Learning to read - Phonics
At Lowton J & I we use the Read Write Inc. programme to get children off with a flying start with reading. This leaflet is designed to offer information about how you can help with your child's reading development at home.
Read Write Inc. is a phonic based approach to teaching reading . It involves children learning to read sounds and how to blend them together to read words.
Read Write Inc. is a successful reading programme that enables every child to become a confident and fluent reader.
The children learn 44 sounds (speed sounds). These are the letter sounds not the letter names. The speed sounds are divided into small groups. Once your child has learnt all of the sounds in one group, they can move on to blending the letter in that group to read words.
The speed sound groups:
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
For example, once your child has learnt to read the sounds in the first speed sound group—they can start to read words including these sounds such as mat, sat, sad, mad, at etc.
How can I use Read Write Inc. at home?
- Help your child to learn the speed sounds and practise the correct formation when writing each sound.
- Help your child to read green words by blending sounds (in school we call this Fred Talk).
- Help your child to read any short sentences or book that we send home.
- Help your child to learn the red words we send home.
Types of Sounds
When teaching the speed sounds it is very important that you do not add an intrusive ‘uh’ to the end of the constant sound—in school we call these sloppy sounds! Try to pronounce them as pure sounds: ‘mmm’ not ‘muh’, ‘fff’ not ‘fuh’ and ‘lll’ not ‘luh’.
This can be quite difficult to begin with but by ensuring only the pure sounds are pronounced, your child will find it much easier to blend the sounds to make the words.
There is a video that demonstrates this on YouTube: search for Read Write Inc Pronouncaition.
Bouncy and stretchy sounds
To help your child remember his or her sounds we say that some make a stretchy sound and some make a bouncy sound.
Stretchy sounds are said in one continuous sound eg. Mmmmmmm as in mountain.
Bouncy sounds are said with a short sharp gap in between e.g. d-d-d as in dinosaur.
Your child is ready to sound blend once they have learnt the first set of sounds and can say these in and out of order. In school we call this Fred Talk.
Fred Talk involves reading the sounds within a word for example c-a-t and then blending them together to read the word cat.
Red and Green Words
Green words are words that your child can sound out and then blend together using the speed sounds that they have learnt.
Your child will be able to read a book with ease if they have practised reading some of the isolated green words first.
Red words are those words which contain spelling patterns that cannot be sounded out. Some of the most frequently used word in the English language have an uncommon spelling pattern and therefore don’t sound like they look. For example, ‘said’ sounds like it should be ‘sed’.
Red words have to be learnt by sight. These words are printed in red within Read Write Inc. storybooks. Learning to read the red words is a very important part of reading and one which you can help with at home.
There is a list of red words below that you could practise reading with your child. A good way to do this is to put them on to small pieces of paper and use them as flash cards.
Reading Meetings for Parents
Thank you for completing the parent questionnaire after our very successful series of reading meetings. Please click on the link below to see the results.
Click on the links below to access some of the materials shared at our year group reading meetings.
Parent Prompts - questions you can ask when reading at home with your child