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Part 1 – Introduction of 6 alternative spellings

The children are taught six alternative spellings. One of them is the letter ‘y’ with an /ee/ sound, as in the words sunny, happy, windy etc. The other alternative spellings are <a-e>, <e-e>, <i-e>, <o-e> and <u-e>.

Step 4

 

Part 1: Introducing six alternative spellings

 

In Steps 1 to 3, the children are taught the 42 letter sounds, which represent one way of writing the main sounds of English. In Step 4 the children begin to understand that some sounds have more than one way of being written: these are known as the alternative spellings. The aim is for every child to:

 

  • learn six of these new alternative spellings, and revise the previous 42 letter sounds,
  • blend words that use the six new alternative spellings, and the previous letter sounds,
  • write words from dictation that use the six new alternative spellings and the previous letter sounds,
  • learn to read and spell 20 new tricky words,
  • read sentences that use the six new alternative spellings and some new tricky words,
  • write sentences from dictation that use the new tricky words,
  • continue to read and enjoy more decodable books,
  • and write independently, if that is the preferred option.

 

The first six alternative spellings are:

y as /ee/            a_e            e_e             i_e             o_e              u_e

 

(happy)          (lake)        (theme)       (time)         (hope)         (tube)

 

The children have so far been taught that ‹y› has a /y/ sound, as in the word yes.  As a consonant, ‹y› usually comes at the beginning of a word, but it is never found at the end of a word. Now the children need to know that when the letter ‹y› comes at the end of a slightly longer word, it usually has an /ee/ sound, as in these words: puppy, nanny and story.

 

The children should blend such words in the usual way [demonstration]. They will quickly realise that the letter sound will not be /y/ because the ‹y› is at the end of the word and not at the beginning. It should be noted that in some accents the sound is closer to an /i/ sound [demonstration]. Technically, the sound is neither /i/ nor /ee/ but comes somewhere between these two sounds. It does not cause problems, however. If you are in an area that pronounces it more like an /i/, teach that to the children. For convenience, we keep to the /ee/ sound on this website.

 

  • Part 2 – Decodable readers and tricky words

    The decodable book ‘Hetty the Hen’ is covered. Guidance is provided for reading…

  • Part 3 – Independent writing

    Dictation enables children to write independently. Several examples are shown, as well as…

  • Part 4 – Helpful hints

    More helpful hints are provided, such as dictating words with alternative spellings, short-vowel…

  • Step 4 - Letter Sounds

    The letter sounds taught in Step 4 are provided. They can be used as flash cards to help the children remember the sounds linked to the letters.

  • Step 4 - Letter Sounds - print letters

    The letter sounds taught in Step 4 are provided. They can be used as flash cards to help the children remember the sounds linked to the letters.

  • Step 4 - Letter Sounds

    The letter sounds taught in Step 4 are provided. They can be used as flash cards to help the children remember the sounds linked to the letters.

  • Step 4 - Letter Sounds - print letters

    The letter sounds taught in Step 4 are provided. They can be used as flash cards to help the children remember the sounds linked to the letters.

  • Step 4 - Word Bank

    The words from the 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 4 - Word bank - printed letters

    The words from the 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 4 - Sentences

    These sentences only use the letter sounds taught in Steps 1- 4 and the tricky words 1 - 40. At this stage they are particularly useful for the children who need extra practice reading sentences that use the letter sounds and tricky words taught in Step 4.

  • Step 4 - Sentences - print letters

    These sentences only use the letter sounds taught in Steps 1- 4 and the tricky words 1 - 40. At this stage they are particularly useful for the children who need extra practice reading sentences that use the letter sounds and tricky words taught in Step 4.

  • Step 4 - Tricky Words - reading - b&w

    Tricky Words are frequently used words that either use alternative spellings that have not been taught yet or they are irregular. They can be blended but give the wrong pronunciation. The children have to remember the correct pronunciation and learn the unusual letter-sound correspondences.

  • Step 4 - Tricky Words - reading - colour

    Tricky Words are frequently used words that either use alternative spellings that have not been taught yet or they are irregular. They can be blended but give the wrong pronunciation. The children have to remember the correct pronunciation and learn the unusual letter-sound correspondences.

  • Step 4 - Tricky Words - reading - b&w - print letters

    Tricky Words are frequently used words that either use alternative spellings that have not been taught yet or they are irregular. They can be blended but give the wrong pronunciation. The children have to remember the correct pronunciation and learn the unusual letter-sound correspondences.

  • Step 4 - Tricky Words - reading - color - print letters

    Tricky Words are frequently used words that either use alternative spellings that have not been taught yet or they are irregular. They can be blended but give the wrong pronunciation. The children have to remember the correct pronunciation and learn the unusual letter-sound correspondences.

  • Step 4- Tricky Words - writing - b&w

    Tricky Words are frequently used words that either use alternative spellings that have not been taught yet or they are irregular. The children have to learn the awkward part for spelling. These sheets allow the children to practise writing the tricky words, using the Look, Cover, Write & Check method.

  • Step 4 - Tricky Words - writing - colour

    Tricky Words are frequently used words that either use alternative spellings that have not been taught yet or they are irregular. The children have to learn the awkward part for spelling. These sheets allow the children to practise writing the tricky words, using the Look, Cover, Write & Check method.

  • Step 4 - Tricky Words - writing - b&w - print letters

    Tricky Words are frequently used words that either use alternative spellings that have not been taught yet or they are irregular. The children have to learn the awkward part for spelling. These sheets allow the children to practise writing the tricky words, using the Look, Cover, Write & Check method.

  • Step 4 - Tricky Words - writing - color - print letters

    Tricky Words are frequently used words that either use alternative spellings that have not been taught yet or they are irregular. The children have to learn the awkward part for spelling. These sheets allow the children to practise writing the tricky words, using the Look, Cover, Write & Check method.

  • Step 4 - Dictation Sentences

    These sentences have been carefully selected for dictation. They use the tricky words 1 - 40 and the first 42 letter sounds. They provide writing practice, as well as providing spelling practice of the tricky words taught in Step 4.

  • Step 4 - Dictation Words

    These words have been carefully selected and use the alternative spellings taught in Step 4.