'We are PASSIONATE about teaching EVERY child
to read for pleasure!'
The only way to successfully learn to read in English is to know the 'speech sound' values of the letters. We call them 'pictures of speech sounds' ie Speech Sound Pics.
The written code was created to represent speech sounds, not the other way around. So a 'Speech to Print' approach is taken. Phonics is essential for ALL readers, but students will struggle to learn phonics without good phonemic awareness.
Children who are good readers have learnt the phonics code, even if the school does not explicitly and systematically teach it. They have good phonemic awareness. Children who can tell you that the word 'frog' without the 'r' (sound) is 'fog' have the skills to learn to read and spell in SPITE of the instruction they receive.
This is why Miss Emma is currently so focused on her 'Steps to Reading and Spelling' playgroups and sessions with pre-schoolers in the UK; she is protecting them from becoming instructional casualties. This is vital if they are dyslexic.
She also wants to send them to school confident, curious and eager to read and spell, and to learn new words!
Around a third of children starting school may not develop those phonics skills, regardless of which phonics program the school is using, or explore the whole code; they will struggle to reach the stage of using 'orthographic mapping' ie to read without conscious thought (see Kilpatrick 2015) They may still be in the 'learning to read' phase in grade 3 and have poor spelling skills. Also read about 'a for apple' type phonics programs here. Their struggles might put them off learning and they may doubt themselves. We love children and we love learning, and want to avoid that at all costs.
Miss Emma is a highly successful teacher and former OFSTED Inspector. She has a Masters Degree in Special Educational Needs (Dyslexia focus) and is undertaking doctoral study in the UK (with a research focus on phonemic awareness and dyslexia)
Resources and activities developed by The Reading Whisperer 'Miss Emma' BEd Hons. (EY Specialism) MA Special Educational Needs (Dyslexia) Doctoral Student
Enhance and extend Communication, Language and Literacy activities
All in One Place
Visual and Linguistic Phonics
Speech Sound Monsters
What are 'Speech Sound Monsters'?
There is a 'phoneme' Monster for every English speech sound. So think of each as being an alternative to a phonetic symbol from the IPA. They enable children to work out how to pronounce the graphemes without help from adults (ie they are 'teacherless teaching tools') and show adults which phonemes they can hear, even if they cannot (or choose not to) produce the speech sounds. 'Monster Mapping' is a fantastic diagnostic tool as adults know how children are segmenting, blending and manipulating phonemes even when they do not yet know the correct graphemes for that word.
The (phoneme) monsters enable children to learn phonics at a rapid pace, and reach the 'self-teaching' phase far earlier.
Download this free Monster Mapping info poster and print in A3.