Children's reading development is dependant on their understanding that a letter and letter patterns represent the sounds of spoken language. This predictable relationship between letters and sounds allows children to apply these relationships to both known and unknown words.
My 2016 Inquiry is to develop ways to help my learners acquire and be able to use their alphabet sound knowledge and to see that it is predictable and systematic. This should help not only those that are struggling with reading but help those who have mastered individual letter sounds to build knowledge of letter patterns.
I have chosen this topic because New Entrant testing has shown that this is an area that needs to be addressed to fill a gap in the children's learning and that the children are not gaining high frequency words at the expected rate.
To begin with we have been building up a knowledge of letter names and shapes. Knowing letter names helps the children to remember the forms of written letters. Then we can move onto the letter sounds. Some learners are at the beginning stage of learning to recognise the first letter of their name by its letter name and are attempting to reproduce the shape. Other learners are able to see words as a sequence of letters that can be reproduced. We practice the shape of individual letters with a writing sheet, or on our iPads as well as during the formal writing session.
Each morning during reading rotation opportunities are given to play with, match and sort letters. The children with a greater letter sound knowledge also have opportunities to apply and expand their knowledge of phonetically spelled words that are familiar in meaning during follow up activities.
During 2016 I want to investigate opportunities that will help my learners gain word knowledge more efficiently.