rounding the corners if a more professional look is sought.
All the decks can be used for any card game requiring a standard deck of cards, from very simple games of chance like War to complex strategic ones like Mancala. See this previous blog post for videos of other suggested games.
We hope these cards give many children many hours of well-targeted, high-intensity repeated reading practice, cleverly disguised as fun. Thanks once again to Caitlin Stephenson for the original idea and design.
Last week, I read my state education department’s booklet advising parents on how to help children with literacy and numeracy. I understand it will be in the Prep bags given to all Victorian children starting school in 2019.
I was, frankly, appalled. The booklet mentions phonics only once, saying onscreen phonics games improve reading and “letter sound awareness”, whatever that is. It doesn’t mention phonemic awareness or handwriting at all.
La Trobe University and the Victorian Department of Education have this year collaborated to run workshops across Victoria about learning difficulties including dyslexia. The workshops have been available to teachers and other Department of Education staff.
The information from these workshops is now being made available free online via YouTube as webinars. Wow. Amazingly generous of both the University and the Department, since most professional development of this type and quality is paywalled. So thanks to all involved.
The webinars are presented by Dr Tanya Serry from La Trobe University, and the workshops on which they are based were developed with Professor Pamela Snow, Ms Emina McLean and Assistant Professor Jane McCormack also from La Trobe, and Dr Lorraine Hammond from Edith Cowan University in WA. Continue reading →
Phonemes are perceptually distinct speech sounds that distinguish one word from another, e.g. the “p”, “b”, “t” and “d” in “pie”, “by”, “tie” and “die”. They’re also articulatory gestures.
A 2009 article co-authored by reading guru Linnea Ehri says “awareness of articulatory gestures facilitates the activation of graphophonemic connections that helps children identify written words and secure them in memory.” Melbourne Speech Pathologist Helen Botham (Hi, Helen!), lists a number of references on her Cued Articulation website indicating articulatory awareness facilitates phonemic awareness.
I sit right across the table from my clients, so we can see and hear each other’s articulation well. It must be a lot harder to teach a whole class about phonemes, in order to link them to graphemes. Videos on the internet (including my own) about phonemes seem to put them all in one video, making them hard to isolate and repeat on a classroom interactive whiteboard.
I’ve thus filmed my utterly adorable and orthodontically photogenic niece Vivien (thanks, Vivien!) saying each phoneme separately. The 44 videos are below, each with example words which link to the relevant spelling lists on my website. Continue reading →
One of my fun summer activities has been refreshing and editing the free spelling lists on my website (yeah, weird, I know).
I hope teachers find them useful when teaching spelling, I know some already do. Other free spelling lists on the internet tend to focus on what words look like, but not what they sound like, or how they’re constructed, or they tend to reflect UK or US accents, not Australian English.
My lists menu allows words to be looked up in three different ways:
There's been some research showing that dyslexics (notwithstanding the debate about this term) have trouble noticing the differences that matter between speech sounds, and not noticing the differences that don't matter.
This article explored the reliability and significance of this finding by analysing data from lots of relevant research.
When we're babies, we're capable of discriminating all the sounds of all the languages of the world, but we quickly discard the ones that we don't hear in the language(s) around us, and focus on the ones we do (there's a great Ted Talk called The Linguistic Genius Of Babies about this, if you want to know more).
Noordenbos and Serniclaes trawled through the scientific literature and found 632 studies related to dyslexic students' speech sound perception. They distilled this down to 36 studies of a total of 754 individuals with dyslexia which were relevant to their research question, properly-conducted, complete and comparable enough to put through their statistical mill. The studies were of speakers of English, Dutch, French and Chinese.
They found that dyslexics were indeed reliably and significantly worse at discriminating between speech sounds (phonemes), and more sensitive to sound variations within speech sounds (allophones), than peers matched by age, as well as peers with the same reading age (though the differences were greater between the dyslexics and age peers). Sound discrimination tasks showed up their problem more than sound identification tasks.