It is incredible to think that the Monster Phonics ‘webinar was just last Thursday. It was so easy for me to follow that I immediately wanted to introduce the scheme to my granddaughter, Marian,in Reception, whom I am teaching during lock down. She immediately loved the angry A monster and and introducing ‘ ay’ this way was effortless. By going through the introductory free videos first, found on You Tube, she got a real feel for Tricky Witch, Miss Oh, ‘ee’ frog etc. Her school sends links such as’Mr Thorne does phonics’ and last week the short ‘oo’ was highlighted. I printed off your excellent lesson plan on this and Marian loved the story video where Tricky Witch goes to Rabbit’s Bookshop and gets the random book about odd socks. I intend to revisit this and get out my bag of odd socks and we will carry the story on…We will also do the rap with the short’oo’ sound and I have prepared some rap backing music.
On Friday and Saturday we just read a few pages of the Little Red Riding Hood story, with the same’ oo’ sound. It was here when I could see the acceleration in her reading, especially bearing in mind that she was reading from the computer, without the glasses which have just been ordered for her. The ten characters, each with a colour, are an integral part of the text and story and for the first time she is completely engrossed in what she is reading. She particularly enjoys the black cat letters/ words ( understandably as they are the easiest), as well as the Tricky Witch and ghost ones- the hardest.
Today was such a gloriously sunny day and Bank Holiday Monday (just four days since we started your Monster Phonics scheme), that it seemed appropriate to meet her in the garden so that she could enjoy the HFWs I had printed off. I had no colour ink and so had to colour the words myself! Next week I will have to drive her to school on certain days and so whilst adhering to social distance,we continued our phonics work outside today. In the videos her eagerness to master these HFWs, is evident, because by entering into the world of the colour coded characters she forgets the actual reading task. On Friday we went through the actions which accompany each sound, but she is more interested in just reading the different words. The print size of the HFWs with their meaningful colours, is particularly useful at the moment, as early last week she had an emergency eye test and is now awaiting her first pairs of glasses.
When I started teaching Marian on line early April, the family was dismayed at how little she could read and write; I wondered how I could move her forward as her concentration was poor and neither of us were used to intensive digital teaching and learning. Thanks to the generosity of educational companies offering free courses and resources during lockdown, I quickly adapted to her needs and she started to enjoy battling with phonics, to the extent that we are now proud of her achievements during a difficult time. I feel that I have grown even closer to her and her parent, even though we have been physically apart, and this work has given me a wonderful sense of purpose. I have written to our MP requesting that companies such as yours must be rewarded in some way as you will have provided irreplaceable tools for so many children. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Marian’s mother is a foreign front line worker- a night carer – and child care is particularly difficult on the days when her mother must sleep. Her mother is also reluctant to teach her English, as it is not her first language. Zoom is a wonderful platform and Marian enjoys the interactive whiteboard and so I am sure we will enjoy making some Monster Phonics pictures with captions very soon. In the mean time I will send you some pictures and videos of today’s unforgettable achievements.