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Most phonics / sounds charts are ʃ/ɪ/t


It is no wonder that these charts get downloaded, shared and printed so often. They make the written code seem simple! Even those running Science of Reading groups share them. What we need now is to have honest and open (even if uncomfortable) discussions about popular and widely promote resources. When you are sharing this stuff with over 110k people interested in the science of reading, it has to be really good. Not everyone understands how children learn, and how complex the written code is. The Science of Reading is a hot topic, but less so the Science of Learning. I would have used this resource to show something that is NOT a 'practical sound chart for all ages'. We use Speech Sound Clouds to show all spelling choices for every phoneme (speech to print) so that they can see that the letter 'a' represents about 8 different speech sounds, as well as which graphemes map to the phonemes when 'talking on paper' - talking (in real life! - accents, dialects etc) can be very different and also explored. These 'sound charts' are useful for all ages and stages! Our pre-schoolers use them to explore 'The King's Code'. The Speech Sound Pics (SSP) teacher's focus is on the LEARNING that takes place, and how to make learning to read and spell as easy as possible for the highest number of children. This stuff makes it far HARDER for a lot of kids, and other teachers need to know why.

I mention differentiation just about every day, and for those new to the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach, this is just one resource - used to ensure that the students have been exposed to the 85 - 100 high frequency graphemes (as tested in the UK Phonics Screener Check) before the end of their first year in most cases. I say 'in most cases' because it depends on the needs of the student, not the curriculum planning. You can't plot when a child will have LEARNED to recognise and blend them, only when a teacher may have stood in front of the class and covered them. That difference is at the heart of my work.


It would be great if there was a Science of Reading group where people such as myself could give our thoughts, without being blocked. But anyone who understands history, and educational changes knows that is unlikely to happen. It's very tribal! So I'll keep ranting here, even if only a few people read my blogs, and keep offering alternative solutions - with a focus on the learning part:-) Miss Emma The Reading Whisperer

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