In reception, children will start to tackle phonics. The topic of phonics usually begins with sounding out pictures, drawing on the hand, and singing. Children will eventually start to practise blending and segmenting words. Independent and assisted reading using specialist phonics books is a crucial step in locking in this practice.
What are phonics books?
The national curriculum requires that children are taught phonics through a systematic synthetic approach. This works by combining the blending of word sounds with the visual appearance of letter combinations. Find out about the national curriculum guidance on systematic synthetic phonics programmes for children in KS1 and KS2.
Phonics books are designed to help facilitate the gradual introduction of sound, and letter combinations, progressing from the most basic letter sounds to whole words and then word combinations. A good phonics book series will be staggered from level one up so that children can progress at their own pace and this progress can be tracked.
Phonics marks the beginning of a long journey to reading complex material, and practice is essential to lock in these skills. Teachers can support phonics learning by supplying their students with helpful reading material to explore and practise their new reading skills. Fill your reading corner with phonics books that allow students to practice at their own pace.
Used by 80% of schools in the UK, the Floppy Phonics series by Oxford Reading Tree has been designed in line with the national curriculum’s Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) principles. Accompanied by beautiful illustrations, each book follows the adventures of Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy. Teachers can find prompts on each page that focus on a particular sound from the scene.
The books come in packs of 6, all of which are the same level, to share amongst the students who can take turns or read in pairs. The colour pictures help to engage children in the activity, and each book incorporates a revision structure that helps to solidify language comprehension.
We stock Floppy Phonics books from levels one to five so that students can benefit from consistent and familiar material when developing their skills. Take a look at this breakdown of Oxford levels and book bands to determine which level of books your students need to read.
Make sure you have lots of storage in the reading corner for your phonics books so that students can see them and access them easily and independently. Comfy reading corner seating will also encourage kids to spend time reading and practising their new skills. Find reading corner furniture ideas in our blog.
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The Phonics Readers series, written with input from an educational psychology expert, uses the power of rhyme to help children tackle new phonics, sounds, and word combinations. Combined with exciting illustrations, each book follows the story of a different animal’s adventures in rhyming verse.
The simple synthetic phonic based text is in line with the national curriculum. The rhymes in each sentence on a page help children recognise graphemes and identify sounds that are the same and different sounds through varying combinations of letters.
We stock two multipacks of Phonics Readers with 12 books in each pack, making it easy to share them around the class for either independent reading or group reading. Alternatively, the rhyming verse in these books makes them ideal for circle time reading, where children can read aloud with the teacher.
The Lexie Mouse series is designed to assist children with dyslexia in developing reading skills. The book series is created with a specially made-for-purpose font that is easier to read than other standard children’s book fonts. The simplified font is designed to be accessible for both children who have dyslexia and children who don’t. It is also SEN-friendly, making the books usable for virtually any child in the class.
The books start at level one with no words and only pictures so the students can get accustomed to each story's illustrations, characters, and format. Gradually the books progress to complete sentences. We stock Lexie Mouse from levels one to three, with each pack comprising seven books that are colour coded to follow the book band colour coding system.
Decorate Your Reading Corner with Phonics
Give your students lots of visual stimulation in the classroom reading corner to help them get used to seeing and understanding graphemes. These phonics signs feature all 40+ phonemes in vibrant and straightforward designs. The signs are made from durable plastic and come in sizes from 400 x 600mm to 800 x 1200mm.
As an unusual alternative to the standard reading corner display lettering, try our Feely Fabric Letters. Each fabric letter is made from soft fabric, giving kids a new way to explore letters through touch. Use the tactile letters to help kids explore phonemes and graphemes from a different perspective.
Our blog is full of ideas for decorating your classroom reading corner in ways that help kids learn about literacy and get excited about reading. Find some inspiration here.
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