With recovery curriculums in full swing, every school is actively trying to make up for lost time. But what about phonics? How can we bridge the gap? In my setting we have found the following the best ways to bridge the gap:
- Double the sessions
- Bring phonics into the playground
- Bring phonics into your PE lessons
- Send phonics home
- Read a Monster Phonics story at the end of every day.
- Drip feed phonics in your day.
Double the Sessions
The beauty of Monster Phonics is that once they know Angry A makes the ‘a’ sound, whenever they see him they will know he is there to help with the ‘a’ sound. Therefore, you can double your sessions. One in the morning for 20 minutes and one in the afternoon for 20 mins. The same monster and the same phoneme but two different graphemes. Children will then learn for example ‘ai’ in ‘rain’ and ‘ay’ in day. Doing this every day in the Spring term means you will be teaching 110 phonics sessions in one term.
Bring Phonics into the Playground
If you use the scheme, you know by now that the children love the monsters. Let them play with the Monsters at playtime. Put the monsters in your outside areas, put them on play equipment and have your staff engage in games with them around the monsters. Children love to play, and you love them to learn. It is a win-win!
Bring Phonics into Your PE lessons
A perfectly taught PE lesson will always include a warm-up. Why not make your warm-up phonics focused? Monsters in different parts of the space. Shout a word and the children have to go to the right monster. How do they get there? Do they run? Walk? Crawl? Move like the monster? Move as the word is asking them to? The possibilities are endless.
Send Phonics Home
If you have been focusing on a Monster or a set of sounds, set some homework around it. This does not have to be a sheet, it can be your weekly ‘Monster Phonics Challenge.’ You could ask the children to find 5 things in their house that have the ‘o-e’ sound and write them down. Just hope they don’t bring in their TV remote to show you. You could give them pictures of all the Monsters and they have to put the picture on an item that uses that monster. You will soon have houses full of Tricky Witch sitting on a chair and Brown Owl in the shower.
Read a Monster Phonics Story
A Monster Phonics story will help solidify some of the sounds you have been teaching. The stories are a great way to end your day and the children love finding the monsters. You can be smart in your choosing of a story that will best focus on the sounds you have taught that week. Check out the website for more information on the books available.
Drip Feed Phonics
Stick stickers on your children so other adults ask them about phonics around the school. Colour code name tags and class signs. Set a Monster Phonics challenge when your class line up. Sing a Monster Phonics song on the way to lunch. Do all the things that will help keep phonics in the forefront of your cohorts mind.
As a teacher, I love hearing what else everyone else is doing. Email me and let me know your ideas.
Keep going, you’re doing a great job!