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Using PI with Individual Children

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Joined: 16 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:20 pm    Post subject: Using PI with Individual Children Reply with quote

As well as training teachers, I work as a private tutor after school, helping children on a one-to-one basis, who can’t read or write well enough. I thought you might be interested in how I have been using Phonics International with different pupils. First W:

W. is 8 years old. When I began working with him in April, he knew the sounds of single alphabet letters and a few digraphs. On the Neale Analysis Accuracy Assessment he came out with a reading age of 5 years 8 months. He has been coming to me for an hour twice a week (which is good, as only a few people manage that much) and has had 19 lessons. I follow almost the same lesson plan for each session:

1. Review homework.

2. Revise for reading:
a. grapheme/phoneme correspondences , using a PI ‘bookmark’. Say all the sounds he can remember for that grapheme. I remind him of any he’s forgotten.
b. words, using PI ‘My Words’ at a level of one or two lessons before the one we’re at.

3. Revise for spelling:
a. phoneme/grapheme correspondences I say one I’ve taught him and he writes all the graphemes he can remember for that sound. I remind him of any he’s forgotten.
b. words This takes more preparation. I plan one or two sentences first (ready for 6.). I aim to include:
i. words with grapheme/phoneme correspondences I have taught before, to help him remember them and to add to the range of words he can spell using them.
ii. two or three high frequency ‘tricky’ words, either that I have taught before and know he is not sure of, or because they help me to compose the sentences, in which case I teach them at this point
iii. content that follows on from the PI sentences we are to read later in the lesson
For the first 12 lessons he went through the whole procedure, every time, of repeating the word, saying the phonemes as he touched a finger for each one, drawing a line for each one, writing the graphemes on the lines as he said the sounds again, repeating each phoneme as he pointed at the graphemes, blending to read the word and then writing it again in joined writing. He definitely benefited from doing this. Now he draws the lines only when he is finding it especially difficult and uses joined writing straight away.

4. Focus on a grapheme/phoneme correspondence, using the PI Sounds Book Activity Sheet This is the easiest part for me with no preparation beyond deciding with sheet to use and printing it. I choose a sheet in the PI sequence, missing out the ones focussing on single alphabet letters, mostly going for the ones with two graphemes for the same sound, e.g. Next lesson I plan to use Unit 5, Sheet 4 with the graphemes ‘ou’ and ‘ow’ as in ‘out’ and ‘now’.
a. Look at graphemes and say sounds.
b. Read words.
c. Write letters. I draw an extra line to show how high to make letters like ‘o’, and make them smaller than in the sheet, as his writing is naturally smaller. I demonstrate joined writing.
d. I read the instructions for drawing pictures and he does that at home.
e. Fold the page over and I dictate a few of the words. He follows the same procedure for spelling as before.

At about this point, he has a break – gets up, goes to a different room, has a biscuit and a drink.

5. Read text, using PI sentences – usually at the same stage as the Sounds Book Activity Sheet.

6. Write sentences from dictation, following the PI sentences, prepared as above.

7. Game: I use a variety from TRUGS, Clever Spelling, Mona McNee’s – all excellent for synthetic phonics teaching

8. Homework: I give him the Sounds Book Activity Sheet to do the pictures, a PI spelling sheet from several stages before (I find I have to tell parents more than once to dictate words and listen to child say the sounds, or I find the children have been left alone guessing the words), and a PI Words Sheet.

Sometimes, either during the lesson, or for homework, he reads a book from a commercial decodable books reading scheme, but we usually run out of time for that.

W.’s parents are thrilled with his progress and he likes coming and is much more confident, but his class teacher told me I should be doing story plans with him and she strongly disagrees with my approach. I have not reassessed him yet.
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