So it is the summer holidays which is when teachers relax… right? Well, we do relax but we also decorate classrooms and spend our summer prepping and planning for September and the longest term of the year.
For those who are moving to KS1, you may have some questions. Why are they so little? How will I cope and Phonics? I am not confident in Phonics I haven’t taught it as I have always been in KS2. If you are reading this and it feels familiar – do not panic! I have been there and I had the mild panic about teaching phonics as I still referred to the very outdated magic ‘e.’
If you are moving into KS1 and are using Monster Phonics for the first time, you are in luck. Not only will it become the best part of the children’s day, it will become the best part of your day too.
If you are nervous teaching phonics then spend this time reminding yourself of all the terminology and login to Monster Phonics now and look at some of the lessons you will be teaching come September.
Here are my top ten tips for using Monster Phonics for the first time
Follow the planning
The beauty of Monster Phonics is that it is all there ready for you to teach on the 1st September. Login and take a look at each lesson which includes a detailed lesson plan, differentiated tasks, a PowerPoint, a song or a story, a main activity and a range of other resources. Familiarise yourself with it all so you are ready.
Engage in the silliness
It’s important to have fun! If you have fun and enjoy it! Then your children will engage in the silliness with the monsters. Tell the children you know Tricky Witch and you see her out and about and she is always setting challenges. Leave your room a mess one morning and tell the children Angry A has been in and trashed the place because he is angry we don’t know the ‘ai’ sound yet. Have your TA call the classroom and pretend to be Miss Oh No. Turn your classroom into a party that Cool Blue DJ’s at. Embrace the madness and enjoy it!
Adapt to your environment
The planning and the ideas are not rigid. If something does not work for you in the planning, change it and make it applicable for you and your cohort. There is no one size fits all in education, do what works for you and be confident in your decision to do so.
Make it visual
Create a Monster Phonics crazy classroom. Put Monsters on display in the classroom and in in the outside areas, colour-code your class signs, hide flashcards in book bags and put stickers of Monsters on to children’s jumpers so they are talking about that monster all day. Help the children see the magic of phonics!
Multisensory is key
Multi-sensory is absolutely key. Get the class singing, dancing, jumping, writing, drawing, painting, playing, making to engage every sense. Join one of our webinars to find out more about the multi-sensory approach. Keep it fresh, keep it fun and keep it engaging.
Engage your parents
This is a true story. A child in my class went home with a book about Trains. His mum came in the following day and said ‘Mr Cawley, he keeps referring to Angry A Monster when he sees the word Train but there is no Angry A character in the book, what is he talking about?’ He had not created his own character for the book but instead was referring to the ‘ai’ grapheme which is represented by Angry A. The point is, give your parents free resources, explain the monsters to them, tell them to attend our free Parent Webinars. Helping them engage and understand the scheme will help them further learning at home as well as you furthering it in the classroom.
Baseline your Children
See where your children are at in September. See what sounds they recognise, what words can they spell, what their strengths are and what they need support with. This way you will see their individual progress alongside the national standards. Some children might not make age related but you can be proud of their progress all the same.
Contact Monster Phonics
The Monster Phonics team are a phone call or an email away. Contact them if you need any advice or support, we are on hand and will get back to you within 24 hours. If you need some inspiration for a lesson observation or if you are struggling with some ideas for resources or displays. We are here to help so contact us via the website.
Invite Monster Phonics to school
The team are always desperate to see Monster Phonics in action so invite them in to see a setting and a lesson if you want some support and tips on using Monster Phonics or if you just want to show off how awesome your cohort is. The best part of our job is coming into school and seeing it live so we will never turn down an invite.
Join our community and share your ideas
The Facebook Monster Phonics Resources page is where teachers often share their own ideas and resources. Come and join and see if anything interests you and be sure to share your ideas too to help other teachers too!
I hope you found these tips useful. Watch this space for a webinar later this summer that is aimed at teachers moving to KS1 and are new to Monster Phonics.
Enjoy your summer.