How do we make phonics and early reading easy for children to learn?
Read Write Inc. Phonics depends upon children learning to read and write sounds effortlessly, so we make it simple and fun.
First we teach them one way to read and write the 40+ sounds in English. We use pictures and rhymes to help. These pictures help all children to read the sounds easily, and to learn how to correctly form their letters in handwriting.
The Order of Teaching Sounds
In Read Write Inc phonics the individual sounds are called ‘speed sounds’ – because we want your child to read them effortlessly.
Set 1 speed sounds are the initial letter sounds. They are taught in the following order.
m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, sh, r, j, v, y, w, th, z, ch, qu, x, ng, nk
The sounds that are made up of2 letters are called special friends.
Once the children learn their set 1 speed sounds they learn to read words by sound-blending using a frog called Fred. Fred says the sounds and the children help him blend the sounds to read each word. We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily. (see the video below).
Fred Fingers are used for spelling and writing. Children hold up the hand that they do not write with. They sound out the word they are spelling and put up the correct number of fingers for the word.
For example: m-a-t = 3 sounds = 3 fingers.
- Ask your child how many sounds they can hear in the word “mat”
- Ask your child to put up their Fred Fingers (there should be three)
- Using the hand that your child writes with, they pinch the first finger and say the first sound in the word ‘m’
- Pinch the middle finger and say ‘a’
- Pinch the last finger and say ‘t’
- Fingers are pinched left to right, as we would read.
There are 12 Set 2 speed sounds that are made up of two or three letters which represent just one sound, e.g. ay as in play, ee as in tree and igh as in high. When children learn their Set 2 sounds they will learn:
- the letters that represent a speed sound e.g. ay
- a simple picture prompt linked to the ‘speed sound’ and a short phrase to say e.g. may I play.
Every speed sound has a list of green words linked to it, so your child can ‘sound out’ and ‘sound blend’ words containing the new speed sound they have just learnt, for example s-p-r-ay = spray.
When learning their Set 3 speed sounds they will be taught that there are more ways in which the same sounds are written, e.g. ee as in tree and ea as in tea.