For a decade the ED Specially 4U literacy programs have taught hundreds of children how to read or started them on their road to literacy. We are immensely proud of the unique program that has been developed based on over 20 years of classroom instruction.
What is phonics? Quite simply, it is the relationship between the letters (graphemes) and sounds (phonemes). Much research has documented the importance of phonics instruction. It is essential to learn the sounds from the very beginning of instruction. In our program we start from the age of 2; introducing the sounds to our students – we start with phonological awareness. Please refer to our other literacy blogs related to this topic. To read more about our phonemic awareness programs read here
EDSpecially4U has developed a program using resources that are bright, colourful and motivating. We have created a bespoke range of resources to reinforce this learning.
Our students love learning their letters with motivating and ‘hands on’ learning resources. Now the resources are available for you to use in preschools, schools, tutor and homeschool programs
This is the ‘first’ step to phonics instruction. Stars are the shape designated within our unique program and resources to signify that the sound is a ‘beginning’ sound of a word. So from the first, we introduce sounds on these stars as we teach them in relation to real words that start with that sound.
For example: /a/ is for apple.
Each different letter is given a colour, and this colour remains constant throughout all of our resources to assist in optimum errorless learning.
Each letter has a group of words in which the targetted sound is the beginning of the word. Coupled with the words is a graphic which can be represented in either line drawing or photograph dependent on the learning styles/ability of the student.
PHONICS 4 U
Matched with the ‘Letter Stars’ resource, is the Phonics 4 U CD. This CD has been custom created to match the teaching of the Letter Stars resource. The CD which was created by Darren Peters and David Scott, sings each of the letters and the words that start with the phonic sound.
This activity becomes even more FUN when coupled with the CD
To further practice and reinforce the letter and it’s sound we introduce each letter with an ED Specially 4U READER (appropriate for individual and classroom use) Each student can hold a reader and complete tasks while looking at the letter which is printed in both Upper and Lower case as well as each of the graphics and their printed word.
Students enjoy interacting with the reader. This is a great opportunity to model and practice correct letter writing formation. Our students also enjoy finding the targeted sound for the week at the beginning of the word – sometimes the words have the sound more than once and as an extension our students find the letter in different places in the word (ie. beginning and ending – ‘w’ for window). This activity also allows discussion of what is a letter and what is a word – often something that our students are thinking about for the first time.
Our letters are reinforced with several different resources:
Wall displays and Charts
are a fantastic tool to reinforce the letters, their sounds and the words that start with that sound.
are extremely useful and we use these in both the coloured and non-coloured backgrounds. The coloured backgrounds are used only in the beginning of instruction for those students who require extra support in identifying the letters.
Initially in the program, we practice with the letter cards using the colour from our phonics program. As the students’ letter recognition skills increase we use the letter cards on the white background to blend the sounds together to form words.
Hands on Activities to Reinforce the formation of the letter
Once the letter is taught through direct instruction sound work we then use hands on learning medium to produce the formation of the letter. Using Letter writing practise cards students use play dough, sand, rice, milo, pasta etc to form the shape of the letter while also encouraging the repitition of the sound . The EDSpecially4U letter writing cards are the model for this activity.
Reinforcing the phonemes
Each term our classes review concepts and letter sounds/phonemes. Our students enjoy using the ‘Grid Matching Resource’. This resource allows the student to review the lower case letter, upper case letter, and the graphics which start with each of the initial sounds.
EDSpecially4U produce a comprehensive set of phonic resources and provide a FUN and motivating program to introduce these skills.
Where to next?
Each week students enjoy a selection of the EDSpecially4U Initial Sound Phonic Games. Details of these games are available from abc4me at the online shop
Learning the phonemes is FUN with ED Specially 4U
For the Love of Learning