“Many of the phonic aids I’ve come across in my teaching career, seem simply to list words featuring specific sounds. I prefer children to hear the sounds in context, so wrote some short funny poems featuring cute alliterative characters, specific to the phoneme of the day. We’d read them through together, identify the sounds in context, then wipe the board and make our phonic flower, recalling the words from the poem together with new ones, adding a petal each time, the bigger the better! Afterwards they could choose a fun worksheet to complete independently, a great tool for assessment. The children really enjoyed these mini phonic sessions, so decided to write poems for the other initial letter sounds, then digraphs and trigraphs. By showing phonics in context in these fun little poems, rather than simply decoding lists of words, we are encouraging an early love of reading, which is of course what teaching is all about!”
Matt Glover is a primary school teacher and children’s author with 14 years experience. He graduated at Bath, qualified in Oxford, and has since combined teaching with storytelling to promote creative writing in hundreds of schools throughout London and Kent. His phonic sessions have been graded Outstanding by Ofsted. He is currently teaching at a British International School in Panama.
Matt can be heard reading popular children’s books – including his debut picture book But It’s True! – on his storytelling website www.happyreading.es.