Many still teach using a 'print to speech' approach and will use phrases like 'what sound does this letter make?' As I'm a 'speech to print' teacher I cringe a little whenever I hear those phrases. Letters don't 'make' sounds, they represent speech sounds (phonemes) but they don't represent anything unless they are in a word. Even then, we need to know how to pronounce the word! What does the /ea/ represent in the word 'read'?
We are listening for speech sounds, using 'Duck Hands' to segment words into speech sound from left to right (and then sweep to blend) and are using our 'Magic Speech Sound Camera' to take pictures of these speech sounds. What might they look like? What will they look like in THAT word?
And of course we explain concepts using stories, songs and poems.
The children are on a voyage of discovery, to figure out which 'Sound Pics' the Speech Sound King chose, to represent the speech sounds in all of the words we use when speaking. He records them in the Code Mapping Book - the dictionary! So we start from speech - Duck Hand the words, think about the sounds ...how do they map on paper? How do we 'talk on paper?' So in my classroom 'ed' doesn't 'say' anything. They are just two letters sitting at the end of a word in print, waiting to be explored!
And because we have a Speech Sound Monster for every English Speech Sound (like phonetic symbols for kids) even 4 year olds can map the phonemes to graphemes as they are exploring words in texts!
The reason our SSP Code Mapping kids do so well is because 'it just makes sense'...and they are investigating the code, not being told how to segment, or to memorise 'rules' ...and the exploratory work is empowering! The Speech Sound Monsters even ensure that children do not get 'blinded by the letters', as they can when being taught using a 'print to speech' approach.
Try it and let me know how you get on! Miss Emma The Reading Whisperer