Jolly Phonics teaches the 42 main sounds in the English language, but did you know that there are actually 87 phonograms!?
I looked at level one in the All About Spelling program and I will be exploring it further in the near future. It is a multisensory program (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic) that takes the struggle out of spelling for students. Some interesting things that I have found in the teacher’s guide so far are that certain sets of phonograms shouldn’t be taught together, such as b, d or a, e, i, o, u or p, b or m, n because they sound alike to an untrained ear. I also read about how some letter make more than one sound, such as ‘a.’ An ‘a’ can sound like apple, acorn, or water, which is something I know but I never thought about how to teach that to students. This program doesn’t state a particular order in which to teach phonograms but rather focusing on figuring out which phonograms need to be taught and teaching those phonograms. Since I was a little confused with all the new vocabulary I have been reading, I had to look up what a phonogram actually was and I found that a phonogram is a character or symbol used to represent a word, syllable, or phoneme.
So far, I have been focusing on researching how to teach printing. I have found that: “A grapheme is the written symbol either an individual letter (s, m, a) or sequence of letters (th, sh, ch, oy) that are used to represent a single phoneme” (Right Track Reading). I have been specifically reading about the order in which to teach letter formation. I have found a few different orders that different programs say are the best, but what they all have in common is that they teach the letter out of order, in both printing and when teaching phonemes.“ A phoneme is the smallest speech sound example the sound /s/ or /ch (Right Track Reading). Most programs state that you should focus on printing lower case letters first because they are more common in text and more useful when writing. Many teachers stated that the first letters they teach are those in the students name since it is meaningful to them. Then an interesting order that I read about was to start with the straight line letters (l, i, t, f, j) and then move into the letters that start like a ‘c’ (c, o, a, d, g, q), then letters that are like an ‘r’ (r, n, m, p, b, h) and then the extras (e, s, k, u, x, v, w, y, z). I observed my sponsor teacher doing an order similar to this when doing printing practicum with my practicum class.
***Add rainbow letter picture!!
To start, I wanted to learn what the actual definition of phonics is. I found that the Webster definition of phonics is “a method of teaching beginners to read and pronounce words by learning the phonetic value of letters, letter groups, and especially syllables.” The goal of phonics is to enable beginning readers to decode new written words by sounding them out, or, in phonics terms, blending the sound-spelling patterns (Wikipedia).