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Part 3 – Helpful hints

Several helpful hints are offered, including an introduction to Word Blending Boxes’, revising the letter sounds, and blending words that do not give an accurate pronunciation. Guidance for making the ‘Word Blending Boxes’ can be accessed through the link provided below.

 

Part 3: Helpful Hints

 

Here are some helpful hints for Step 2:

  • Hint 1: Regularly revise the new letter sounds, as well as the letter sounds taught in Step 1: whether an adult is asking a child to say the sounds; or children are working in pairs testing each other; or the teacher is holding up flash cards for the whole class to call out the sounds; or even the teacher pointing to the letters on the board and asking the whole class to respond with the appropriate sounds [demonstration]. This also applies to regularly asking the children to write the letter sounds from dictation, especially the new ones in Step 2, encouraging a good pencil grip, correct formation and neat handwriting. The lines guide the children and are a great help for developing neat handwriting. It is so important that the children can recognise the letter sounds easily and fluently, as well as write them confidently and neatly. They do well with short daily sessions and thoroughly enjoy mastering these skills.

 

  • Hint 2: Continue encouraging word blending all the time. As with Step 1, when a new letter sound has been introduced, provide words for blending that use the new letter sound(s) and the previous ones. This is when the Word Blending Boxes are so useful [demonstration]. Guidance for making these Word Blending Boxes can be found in the Resources Section on the home page. It is equally important to continue practising auditory segmenting: saying the sounds and holding up a finger for each one, as in road /r-oa-d/, deep /d-ee-p/, lie /l-ie/ and torn /t-or-n/ [demonstration]. The skill of writing develops by doing several words like this in short bursts (about ten will do), as well as then encouraging the children to write a few words from dictation [demonstration].

 

  • Hint 3: Take care when asking the children to read the phrases provided. Either wait until all the letter sounds in Step 2 have been taught or, if used earlier, check that all the letter sounds in that particular phrase have been taught. For example, the children should not be asked to read the phrase a good job if the digraph ‹oo›, which makes the /oo/ or /oo/ sound, has not been taught yet. It is a mistake that is easily made and great care should be taken to avoid it as much as possible. The phrases can be downloaded in colour or black and white, either by scrolling down to the bottom of the screen in Step 2 or by going to the Resources

 

  • Hint 4: Faint letters have been used in some words to show that the children do not need to say the sounds linked to these letters. It keeps it simple for the children and enables more words to be read [demonstration].
  • Hint 5: Remember that some words may not give a pure pronunciation when blended. For example, when blending the word afraid the children will say /a-f-r-ai-d/; however, we do not usually say /a-fraid/: we say /uh-fraid/ [demonstration]. It is not usually a problem for reading, but it does make it more difficult for spelling. For example, the children would identify the sounds /uh-f-r-ai-d/ in afraid, but how do they then write the sound /uh/? This is the awkward bit that has to be learnt. Usually, when the children have blended and read the word afraid a few times they tend to remember that it starts with an /a/.

 

 

So, in conclusion, the aim in Step 2 is for each child to:

 

  • recognise 12 new letter sounds, as well as the 18 introduced in Step 1,
  • write letters for the 12 new letter sounds from dictation, with correct formation and a good pencil grip,
  • blend words that use the new and previous letter sounds [demonstration],
  • write words from dictation that use the new and previous letter sounds,
  • and read and write phrases.

 

Care should also be taken to help any child who is slow to learn these skills. Guidance on this is provided in Help with reading and writing problems, found on the homepage. This concludes the teaching in Step 2.

  • Step 2 - Letter Sounds

    The next 12 letter sounds taught in Step 2 are provided. They can be used as flash cards to help the children remember the sounds linked to the letters or for word building.

  • Step 2 - Letter Sounds - print letters

    The next 12 letter sounds taught in Step 2 are provided. They can be used as flash cards to help the children remember the sounds linked to the letters or for word building.

  • Step 2 - Letter Formation - b&w

    On these sheets the children are able to practise forming the next 12 letters correctly by following the dots.

  • Step 2 - Letter Formation - colour

    On these sheets the children are able to practise forming the next 12 letters correctly by following the dots.

  • Step 2 - Letter Formation - b&w - print letters

    On these sheets the children are able to practice forming the next 12 letters correctly by following the dots.

  • Step 2 - Letter Formation - color - print letters

    On these sheets the children are able to practice forming the next 12 letters correctly by following the dots.

  • Step 2 - Word Bank

    The words from the Step 2 Word Bank can be printed on coloured card, cut up and used for blending practice. As each new letter sound is taught then more words become available for blending.

  • Step 2 - Word Bank - print letters

    The words from the Step 2 Word Bank can be printed on colored card, cut up and used for blending practice. As each new letter sound is taught then more words become available for blending.

  • Step 2 - Phrases - b&w

    The Step 2 phrases can be printed on card, cut up and used for reading practice. This is a little more challenging than reading single words. It helps to prepare the children for reading sentences.

  • Step 2 - Phrases - colour

    The Step 2 phrases can be printed on card, cut up and used for reading practice. This is a little more challenging than reading single words. It helps to prepare the children for reading sentences.

  • Step 2 - Phrases - b&w - print letters

    The Step 2 phrases can be printed on card, cut up and used for reading practice. This is a little more challenging than reading single words. It helps to prepare the children for reading sentences

  • Step 2 - Phrases - color - print letters

    The Step 2 phrases can be printed on card, cut up and used for reading practice. This is a little more challenging than reading single words. It helps to prepare the children for reading sentences.

  • Step 2 - Dictation Words - b&w

    These words have been carefully selected. The children should be able to spell the dictated words correctly by listening for the sounds in the words and writing letters to represent the sounds. The words build up progressively until all 12 letter sounds are used.

  • Step 2 - Dictation Words - colour

    These words have been carefully selected. The children should be able to spell the dictated words correctly by listening for the sounds in the words and writing letters to represent the sounds. The words build up progressively until all 12 letter sounds are used.

  • Step 2 - Dictation Words - b&w - print letters

    These words have been carefully selected. The children should be able to spell the dictated words correctly by listening for the sounds in the words and writing letters to represent the sounds. The words build up progressively until all 12 letter sounds are used

  • Step 2 - Dictation Words - color - print letters

    These words have been carefully selected. The children should be able to spell the dictated words correctly by listening for the sounds in the words and writing letters to represent the sounds. The words build up progressively until all 12 letter sounds are used.