Pronouncing the Sounds; Not as Easy as You Might Think

The first step in teaching a systematic Synthetic Phonics programme is to teach the sounds which is by far, the easiest step for children to make. However, if the sounds are pronounced incorrectly it can make the next step, which is blending for reading, all the harder. It’s worth the time and effort to ensure […]

Read more »

The Phonics Check: Who, What, Where, How…

This week the Australian Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, announced the intention to roll out a phonics check in Australia. QLD and WA have already dug their heels in and said ‘not on our watch’, whereas SA and NSW are applauding the announcement. It will come as no surprise to you that here, at Phonics Hero, […]

Read more »

What is a Schwa and How to Teach It

What is the most common vowel sound in the English language? If you said long or short /e/, you are wrong. The most common vowel letter is ‘e’ but the most common vowel sound is the sound /uh/ (like the sound someone makes when trying to think of a word). It sounds like the short […]

Read more »

Should I Teach Upper or Lower Case Letters First?

I’ve been asked if you should teach upper or lower letters first, a few times recently, so in this month’s blog post I’ll address the debate and the impact of your choice on reading and spelling. I’ll also make recommendations for best teaching practice. The Argument for Teaching Upper Case First The ‘upper case first’ […]

Read more »

Getting Physical with Phonics

There are so many ways to make phonics fun and interactive. If you can get children outside and moving, you get phonics practise plus: fresh air, active kids and it’s a hit with the boys – win, win, win! Here are some ideas: Soak the Sound! Laminate letters and stick them around the playground. You […]

Read more »

Phonics Assessment: Don’t Assume – Assess!

It is the beginning of a new school year, after a school holiday of 6-8 weeks. Have you decided what you are going to start teaching in the area of phonics? Have you thought of the phonics assessment you will conduct this year? One of the great features of Phonics Hero is that it provides […]

Read more »

Fluency: Why it’s Important and How to Develop it

The ‘Big 6’ essential components of reading instruction are oral language, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Unfortunately, fluency is often a relatively neglected component in reading programs. Teachers and parents neglect fluency at their peril, as there is a strong correlation between…

Read more »

5 Ways to Help Your Child with Reading

By playing Phonics Hero you are teaching your child the building blocks of literacy – well done you! But you can also help with reading in lots of other ways too. These small steps will help expand vocabulary, practise comprehension skills and build confidence – all by simply reading with your child. This week, primary school teacher, Elaine, explains 5 things you can do to help with reading…

Read more »